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Mainstream - Made In Dagenham

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Made In Dagenham
Sally Hawkins, Geraldine James, Jaime Winstone
Directed by Nigel Cole
Sony Pictures Classics 2011

Made In Dagenham is the story of a group of women who decide to go on strike for equal pay. Though there are similarities with Norma Rae (Sally Field) this is a much more social and human interest story. This is why this story set in 1968 England does not feel dated. Made IN Dagenham features great acting and writing and quite a few moments Hollywood would have sugar coated or formularized (such as what happens to George).

Though the Ford’s women machinist are unionized equal pay is not something their union is willing to back, saying there are greater issues at stake and a slow and steady approach is needed. Consequently Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins) and her coworkers (including Geraldine James and Jaime Winstone) must fight not only Ford but their own union.

Eventually the British Minister of Labor gets involved and things come to a head. These last few scenes feel a bit rushed or a bit unfocused in part because though attention is paid to who the Minister of Labor is the final showdown is off-camera.

It is sad to say that more than forty years later unions are still doing a lousy job of representing the rank and file and still using the under handed tricks shown in Mde In Dagenham and the excuse of the “bigger picture” to shroud the leadership’s self-serving agenda.

Being a member of the CSQ means getting to pay close to $100.00 a month in compulsory dues and having absolutely no real representation whatsoever by people who are nothing more than professional union leaders.

When your working conditions have degraded steadily over the last fifteen years and you see former union leaders retiring to a cushy government position who know who is working for who.

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