LONDON, Feb. 6, Reuter: One of Britain’s most bitter industrial disputes ended today when a second union involved in a yearlong battle against publisher Rupert Murdoch joined other print workers in abandoning the strike against four of his newspapers.

The dispute erupted in January 1986 after Australian born Murdoch sacked 5,500 striking print workers and transferred production E four newspaper to a new high technology printing plant in wrapping, East London.The Society of Graphic and allied trades (SOGAT), whose members made up the majority of the sacked printers, last night decided it had neither the will nor the financial muscle to pursue the dispute.


Its sister print union, the National Graphical Association (NGA), decided today that it was not practical to fight on without Sogat on its flank.

“The reality of the current situation is one we’ve had to face up to,” NGA General Secretary Tony Dubbins said in announcing the decision.

The dispute had fermented into one of the most bitter confrontations in British trade union history alongside the yearlong coalminers’ strike of 1984, with Murdoch’s heavily guarded plant often besieged by pickets and demonstrators.

Weekly mass demonstrations by angry printers and their supporters led to violent confrontations with police. In the latest clash two weeks ago. Over 150 people were hurt during a latest clash two weeks ago; over 150 people were hurt during a demonstration called to mark the anniversary of the conflict.

Article extracted from this publication >>  February 13, 1987