The Wilkinson Glass factory in the midlands believe they are a caring employer – even providing a free bag of coal as a Christmas bonus – and have always had a good relationship with the local trade union. But their workers see things differently when faced by a management offensive and form a Rank and File Strike Committee. The committee expect harassment from management but surely their union leaders in London will stand by them. Won’t they?
Jim Allen’s script was inspired by the Pilkington Glass strike in St. Helens and closely follows the events of a strike that had taken place there in 1970. It was written at a time when the Labour governmant was proposing legislation to make unofficial strikes illegal and when trade union leaders were seen to be too close to the government.