The Winter of Discontent, 1978 – 79
- Callaghan was determined to bring inflation down below 8% and in order to do so he had to limit pay rises to 5%.
- By 1978 there were 13 million members of trade unions, the biggest being the Transport and General Workers Union with 2 million members alone.
- Trouble began with Ford factories where the TGWU backed a demand for 17% pay rises, which they got
- Fireman followed with 22%. Lorry drivers went on a nationwide strike until they got 17% - 20%.
- Throughout the 1970s public sector workers were becoming more militant, as they were most victimised by the cuts in public sector spending
- They looked on aghast at massive pay rises being handed out to the other unions in the private sector.
- On 22 January 1979 around 1.5 million public sector worker in the NUPE (National Union of Public Employees) and COHSE (Confederation of Health Service Employees) came out on strike for one day.