5th July 1888: East End Match girls walk out on strike
In late June, the social reformer Annie Besant published an article in The Link, likening the Fairfield Road factory to a "prison-house" and describing the match girls as "white wage slaves".
Outraged by the article, Bryant & May tried to force the match girls into declaring they were happy with their working conditions.
However, these heavy-handed tactics caused the girls to walk out in sympathy after one the workers, considered by the management as one of the ringleaders, was sacked.
Bryant & May tried to bully the strikers back to work, but after being faced with failing sales and public support for the strikers the management gave in and granted almost all their demands.