House of Commons
Matchgirls industrial action 1888
EDM #263
Tabled 09 March 2020
2019-21 Session
That this House commemorates for International Women’s Day the Matchgirls who went on strike in 1888 at the Bryant and May factory in Bow in response to poor working conditions; notes that factory workers were expected to work 14 hour days for poor pay in an unsafe working environment due to the exposure of phosphorus which was used to make matches; commends their achievements of scrapping the factory’s fine system, setting up a grievance system, abolishing the deductions for working materials and the improvement of health and safety standards; further notes the continued need to advocate for high labour standards; and recognises the Matchgirls as pioneers of gender equality and fairness at work who through their strike action and formation of the Union of Women Match Makers left a lasting legacy on the trade union movement.