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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Made in Dagenham

Woman leads quest for employment justice

In Dagenham, England, a working-class city, the men work in Ford Motor Co.'s new plant while 187 women sew car seats in a crummy cavernous room that is too hot in the summer and with a roof that leaks when it rains. Albert, a union representative for the women, senses they need a new voice and selects Rita O'Grady to accompany him and other leaders to a meeting with management. She then gets her co-workers fired up in a campaign to receive equal pay with men at the plant.

In the film Made in Dagenham, Sally
In the film Made in Dagenham, Sally Hawkins stars as Rita O'Grady, who leads her female co-workers in a strike against Ford in 1968.

This inspiring drama, directed by Nigel Cole with a screenplay by Billy Ivory, is based on the true story of Rita O'Grady and the women who in 1968 made history in their quest for justice. The story vividly reveals the camaraderie of the women, who sense the tide of change is on their side despite years of being subservient to men at home and at work.

Sally Hawkins scores an acting triumph as she portrays the emotional shadings of O'Grady's moments of courage, resilience, guilt and perseverance. It's fascinating to watch a leader unfold before our eyes (Sony Pictures Classics, R—language, brief sexuality).


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December issue

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