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Fighting Deindustrialisation: Scottish Women’s Factory Occupations, 1981-1982

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andy Clark


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Fighting Deindustrialisation examines one of the most significant and under-researched periods in modern British labour history. Over a fourteen month period in 1981 and 1982, as the country suffered the effects of accelerated deindustrialisation, three workforces in Scotland’s central-belt refused to accept the loss of their jobs. The predominantly women assembly workers at Lee Jeans, Lovable Bra, and Plessey Capacitors were informed that their multinational employers had decided to close their plants. At each site, a battle was fought against capital movement, corporate greed, and unfair jobloss. The workers occupied their factories and refused to vacate until their demands were met and closure avoided. At all sites this objective was achieved; none of the factories completely closed following the occupations. In this book, these occupations are analysed together for the first time. The book makes three important arguments that address critical questions across disciplines. Firstly, it argues that the process of worker mobilisation is much more dynamic than linear theories suggest, and that the development of a collective consciousness is in constant development. Secondly, the book argues that scholars should not abandon research on the industrial workplace in understanding the harms caused by deindustrialisation. The impacts of closure on workers, and how they understood these, remain crucial in examining its longer-term effects. Lastly, the book contributes to debates around collective memory, demonstrating how the gendering of deindustrialisation’s popular memory has marginalised women workers. The book illustrates the multiple consequences of this on the ways that the women remember and reflect on their experiences of fighting deindustrialisation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clark Andy

Publication type: Authored Book

Publication status: Published

Series Title: Studies in Labour History

Year: 2023

Volume: 19

Number of Pages: 240

Print publication date: 01/01/2023

Online publication date: 02/01/2023

Acceptance date: 01/10/2021

Publisher: Liverpool University Press

Place Published: Liverpool


Notes: 9781802077124 (Paperback ISBN), 9781837649501 (ebook ISBN)

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781802077117