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Ruth Pearson

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Year of Publication: 2018

Anitha, Sundari ; Pearson, Ruth, Striking Women: Struggles and Strategies of South Asian Women Workers from Grunwick to Gate Gourmet, London, Lawrence and Wishart, 2018, pp. 226

The authors focus on two important strikes in the UK in two different socio-economic contexts: whereas the two year Grunwick strike for union recognition had national support and was backed by secondary picketing, the Gate Gourmet confrontation in 2008 lacked union support (secondary picketing was now illegal). But the authors see both strikes as challenging stereotypes about Asian women, and draw on in-depth interviews with strikers to show the influence of migration (from East Africa or the Punjab), initial high expectations and anger at their low pay and poor working conditions. The book also makes comparisons with trade union struggles in today's gig  economy.