Britain's Parliament reconvened on Monday (15 January) in a crisis atmosphere with no end in sight to a lorry driver's strike and rail services on the verge of a nationwide shutdown.
SCU British Secretary of State for Energy, Tony Benn, walking into No.10 Downing Street for Cabinet meeting
SV PAN Chief Secretary of Treasury, Joel Barnett, arriving at No. 10
SV PAN Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Roy Mason walks into No.10
GV factories and industrial plants in Liverpool and North West England (Felicity Goodey reporting)
GV Dunlop Tyre Factory at Speke in Merseyside with flags flying outside building (THREE SHOTS)
GV trucks standing idle outside ICI plant at Runcorn (TWO SHOTS)
GV industrial plants (TWO SHOTS)
GV TILT DOWN TO pickets outside Merseyside dock buildings (FOUR SHOTS)
GV animal feed mills near Bristol (Peter Brown reporting)
SCU, CU & GV strikers examining truck driver's union credential and truck driving off (THREE SHOTS)
SCU water running into sink from tap David Davies reporting
SV ZOOM IN woman filling jug from kitchen tap
SV water being boiled on kitchen has stove
SV water storage container (TWO SHOTS)
SV bathtub filled with melting snow and ice
SV water running out of sink
GOODEY: "In the Northwest more than 50,000 workers have already been laid off and more are going home by the hour. In the textile industry alone two-thirds of the 70,000 work force will be idle by the end of the week. Many small firms face financial ruin and the bigger ones are losing hundreds of thousands of pounds a day. At Speke, on Merseyside, the Dunlop tyre factory has sent home 1,000 employees and all tyre-making has stopped because they can't get a vital ingredient - carbon black. At I.C.I. - Britain's biggest chemical firm - six plants in Runcorn are now close, including sulphuric acid which is essential to manufacturing industries throughout the country. Other plants are down to 40 percent production and products are being stockpiled. But it's not just the home market that's being starved of raw materials. On Merseyside docks, pickets are holding up export orders too. Pickets are also blocking goods coming in. The Manchester-based Road Transport Union has sealed off even essential supplies, because they say, the government has failed to ask them to do any different. They will however, make exceptions where possible.
BROWN: "Three of the biggest animal feed mills in the southern half of England are at Avonmouth Dock, near Bristol. They can only be reached through dock gates which have been effectively controlled by pickets ever since the strike began. The drive must have a union card and his firm must be a regular user of the port. The only exception are those with passes issued by strike committees elsewhere in Britain."
DAVIES:"With the strike now i its fourth day there was still no sign of a solution, and the fear is that night frosts may result in more burst mains with supplies cut off completely. Water from the taps is now discoloured. To use it almost a million people have to boil it before they can do any cooking. Tanks have been bought from camping shops by some house-holders to store water. Some have even filled their baths with melted snow and ice to give them a supply for washing. In some areas the supply has been cut off completely when water mains have burst."
REPORTERS: FELICITY GOODEY/PETER BROWN/DAVID DAVIES
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Background: Britain's Parliament reconvened on Monday (15 January) in a crisis atmosphere with no end in sight to a lorry driver's strike and rail services on the verge of a nationwide shutdown. The truckers' action brought mounting industrial disruption and with supply lines in disarray, 175,000 workers have been laid off. Industrialists said a million more could be sent home during the week.
SYNOPSIS: On Monday, an emergency Cabinet meeting was held at No. 10 Downing Street. Tony Benn, the Secretary of State for Energy, Chief Secretary of the Treasury, Joel Barnett, and Roy Mason, Secretary, Northern Ireland were there. Here is a report from the BBC.