Jayaben Desai, 1933-2010

Jayaben Desai has died at 77 years of age. From The Hindu:

The diminutive India-born Ms. Desai, who moved to Britain from Tanzania in 1969, came to be known as a “lioness” for her role in leading the two-year long strike at the Grunwick Film Processing Laboratories, north London, in the 1970s to demand union recognition for its largely Asian and female workforce.

She famously told a manager: “What you are running here is not a factory, it is a zoo. In a zoo, there are many types of animals. Some are monkeys who dance on your fingertips, others are lions who can bite your head off. We are those lions, Mr Manager.’’

Jack Dromey has written an obituary at The Guardian.


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3 comments for “Jayaben Desai, 1933-2010

  1. December 30, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Wow! Thanks for that Chally. I’d never heard of ths strike or Jayabed Desai and it is so important to learn about past resistance.

  2. Bushfire
    December 30, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    “What you are running here is not a factory, it is a zoo. In a zoo, there are many types of animals. Some are monkeys who dance on your fingertips, others are lions who can bite your head off. We are those lions, Mr Manager.’’

    Best quote ever!

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