Jonathan Moss
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Sexton’s shoe factory occupation and Fakenham Enterprises, Norfolk, 1972–77
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Chapter 4 focuses on the 1972 occupation of Sexton’s shoe factory organised by female workers fighting to save their jobs in Fakenham, Norfolk. The occupation lasted eighteen weeks before the women involved established their own co-operative that traded with varied levels of success until it entered receivership in 1977. This chapter revisits Fakenham Enterprises from the perspective of women who were involved at the time. The Fakenham occupation moves the book onto a different track away from the equal pay debates considered in the previous two chapters, towards working-class women’s fight against factory closures and unemployment. This case study is particularly distinguished by its local context (rural Norfolk) and illustrates how women were taking similar action to one another across England, in a range of industries and both urban and rural locations.

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