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25 June 2016

15th-16th Jan 1947: strikes mean fish & meat shortage

15 Wed. Mild, but the extremely boisterous wind made it seem very cold: very dull. At one place I had to pedal downhill on low gear against the blast when cycling to Morden. I toured the district for fish but got none. I waited in a queue for half an hour but supplies gave out before I reached the shop. If the large scale transport and dockers strikes continue much longer, food shops will have to shut. Soldiers are delivering meat as the Smithfield men are out but supplies are small and dwindling.
The trio called to-day: they brought Gwennie’s doll in her cradle for me to see.

16 Thur. Mild for season: lovely sunshine all day: as nice as a Jan. day could be. Got something from the local butchers. To my surprise got some frozen herrings at Morden without queueing: got some for Mrs. Collis as she has not been able to get any fish. People are queuing up at fish shops in their hundreds simply hoping that some fish may arrive only to be turned away. A food strike is a serious thing but the strikers are going back to work on Sat. Re-built a small glider for Laurie.

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Note: staff of about 30 large haulage companies in London started an unofficial strike on 10th Jan 1947. Deliveries of meat, fruit, fish, newsprint, and other commodities were suspended The men were stated to be dissatisfied with a proposed award increasing their annual holidays from six days to nine days. They claimed an annual holiday of 14 days.

The workers were also opposed to the rejection of a claim for the reduction of the working week from 48 hours to 44 hours.

Another complaint was that the machinery of the Road Haulage Central Wages Board was too slow in action.

Members of the Transport and General Workers Union, National Union of General and Municipal Workers, Scottish Horse and Motormen's Association, Liverpool and District Carters' Association, and the United Road Transport Workers' Association were involved in the dispute. The companies concerned were engaged in transport from Covent Garden and Smithfield, Billingsgate, Spitalfields and Borough markets.
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