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'Brave' Chain Makers Honoured

Friday, June 30, 2017

Despite their incredible success – we still face many of the same problems today.

GMB will pay tribute to a group of heroic women chain makers who risked everything in their fight for a wage they could live on.

The Women Chainmakers of Cradley Heath will be honoured at an all-day event in Cradley Heath High Street tomorrow.

The women were subjected to terrible conditions in the Black Country in 1910 – forced to work both day and night for starvation wages.

They put down their hammers and, led by the founder of the National Federation of Women Workers Mary Macarthur, their ten week strike successfully established the right to a minimum wage.

Tomorrow’s event, the largest celebration in Britain of women's political history, will re-enact the struggle and celebrate the achievements of those brave women.

The family friendly day features market stalls, fun fair rides, speeches, street theatre, music and debate.

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary who is speaking at the event, said:

“The Cradley Heath Chain Makers were true pioneers who risked everything for what they knew was right.

“But despite their incredible success – we still face many of the same problems today.

“Tens of thousands in the West Midlands are trapped in poverty pay, or insecure, zero hours work.

"Meanwhile the West Midlands has lost 87,000 public sector jobs since 2010 and it's economy is set to lose £1.3 billion by 2020 if the pay cap is not lifted.

“GMB vows to continue the fight wherever we see inequality in any form.”


Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

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