Seeking a return to work of striking British Oxygen Company lorry drivers, leaders of the Transport and General Workers' Union, were barred from speaking at a strike meeting, October 1, at the storm centre of this unofficial stoppage -- the British Oxygen plant, Wembley, North London, U.
LV British Oxygen works.
LV Workers waiting for Union meeting.
SV Member sells papers.
LV Workers enter ball.
SV Workers outside.
SV Kealy talks to reporters.
GV Workers outside works waiting for news
LV Entrance of works
GV British Oxygen Works.
N.B. EDITORS PLEASE REFER TO PROD. NO. 6511/59.
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Background: Seeking a return to work of striking British Oxygen Company lorry drivers, leaders of the Transport and General Workers' Union, were barred from speaking at a strike meeting, October 1, at the storm centre of this unofficial stoppage -- the British Oxygen plant, Wembley, North London, U.K.
Mr. L. Kealey, national secretary of the engineering group of the Transport and General Workers Union, told reporters that it was agreed he should address the men; but before he had a chance of putting the union case - "We were extremely surprised to be told that the meeting had broken up".
It was hoped that if the Wembley men had decided to return to work, other plants would have followed suit. Meanwhile, the five-day-old strike of 2,000 workers continues, in spite of the condemnation by the Trades Union Congress and the strikers' Union Chiefs.
The effect on important industries which use gases is intensifying. At least 60,000 men, mainly in the car manufacturing industry, now starved of industrial gases, are out of work because of the strike. If the stoppage continues for many more days, it is estimated that more than a million workers will be thrown out of work. In addition to hold-ups in engineering, steel, shipbuilding and railway workshops, production of nylon may soon be interrupted. To some extent repercussions of the strike are being softened by the importation by aircraft of industrial gases from the Continent.
Oxygen workers claim an unspecified increase in pay and argue that in spite of increasing pressure, their unions have delayed too long on negotiations - the initial claim was made just a year ago.
The Oxygen men struck in 1955 over a pay claim -- only a few days before the last General Election. But strike leaders assert that the timing of the two strikes was "pure coincidence".
Twenty-two of British Oxygen's 52 plants are now involved. Five had earlier yielded to pleas to resume work.