Remembering the Grunwick dispute

Sad to hear of the death of Mrs Jayaben Desai last month.  Mrs Desai was instrumental in leading the dispute with the Grunwick company in Chapter Road, Willesden in 1976.  The dispute centred on the predominately female factory employees protesting about working conditions and the refusal of bosses to recognise their APEX union status. 
Mrs Desai was awarded a Citizenship Award from Brent Council several years ago. She has been described as a remarkable and courageous woman, intent on improving the lives of workers. A subsequent enquiry recommended Grunwick should recognise the union and protestors should be reinstated but they failed to do so. The former site of the Grunwick company is now being developed as flats. I made a request to Brent Building Control to name a walkway at the new development to mark the landmark strike by workers at the factory and its influence on industrial relations subsequently. The walkway is to be named “Grunwick Close” and I hope an opening ceremony can be arranged to celebrate the people involved.


The Kinks and Willesden Green

Enjoyed the Christmas break by doing very little!  Got a very pleasing present - The Kinks CD that includes the song “Willesden Green".  This was the title of a song written by Ray Davies and included in the soundtrack of the 1971 film "Percy":

Well I tried to settle down Fulham Broadway
And I tried to make my home in Golders Green
But I gotta get that train
And go back home again
Oh how I miss the folks back home in Willesden Green
You know, I tried, I really tried to settle in this big city
And I always thought I could make it all on my very own
But there's one thing that keeps calling me
To that little, that little semi-detached
That's the folks, yeah, the folks back home
In Willesden Green

Unlock democracy?

Councillors get all sorts of letters promoting schemes or point of view. Just received one from a organisation called "Unlock Democracy" aiming to get support for a "yes" vote for the Alternative Vote (AV) system in the referendum on May 5th 2011. The letter is supposedly from the comedian Eddie Izzard, who also asks for funds for the campaign. I won't be supporting AV as I don't find Izzard's arguments plausible. I don't find him very funny either.