In the United Kingdom picket lines, strategically placed by striking lorry oil tanker drivers, have begun to undermine commercial and industrial life.
In the United Kingdom picket lines, strategically placed by striking lorry oil tanker drivers, have begun to undermine commercial and industrial life. With food, fuel and industrial raw material supplies threatened, the government is considering the possibility of declaring a state of emergency.
SYNOPSIS: Only one in six of Britain's truck drivers are on strike -- but some factories are closing down, and thousands of workers are in danger of being laid off. As fresh food supplies lie rotting in the docks, prices have rocketed, and many of the country's supermarkets have reported panic-buying -- with shoppers clearing the shelves of everything in sight.
However, things look more cheerful for motorists with the announcement that some of the tanker drivers have accepted a pay settlement. This should mean an end to the queues for petrol, which in some places have stretched up to half a mile (800 metres). Soldiers, who were ready to deliver fuel to hospitals, police and other essential services, are now expected to return to normal duties.
But another pay dispute means that three hundred and fifty thousand rail commuters face difficulties this week, when many services into London will shut down. The government is also confronted with huge pay claims from coal miners, rubbish collectors and hospital workers. For many, the first days of 1979 have been unpleasant reminder of the industrial chaos of five years ago.