From the Independent:
They set out to fight for a fair deal for themselves; they ended up changing the world of work for generations of women. Now the 187 women machinists from Ford's flagship factory in Essex are to be celebrated in Made in Dagenham – starring Miranda Richardson and Bob Hoskins – which opens in cinemas across the UK this month. This weekend the man who worked behind the scenes as history was being made spoke, in a rare interview, to the IoS about the part he played in it.
When women machinists at Ford's Dagenham factory downed tools in 1968 in protest at the fact that they were classed as unskilled workers, while male colleagues doing the same job were thought to be skilled and paid much more for their efforts, they couldn't have imagined the ramifications.
The three-week strike brought production at the factory – which was the focus of the UK car industry at the time – to a standstill, and the dispute was resolved only when Barbara Castle was brought in to negotiate a settlement.
The Ford machinists went back to work after agreeing to be paid 92 per cent of male machinists' wages, and the strike speeded up the introduction of the Equal Pay Act of 1970, which made it illegal to have different pay scales for men and women.