National steel strike, 1980

In 1980, unions in the steel industry called a national strike in support of a bid for a 20% pay increase. The management had offered a 5% increase. The unions were also concerned about the British Steel Corporation plans to close some plants with the loss of thousands of jobs. The steel strike lasted nearly 14 weeks, January 2 - April 2 1980. After beginning in the nationalised sector, the stoppage gradually spread to the privatised steel works. The plants reopened after the Lever inquiry recommended a package worth 16% in return for an agreement on working practices and productivity deals. Later that summer, 17,000 of the 24,000 South Wales steel workers were put on short time and in September, the Consett works in County Durham was shut down with the loss of 3,400 jobs. By the end of 1980, BSC had completed the closure of a number of outdated and loss making plants and reduced its workforce to 130,000 - compared with a total of 268,500 employees at the time of nationalisation. This photo shows steel workers on March 9, 1980 on the TUC demonstration in opposition to the Conservative Government's economic and social policies and also to the Employment Bill.

Title National steel strike, 1980
Maker Trades Union Congress
Production Date 1980
Format Photograph
Copyright --
Holding Institution TUC Library Collections, London Metropolitan University
Related Objects Scunthorpe Steel Action Committee, 1980
TUC Demonstration, March 1980