The Winter of Discontent, 1978 – 79

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  • Created by: Lottie
  • Created on: 25-05-12 18:01


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.


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