Thousands of workers went on strike for one day in Britain today (Tuesday, December 8) in protest at the Government's plans to reform the trade unions.
Thousands of workers went on strike for one day in Britain today (Tuesday, December 8) in protest at the Government's plans to reform the trade unions. The strike closed down the country's national and evening newspapers and nearly 10,000 workers paraded though the streets of London.
Between 200,000 and 400,000 militants stayed away from their jobs throughout the country in response to a call mainly by Communist shop stewards. The strike call was opposed by the Trade Union Congress.
The strike was the Conservative Government's first acid test in its attempt to introduce tougher legislation to deal with the unofficial strikes which throw a heavy burden on the economy. The militants had hoped that one million workers might strike today. As a result supporters of the Government were tonight claiming that the majority of workers were not opposed to its Industrial Relations Bill.
The strike marched through the centre of London in what was largely a good-natured protest. The Northern Ireland Member of Parliament, Miss Bernadette Devlin, was among those who watched the march.
The one-day strike coincided with cuts in electricity as power workers continued working to rule in support of a pay claim. As a result, most of the British public were too preoccupied with power cuts to pay much attention to the strike call.