19th Jan, 2022

Powerful story of little-known industrial dispute comes to Coventry's Belgrade

Felix Nobes 2nd May, 2018 Updated: 2nd May, 2018

A LITTLE-KNOWN industrial dispute is to be depicted on Friday at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre.

‘We are the Lions, Mr Manager’ tells the story of female Asian workers involved in a struggle for union representation at the Grunswicks film processing factory in London.

The production, which has previously earned glittering reviews around the UK, documents the tale of an Asian family struggling to find work due to discrimination after emigrating to England.

And when the female protagonist, Desai, eventually finds a job, she is mistreated by her bullying managers.

Desai leads a demonstration in August 1976 with her fellow workers (who are mostly female immigrants) to push for union recognition in a campaign that lasted until July 1978.

The play will start at 7.30pm and will be sponsored by trade union branches in the city, through the Coventry Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Former city councillor and MP, Dave Nellist, the socialist TUSC candidate in St Michael’s, will be in attendance.

He said: “It’s an issue not often aired, of industrial struggle involving mainly Asian women workers.

“There’ll be mass pickets by audience participation and this will include some Coventry trades unionists who were on the original picket lines 40 years ago – and there will also be uplifting songs of struggle!

“It’s the last Midlands date in a six-month-long successful nature tour that has gained a large number of glowing reviews.”

Tickets are available from: http://buytickets.at/coventrytuc/158755

A range of positive reviews can be seen at: www.townsendproductions.org.uk/shows/we-are-the-lions-mr-manager/

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