Lisa Nandy MP demands "we still need better pay" at Women's Chainmakers Festival

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy MP told crowds at the Cradley Heath Chainmakers Festival "women need a pay rise."

Lisa Nandy MP and Councillor Ann Shackleton with Louise Townsend, Sylvia Heal and Neil Gore
Lisa Nandy MP and Councillor Ann Shackleton with Louise Townsend, Sylvia Heal and Neil Gore

Trade Unionists flocked to Mary MacArthur Gardens on Saturday to watch plays, listen to music and march down Cradley Heath High Street to mark the women who went on strike for better pay in 1910 .

Miss Nandy said: "This year the festival is more important than ever. There are lots of working women across the country who desperately need a pay rise, they have taken us through the pandemic and spun gold with thread over the last year.

"The story of Mary Macarthur and the extraordinary women she fought for a better wage with, despite not even having the vote, is still important today."

"This event shows that this country was built on places like this, by working class men and women, this is our history and we have to be proud of it."

Former Rowley Regis MP and deputy speaker of Parliament Sylvia Heal helped found the The Women's Chainmakers Festival.

She said: "It is wonderful to see this event go from strength to strength over the years. I have really enjoyed seeing so many old friends today. We are all very proud of what Mary MacArthur did all those years ago and this festival will continue to celebrate her."

Cradley Heath Councillor Ann Shackleton added: "Mary MacArthur Gardens is the perfect place for the festival, we are trying to improve the place all the time, and I am delighted all the new flowers look so lovely.

"I am also really pleased the Mary MacArthur sculpture still looks so splendid, it really has stood the test of time."

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