• Short Summary

    The release of the five imprisoned dock-workers in London on Wednesday (July 26), whose jailing at the weekend had brought 130,00 workers out in strike throughout the country, came after a successful appeal to the Industrial Relations Court by the Official Solicitor -- a court official whose job it is to protect people jailed for contempt, as in the case of the dockers.

  • Description

    The release of the five imprisoned dock-workers in London on Wednesday (July 26), whose jailing at the weekend had brought 130,00 workers out in strike throughout the country, came after a successful appeal to the Industrial Relations Court by the Official Solicitor -- a court official whose job it is to protect people jailed for contempt, as in the case of the dockers. The five men were originally january by the court for being in contempt of an order to stop picketing a container firm's dockside depot in an effort to prevent the movement of containers packed by non-dock labour.

    As the five jailed dockers were released, thousands of workers gathered outside the jail staged a 'victory rally' with the five men held shoulder-high. Throughout the country, meanwhile, unofficial strikes for their release had shut down industry, ports, newspapers, and food markets, and disrupted bus and air services. The Trades Union Congress -- a parent body to 140 British unions had also, only a few hours earlier, called for a general one-day strike throughout the country to take place on Monday (July 31). It was the first time in its history of more than a hundred years that the T.U.C. had called on its unions to take part in a general strike. The T.U.C. has almost ten million members of a total British workforce of 25 million.

    Britain's last general strike took place in June 1926, and lasted for nine days. It followed a management decision to cut wages in the coalfields.

    Wednesday's successful appeal by the Official Solicitor for the release of the dockers was based on three legal arguments. The first two -- rejected by the Court -- were that the dockers were not 'real criminals' and that their imprisonment had been 'a real punishment'; and that their continued imprisonment under the circumstances would be useless. But the third argent was upheld -- that and earlier decision the same day by the Law Lords of the House of Lords, the highest court in the country, seemed to indicate that under such circumstances unions should take the brunt of punishment in fines, and that it should not fall upon individual members. The decision which led to the dockers' release was the reversal of an Appeal Court decision to quash fines imposed upon a major union for the conduct of its shop stewards -- thus finally making payable making payable the fines, imposed originally by the same court which jailed the dockers.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVACBLSPYD36JJLWMNGWFP3GLJ23
    Media URN:
    VLVACBLSPYD36JJLWMNGWFP3GLJ23
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    26/07/1972
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:02:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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