In 1932, 14-year-old Betty turned up on the first day of her job at the East Lancashire Paper Mill. When she discovered that boys got 13 shillings while girls barely made 9, she was furious. She immediately joined the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding and Paper Works (now part of Unite).
Betty began to question everything. Why should the girls go to the foreman’s house to fetch tea and cake for his break? Why should she put up with being groped by some of the managers? Betty started organising – and by the time she left the mill 18 years later, she and her female colleagues were the best-paid paper mill women in Britain.
As part of the celebrations and to recognise the contribution made by women, The TUC website has been collecting stories about women trade unionists winning equal pay.