Bernie Passingham was a leading figure in the 1968 Ford women sewing-machinists’ strike.
Bernie supported the 187 women workers, whose fight for equal pay was the most important women’s strike since the 1888 match women’s strike.
The Dagenham women were joined by the 195 women who worked at Ford’s Halewood plant on Merseyside.
Dora Challingsworth, one of the women strikers, told Socialist Worker, “Bernie gave us great encouragement.
“Most of the unions weren’t interested in our demand, but Bernie refused to sign the papers for the pay claim unless the company granted it.”
Bernie began working for Ford in the 1950s and eventually became a member of the T&G union’s executive. He retired in 1986.
Bernie was a modest and determined man, with a great sense of humour.
Trade union activists today can learn much from his example.