International

The slogan Don’t Buy The Sun went global. Delegations visited Australia, Germany, United States, France and Ireland to spread the message. Visiting delegations to the print unions’ national conferences brought messages of solidarity and some generous donations to help the strikers and their families.

The International Graphical Federation (IGF) pledged support and commented on the draconian anti-union laws in Britain: “the law would have worked the other way even in America, with its union-busting system”. By October 1986 £173,000 had been donated by IGF member unions.

Two SOGAT strikers were dispatched to Sydney to seek support from members of Australian print union PKIU, who were well aware of the methods of the Murdoch press and management.

The International Chemical Workers’ Union sought support for a boycott of the movement of newsprint supplies from Finland and Sweden. ICEF member unions pledged significant financial support for the dispute.

Dublin airport workers pledged not to handle Murdoch titles. Irish Times journalists and printworkers refused to handle News International material and forced the editor to withdraw a threat of closure as a consequence. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions conference declared support for the dispute and for those Irish workers banning Murdoch’s newspapers.

A group of strikers’ children accompanied by some of the parents had a holiday at a Black Sea resort as guests of one of the Soviet trade union federations.

A delegation of strikers attended the massive L’Humanite festival in France to meet French union members and officials and set up a well-supported stall at the main event. A delegation of French trade unionists took part in a demonstration at Wapping.

Norwegian electricians’ and power workers’union (NEKF) barred EETPU General Secretary Hammond from addressing their conference, after picketing by Norwegian printworkers.

A West German trade union delegation attended a solidarity event for families organised by Swindon print support group.