For the first time in many years, Moscow is host to an official strike.
GENERAL SCENES INSIDE THE NEWS ROOM INCLUDING EMPTY VHD'S UNUSED DESKS, TYPEWRITERS, TAPE MACHINES, FILES OF COPY
SCENES IN OTHER OFFICES INCLUDING THE MAIN MESSAGE OFFICE
INTERIOR/EXTERIORS OF THE MAIN PRESS CENTRE-WE HAD TO FILE INSIDE AS WE WERE FORCED TO USE 7250 WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE TO USE OUTSIDE.
THE TALL GUY IN A BROWN SUIT IS CLARE MCDERMOTT, THE REUTERS SPORTS EDITOR.
THIS MATERIAL IS VISNEWS ONLY
Good coverage & sound-libraried
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Background: For the first time in many years, Moscow is host to an official strike. Industrial disputes are almost unknown in the heart of international communism, although neighbouring Poland has recently been in the grips of industrial unrest over rising food prices.
True, the Moscow strike is far from a domestic affair. It concerns the staff of the Reuters International News Agency who have come from all parts of the world to staff the Olympic desk at the International Press Centre.
With the Games less than one week old, the entire news staff was called out in sympathy with their colleagues in London who in turn are supporting a disputed claim by the New York employees of the Agency. At one stage, the entire newsroom staff from the Moscow operation was scheduled to return to London but this move was called off only hours before they were due to leave for the International Airport.
Now, while management staff maintain a skeleton service of stories and results, the general news personnel are waiting at the Russia Hotel or sight seeing in the Soviet capital.
One aspect of the western dispute that has not been imported is the picket line. The tightly guarded Press Centre does not have to bother about flying pickets or demonstrators carrying placards. Also, the other major Agencies continue their service.
But, for the time being, rows of vide copy units, typewriters and tape machines lie idle in the main Reuters newsroom as the limited work force struggles to maintain a basic service.