Thursday, 30 December 2010

Tributes to a woman who rose like a lion

The funeral of strike leader Jayaban Desai takes place at 11am tomorrow (Friday December 31) at Golders Green crematorium in north-west London.
In August 1976 she rose like a lion and refused to put up with inhuman conditions at the Grunwick film processing plant in Willesden, north London.
At the height of the dispute that followed 12,000 - mainly white and male - trades unionists formed an early morning mass picket.
The battle to win union recognition for the largely immigrant workforce was ultimately lost.
But it was the dispue that did more than any other to bring together the increasingly diverse organised Labour in Britain - black and white, male and female.
Obituries have been glowing with praise - though in 1977 Mrs Desai and three other strikers were suspended from their union Apex (now part of the GMB) for campaigning for continued solidarity:
The Guardian: Jayaban Desai obituary by Jack Dromey MP, an Apex official during the Grunwick strike.
Socialist Worker: Jayban Desai- death of a great fighter
Morning Star: Grunwick film dispute leader Desai dies aged 77
Permanent Revolution: "We are those lions, Mr Manager." Jayaben Desai, Grunwick strike leader, dies

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