At least Barbara Castle had some guts

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 pm, October 28th, 2010 - 10 comments
Categories: leadership, sexism, uk politics, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Wellington’s Embassy theatre hosted the New Zealand premiere of the Ring movies a few years ago. There’s another good movie showing there now. It comes from the producer of “Calendar Girls” and is called “Made in Dagenham”. It tells the story of women sewing machinists who went on strike for equal pay at England’s largest Ford plant in the 1960’s.  American company executives threatened to pull Ford out of England, as paying women the same as men would be a worldwide disaster. They made the threat to Barbara Castle, Minister of Employment in the then Labour government. She called their bluff. The women got more pay, Ford stayed in England and Barbara Castle passed Equal Pay legislation in 1970.

10 comments on “At least Barbara Castle had some guts”

  1. So you think Warners were bluffing? By implication, that means that Helen Kelly and Simon Whipp are stupid (or gutless) for removing the boycott on the Hobbit.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      YES. Jackson was bluffing.

      But the unions weren’t stupid in removing the boycott on the Hobbit, they simply trusted Jackson’s word in their final meeting together, and the joint agreement they reached to be announced within a couple of days.

      Oh actually, having said that, it seems clear, yes the unions were stupid.

      • Jim Nald 1.1.1

        The key thing (pun in there) is the Govt was hopeless at negotiating – flunked terribly at calling Warner Bros’ bluff and failed to use time which was on their side (Jonkey was in a hurry to leave for Vietnam??).

        Barbara Castle had guts
        Jonkey, Joycestick et al were nuts
        Warner Bros kicked butts

        Time for me to go to bed. Last one to leave NZ, please turn off the lights.

        • Tigger

          It’s clear the unions couldn’t win. By making this stand they were venal. By agreeing in good faith to stand down they were gutless…

          By the way cv, really enjoy your comments…

  2. prism 2

    NZ film industry survives despite a thousand cuts.

  3. It is sad that our film industry should badly need Warners. They are just playing power games.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Economic sovreignty. We need a screen industry which is broad based with many different facets to it, not one which is Jackson based and has one Hollywood blockbuster facet to it.

      In other words, we have a screen industry which at the moment has very limited resilience, a work force with very limited power against hard hearted employers, and is by coincidence or by intention far too highly Jackson based.

      • Jeremy Harris 3.1.1

        True but at the moment it is a choice between a Jackson based film industry or a largely non-existent one…

        Unless you’re planning on buying a director’s chair and can get a few hundred million out of Hollywood or Bolliwood..?

  4. tea 4

    this isn’t mentioned in the advertising for the movie- perhaps the unions should promote it?

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