We must never forget the strikes at the Dagenham Ford plant. This week we celebrate this major contribution to British post-war history. The brave actions of these local women some 50 years ago led to the Equal Pay Act - a major turning point in achieving equality at work between men and women in this country. Dagenham has a long proud history of working class women standing up for their rights, and the fight they started back in 1968 is one that continues today. We have come on leaps and bounds since 1968 but there is still a prevalent gender pay gap which needs to be overturned.

On Thursday 19th March Jon Cruddas MP and the people of Dagenham, alongside the women from the 1968 strikes at Dagenham Ford will be making a final stand in the fight to Save the Dagenham Civic Centre. Candles will be provided and the vigil will start on the steps of the Civic Centre at 6.30pm.

Jon Cruddas is calling on the whole community to come together in solidarity in a bid to not only protect the 550 jobs at stake, but also to ensure that the most iconic part of the community’s heritage isn’t callously sold off.

Ford’s three-millionth UK-built small-capacity diesel engine has rolled off the line at Ford’s state-of-the-art manufacturing centre at Dagenham. Low-carbon diesel engines have been built at the Dagenham Diesel Centre plant for a variety of models across the Ford range, and for other manufacturers, since production started in May 2007.

Jon Cruddas regularly writes a column for the Barking and Dagenham Post. This month Jon spoke about the new jobs coming to the Dagenham Ford Factory.

This speech regarding the recent decisions taken by Dagenham Ford, was delivered to the House of Commons today (06.11.2012) by Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham.

Reassurances about the future of engine production at the Ford factory in Dagenham are being sought by Unite, the largest union in the country.

The Ford plant in Dagenham currently makes 300,000 Puma engines for transit vehicles which will cease production in the near future.