Although workers failed to achieve their demand, the strike helped highlight the oppression of migrant women workers. Defiant to the end, Jayaben told the final meeting of the strikers that they could be proud. “We have shown,” she said, “that workers like us, new to these shores, will never accept being treated without dignity or respect. We have shown that white workers will support us.”
In what The Guardian said was her last known public statement, Ms Desai told the newspaper: “I am proud of what I did. They wanted to break us down, but we did not break.”
The Grunwick strike and the shameless exploitation of a largely female and Asian workforce by exploitative management backed up by the Tory Party and racist fellow travellers still resonates today pace the baying calls from the Tory Hyenas for more restrictions on the rights of trade Unions and attacks on workers’ rights hard won by the actions of Jayaben Desai in opposing obvious injustice and exploitation. Over 550 workers and supporters were arrested in the course of the Grunwick Strike and all the workers were sacked, but the insight their struggle provided into the heart of darkness changed British Society and employment relations in the years afterwards.