Jayaben Desai instigated a strike among the mainly Asian and female workforce at the Grunwick Film Processing Laboratories in north west London in the summer of 1976, protesting about working conditions and race and pay inequality.
About a third of the firm's workers joined the APEX trade union, went on strike, and were sacked by employer George Ward.
That autumn the TUC called for 'sympathetic action' by other unions, and mass picketing began and continued until July 1977.
Although an official report recommended the reinstatement of the strikers, this was rejected as a course of action by Ward.
A House of Lords ruling upheld his right not to recognise a union. The strikers called off their action in July 1978.
More information about the Grunwick dispute