BBC Home
Explore the BBC
13 November  
Search ON THIS DAY by date
Go back one day Go forward one day  
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
About This Site | Text Only
1979: Times returns after year-long dispute
The Times newspaper has been published for the first time in nearly a year.

The paper's disappearance from news stands followed a dispute between management and unions over manning levels and the introduction of new technology.

After talks broke down, the Times' Canadian owners, the Thomson Organisation, suspended publication last November pending an agreement.

Production of the four other publications in the Times group, including its sister paper the Sunday Times, was also suspended.

It was the first break in the production of the Times, known affectionately to its readers as "the Thunderer", since it was founded in 1788.

The dispute is estimated to have cost the Thomson Organisation more than 30m.

A settlement reached late last month paved the way for today's publication.

The Sunday Times is also expected to appear again this weekend.


Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher has welcomed the Times reappearance "with enthusiasm".

Mrs Thatcher said: "The absence of the Times has been tragic and over-long."

About 500,000 copies of the paper were produced for the Times' first edition on Tuesday - an extra 200,000 on its pre-suspension print run.

The personal columns carried a long string of welcome-back messages from advertisers while readers announced births and deaths spanning the period of the Times' absence.

Three special obituary supplements are also planned as well as a news review covering the months the Times was out of print.

 E-mail this story to a friend

Man buys copy of new Times edition at a newsagent's
Mrs Thatcher said the absence of the Times had been "tragic and over-long"

Readers elated as the Times returns to print

In Context
The 1978 dispute was the forerunner of an inexorable move towards automation and the abandonment of old-fashioned printing methods.

Matters came to a head in 1986 when Australian media tycoon, Rupert Murdoch - who had bought the Times and the Sunday Times in 1981 - moved his publications and staff from Fleet Street to Wapping in east London.

New technology introduced at Wapping resulted in 4,000 print workers losing their jobs.

In spite of months of vociferous picketing of the Wapping plant by print unions Rupert Murdoch was able to produce and distribute his papers at a vastly reduced cost.

Mr Murdoch's success encouraged other newspapers to adopt new technology and leave Fleet Street for cheaper premises in east London.

Stories From 13 Nov

Search ON THIS DAY by date
Go back one day Go forward one day  

^^ back to top
Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
©MMVIII | News Sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy