The Women Chainmakers’ Festival takes place on 12 July 2015
The Women Chainmakers’ Festival is an annual event celebrating the achievements of the women of Cradley Heath who successfully established a minimum wage for their work in 1910.
This year’s festival takes place on 12 July on Cradley High Street and will include stalls, face painting, circus skills, and entertainment from the Macarthur, Street and 1910 stages. NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet and Unite Assistant General Secretary, Dianna Holland will give speeches.
The festival aims to celebrate the achievements of the 800 women chainmakers who staged a 10 week strike in protest at poor pay. The strike was led by Mary Macarthur, founder of the National Federation of Women Workers, and was successful in upgrading workers’ earnings from a starvation wage to a minimum wage, despite strong opposition from local employers.
Rob Smith, employment rights manager for the West Midlands at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The chainmakers’ strike may have taken place over 100 years ago but the notion and objective of the strike is one that still resonates today.
“At Thompsons Solicitors, we are committed to supporting our trade union partners and their members in their fight for improved and fair workers’ rights for all.
“We are proud to support the trade union movement and, during the Women Chainmakers’ Festival, celebrate the achievements of Mary Macarthur and her fellow protesters.”