Life is getting tougher for the British public as the current wave of industrial troubles continues.
GV EXTERIOR ICI plant at Wilton (2 shots)
MV PAN ICI truck drivers pass pickets
MVs Truck driver steps down from cab to talk to pickets (3 shots)
GVs Pickets talking to drivers (2 shots)
GV EXTERIOR PAN Queues of people outside Upminister tube station, Essex (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK TO MV People queueing at ticket office
MV People getting out of cars PAN TO queue outside station
GVs Traffic along road (2 shots)
EXTERIOR GVs Bank employees getting out of coaches in London (3 shots)
MV PULL BACK TO GV Burning gasometer at Greenwich, in London
MV Bomb disposal experts enter gasworks
GV PAN Fire engines
INTERIOR MVs Evacuated people drinking tea (2 shots)
GVs Damaged gasometers and girders (2 shots)
MVs Firemen removing wreckage
GV PAN Storage tanks at Texaco Centre, Canvey Island, Essex
MV Police inspecting damage to oil container
MV Firemen standing by
GV Oil storage depot
MV Home Secretary Merlyn Rees arriving at No. 10 for cabinet meeting followed by aide (2 shots)
MV Foreign Secretary David Owen arrives
MV Attorney General Sam Silkin arrives
MV Employment Secretary Roy Hattersley arrives
MV Industry Minister Roy Mason arriving
MORRIS: "Imperial Chemical Industries, with a third of its ninety thousand employees on Teesside (in the north of England), has already reached a highly critical stage in the production of fertilisers, plastics and petro-chemicals. The pickets waved through only ICI's own fleet of lorries (trucks). All other vehicles are stopped. And, usually, it's the pickets themselves who decide what are essential goods."
DRIVER: "Well, we've had no overalls since Christmas, before Christmas."
WHITMORE: "As before, London commuters who normally take trains have driven to their nearest underground station. While queues were far greater than on normal mornings, they'd thinned out drastically since Tuesday. Many people had tried to avoid delays by starting out earlier. But the numbers involved meant that journeys by all forms of transport inevitably took longer. In many parts of the country, traffic on the roads was also lighter than on Tuesday, suggesting that a number of people had travelled overnight, or simply stayed at home."
REPORTER: "Some, like this coach-load of bank employees, got to work by courtesy of their firm -- an arrangement they may get used to.
"The rail drivers' union, ASLEF, is expected to announced even tougher industrial action for next week.
HEWETT: "One hundred firemen took four hours to contain the blaze to the upper supports of the gas holder. Members of the Bomb Squad immediately began searching for any evidence that might link this attack with other IRA bombings. There were no injuries, but over two hundred people were evacuated from the area during the emergency, and were housed in a local hall for the night....The morning revealed how nearly the adjacent gas holder had also ignited. Although badly scarred, the firemen succeeded in limiting the damage to the one gas holder and a warehouse. But Scotland Yard has few illusions about the vulnerability of such plants."
"Earlier, on Canvey Island, another device had exploded in the Texaco storage area. The bomb caused an eighteen-inch hole in an aviation fuel tank containing one hundred and thirty thousand gallons of kerosene. The island has a large concentration of fuel and chemical depots. The local residents are already fearful of an industrial accident. And they now point to the ease with which security was breached.
REPORTER: CHRISTOPHER MORRIS/GAVIN HEWETT
BBC NEWSREADER: RICHARD WHITMORE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Life is getting tougher for the British public as the current wave of industrial troubles continues. The truck drivers' strike, sustained by heavy picketing throughout the country, is causing growing shortages of all manner of goods, and putting more and more people out of work. In London, on Thursday (18 January), long lines of commuters had to endure bitter weather in long queues at subway stations -- they had been hit by another twenty-four hour train strike only two days after the previous one. On Wednesday night (17 January), the IRA allegedly set off explosions at a gasometer at Greenwich, London, and a fuel depot at Canvey Island in the Thames. The British Cabinet met on Thursday to discuss the mounting crises, but decided against declaring a state of emergency. Here's a BBC round-up of these troubles. The newsreader is Richard Whitmore, and reporters Christopher Morris and Gavin Hewett.
SYNOPSIS: "This driver failed and was sent away. So ICI's workers stay without clean overalls. The next few days will be crucial. Unless the dispute ends quickly, then tens of thousands of workers on Teesside will be joining the many who have already been laid off."
Home Secretary Merlyn Rees arrives at Ten Downing Street followed by other ministers for a Cabinet meeting to discuss the crisis. Later, Prime Minister James Callaghan, told Parliament they had decided not to declare a State of Emergency at that time, but this decision would be reviewed from day-to-day. This announcement that the government would not call in troops to move essential supplies led to angry scenes in Parliament.