Kino Eye: The 1970 Leeds clothing workers' strike

Submitted by AWL on 2 March, 2021 - 6:22 Author: John Cunningham
Evening Post front page

The 1971 postal workers’ strike (Solidarity 583) was one of several key strikes in that stormy period. Leeds United!, directed by Roy Battersby, which was broadcast by the BBC in 1974 in their Play for Today series, concerns an unofficial strike by female clothing workers in Leeds and is based on real events in 1970.

The militancy of the women, led by the indefatigable Mollie (Lynne Perrie), and their desire to improve their miserable wages, come into conflict with an entrenched, all-male, trade union bureaucracy who eventually negotiate a sell-out deal. A Communist Party member Harry Gridley is involved in the negotiations and is denounced by the strikers. The Morning Star, the Communist Party’s paper, called the film a “snide distortion”.

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