Picket line at Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in Hackney, 1979

In July 1978, the Labour Government introduced a new guideline for pay rises of 5%. The TUC voted on 26 July to reject the limit and insist on a return to free collective bargaining. Although the government did not make the 5% limit a legal requirement, it decided to impose sanctions on government contractors who broke the limit.

On 22 January, 1979 public sector unions held a "Day of Action", in which they held a 24-hour strike and marched to demand a 60 per week minimum wage. Many workers stayed out indefinitely after that day. On 30 January, the Secretary of State for Social Services announced that half of the National Health Service hospitals were only treating emergencies and that few ambulance services were operating normally. By March, health staffs had settled for a 9% increase + 1-2.50.

This photo shows a Confederation of Health Service Employees picket line outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in Hackney, London on 6 February, 1979 with a placard responding to criticisms in the press and other media.

Title Picket line at Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in Hackney, 1979
Maker Trades Union Congress
Production Date 1979
Format Photograph
Copyright --
Holding Institution TUC Library Collections, London Metropolitan University
Related Objects --