British women arms workers win men's pay (9-10-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (September 10, 1941)


London, Sept. 10 –
Women munitions workers are to be paid the same wages as men, according to a decision handed down by the Industrial Court yesterday.

The court decided that the same basic rates as men should be paid women working in war factories processing cordite and gun cotton for the Ministry of Supply, on the condition that they do the job:

…without additional supervision or assistance.

The court divided women into two groups: A group gets 49 shillings weekly, or nearly $10; B group gets the basic rate of 29 shillings, sixpence, or about $6 with a bonus of 23 shillings, sixpence, or nearly $5. Both of these groups will also receive whatever bonuses and additional overtime payments men now receive.

Women construction workers are also to receive the same rates of pay as men. The court’s decision is limited to munitions workers, but it is probably that other unions will apply for decisions on other branches of industry. Within the next months, it is probable that women in all trades will achieve men’s wages – a step they have been fighting for for years.

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