• Short Summary

    The unofficial strike of Mersey tugmen, which began at Liverpool, U.K., on October 24, virtually?

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The unofficial strike of Mersey tugmen, which began at Liverpool, U.K., on October 24, virtually became a complete stoppage by October 26, with some 600 men out, and all but three of the port's 60-tug idle.

    A protracted meeting between the men - members of the Transport and General Worker's Union - and the Liverpool Tug Owner's association ended "in deadlock".

    Meanwhile dislocation of port traffic becomes serious. Few ship movements are possible without tugs because of high winds. In the river and docks, 29 ships are held up, 12 are inward bound, 11 outward bound, and five waiting to move between docks.

    At first the tugmen went on strike in protest against the demotion of a tugmaster to the rank of mate for smoking near a petrol tanker. Later the issue was concentrated on a protest against the suspension of 16 min - two tug crews - who took an hours meal break during an eight-hour shift. Capt. S. Lees, the tug skipper told a mass meeting of strikers: "I did wrong. You have no right to crib".

    As the strike entered its third day, 200 men who had remained at work decided to join the rest to make it a 100 percent stoppage.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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