Wednesday, 13 July 2011

TUC bring the Chainmakers’ home

The TUC is delighted to announce a new venue for the Women Chainmakers’ festival for 2011. The new venue, Bearmore Mound, is in the heart of the Cradley Heath community where the Chainmakers worked and lived - and fought their successful ten week dispute to secure a minimum wage for their sector. Festival organiser Alan Weaver said, “Bringing the Chainmakers’ festival back to the heart of the community where the women fought for their rights is a great achievement and we are indebted to Sandwell Council for their support in helping us do so. We are looking to make this festival an integral part of Cradley Heath for the foreseeable future and look forward to a long and successful partnership with the council to make this happen.”
Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Darren Cooper said: "Mary Macarthur is one of the giants of Sandwell's past.
"Her role as leader of the Cradley Heath chainmakers' strike last century has rightly earned her a place in the history of the borough and trade unionism.

"The TUC has asked us to help with this year's celebrations of her life and we are delighted to be able to bring them back home to Cradley Heath by making Bearmore Mound available.
"We very much hope this year's festival will continue the success of the past few years."
The festival celebrates the achievements of 800 or so women Chainmakers who fought to establish a minimum wage for their labour. The local employers sought to deny them their rights but were met with forceful opposition, led by Mary Macarthur, who founded the National Federation of Women Workers and later stood for Parliament as a Labour candidate.
The seventh Women Chainmakers festival takes place at Bearmore Mound on Saturday 17th September. Further details will be announced in the run up to the festival.

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