August 2016 is the 40th anniversary of the start of the 2 year strike at Grunwick film processing in North West London. This strike, mainly of Asian women, received unprecedented levels of support from the wider movement, in contrast to the attitude of the movement to previous strikes by black and immigrant workers. This solidarity was faced with considerable police violence against pickets, with the highest number of arrests (over 500) in the course of an industrial dispute since the General Strike of 1926. The law was used both to undermine the fight for union recognition and against postal workers who refused to handle crucial Grunwick mail.
The plans for the Grunwick anniversary commemorations are taking shape quickly, there’s a lot happening…
We now have permission to install a mural on a prominent wall very close to the former factory site in Willesden. This will be a permanent public reminder of the unity and solidarity that Grunwick represented and ensure that the history is remembered.
But commemorating Grunwick is not just about remembering the past, it’s also about organising for the future. Later this year we will be holding a conference (working title: The Grunwick Strike: Legacy and Lessons) which will look at current issues relating to migrant workers and the bringing together of various struggles.
Finally, we can’t do any of our activities without financial resources. We have a live crowdfunding campaign as well as a model motion for use by organisations to donate towards our costs. Please give generously.
The Grunwick 40 Steering Group, an initiative of Brent Trades Council and Willesden Green Town Team
of Brent Trades Council and the Willesden Green Town Team.