Striking Women: Struggles and and strategies of South Asian women workers from Grunwick to Gate Gourmet

A joint CERIC / School of Sociology and Social Policy / POLIS event - talk and book launch taking place at Leeds University Business School on Wednesday 14 November 2018

Who were the women who fought back at Grunwick and Gate Gourmet?

Striking Women gives a voice to the women involved as they discuss their lives, their work, and their trade unions. This book focuses on South Asian women’s contributions to the struggle for workers’ rights in the UK by examining two key industrial disputes which occurred in London some 30 years apart.

The book offers an original intersectional account of the class and migrant position of the two workforces involve – both of South Asian origin – but with very different experiences of paid work and industrial organising. It situates the events of Grunwick (1976-8) and Gate Gourmet (2005) in the context of changes in industrial relations, immigration regulation, and also the changing nature of globalisation and corporate strategies in the face of accelerating globalisation.

Unlike other accounts of these strikes, this book uses interviews with women who participated in the disputes – presenting the workers’ story, which is often at odds with the authorised versions of the unions’ stories.

The authors, Sundari Anitha and Ruth Pearson will discuss the making of this book, which follows some ten years of research as well as the production of a range of outreach materials including a dedicated website ( They will also consider the implications their analysis has today in the context of Brexit, increasingly restrictive migration, growing racism and the challenges for the trade union movement.

Please register here