This Saturday, 07 July 2018, residents of Cradley Heath in the West Midlands will take a step back in time, in honour of the women who fought to secure better rights for female workers, as part of the Women Chainmakers’ Festival.

The annual event, which takes place on Cradley Heath High Street, recognises the efforts of trade unionist and women’s rights campaigner, Mary Macarthur, and women across the county, who successfully campaigned to abolish exploitative wages within their industry by staging a ten-week strike in 1910.

The family street festival will involve market stalls, debates, street theatre, music and speeches from influential figures such as Sylvia Heal, retired MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis and Patron of the Women Chainmakers’ Festival, Eleanor Smith, MP for Wolverhapmton South West, and Sarah Carpenter, Head of Health at Unite.

Kate Lea, employment rights manager for Thompsons’ West Midlands-based offices, said: “The Women Chainmakers’ Festival is an important event in the trade union calendar, celebrating the relentless efforts of 800 female chainmakers over 100 years ago, while highlighting employment issues that remain widespread in modern society.

“At Thompsons, we stand united with our trade union partners, their members and all working people, in continuing the fight for improved workers’ rights.”