Grunwick dispute archive

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Includes APEX correspondence files, 1976-1978; Grunwick Strike Committee bulletins, correspondence, accounts, 1976-1978; Scarman inquiry verbatim minutes, 1977.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Grunwick dispute began in August 1976 when 137 workers walked out of the Grunwick film processing plant in Willesden, north-east London. The dispute, which centred on the lack of union recognition at Grunwick, involved the Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff union (APEX), which represented the strikers. The strike, which was co-ordinated by the Grunwick Strike Committee, became a cause celebre for the union movement attracting a wide range of activist support to picket lines outside the plant. There were allegations of violence and intimidation made by both management and the strikers and such was the national impact of the dispute that the then Labour Government set up a Cabinet committee to deal with the issues it raised. The strike was finally called off by the remaining strikers in July 1978 after 670 days.

Reference: Jack Dromey, Grunwick; the workers' story (London, 1978).

Reference: George Ward, Fort Grunwick (London, 1977).


The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

One file in this collection is closed under the Data Protection Act until 2057.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to the Centre by the National Museum of Labour History in August and October 2002.

Other Finding Aids

A box list has been compiled for this deposit.

An authority record exists for the Grunwick Strike Committee (GB 0152 AAR2353).

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates and ephemera.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

The Modern Records Centre also holds Trade Union Congress files on the Grunwick dispute (reference MSS.292/253.119-119M).

The TUC Library at the University of North London includes a collection of press reports, leaflets, posters on the strike, 1976-1979, reference HD 5367.