When the chain makers were denied the minimum weekly wage of 11s (55p) set by the Trades Board Act, Macarthur brought 800 women out on strike in 1910.
The women went on strike for 13 weeks to fight for their right to a minimum wage. The dispute ended on 22 October when the last employer signed the White List - those employers who were members of the Chain Manufacturers' association agreeing to always pay the minimum rate. This was a landmark victory.
While no wages were paid, a nationwide campaign raised £4,000 as a strike fund. After the strike's success a large part of the fund remained and it was decided to commemorate the women's struggle by building an institute in Cradley Heath. It served as a trade union headquarters, community education and social centre.