The registered ports and all the largest unregistered ports are supporting the national dock strike.
But there are weaknesses. Very few pickets have been sent out beyond their own ports. This will create serious problems if employers start to use small, non-unionised ports such as Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea.
Pickets have been set up at most docks. At Ardrossan, vehicles bound for
At Hunterston ISTC members who have been scabbing on the miners for four months are now breaking the dockers’ picket line by continuing to load iron ore and coal. The small picket line of miners and dockers can provide the basis for further joint activities.
Picketing other than at
Port shop steward Walter Cunningham stated, ‘We want to go forward with the miners and we shall not return until the miners’ strike is over,’ but added, ‘If the question comes up on Friday we’ll consider picketing the wharves. At present though there seems to be no likelihood of mass pickets.’
Rank and file miners lobbied docks stewards to request permission to address a mass meeting last Monday. The request was refused on the grounds that three weeks ago a mass meeting of dockers voted not to stop work in support of the miners.
Fish is only being landed on Mondays and Tuesdays. At Peterhead dockers who had previously come out voted to return to work on Tuesday. The dockers handle oil rig supply vessels and have decided to give them dispensation.
Both these ports are now closed to cargo traffic. These non-scheme ports are among five largest in the country. But the leadership of the TGWU has refused to demand the extension of the scheme.
(21 July, 1984)
Every working class person will feel the pressure
Two inspiring strikes show the way forward