« Topics
123456789
Si-Co1,977 posts since 2 Oct 2003
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
That shouldn’t matter - the issue is that Thames (or any company) providing a management-run service due to industrial action had to do so without “help” from another ITV company, whose technicians were probably in the same trade union as the Thames guys.

As for the Granada blackout, all companies were required to fill their own schedules without relying on another company to take Granada’s place and feed a filler programme to the network. I assume this was for similar reasons?
THE NEXT POST FOLLOWS SHORTLY...
1
DE88 gave kudos
JamesM0984
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Most regions showed the same two programmes (some in a different order) but one imagines these were played out locally, or there were two part-networking setups to cover this.

Not sure 1968 was a management service, more an emergency one.

In 1979 it was simply a different culture and the ACTT were more militant.

In 1984 the attitude to industrial action was a lot different, especially with the miners on strike illegally - Scargill had called his men out without the secret ballot required by the Thatcher administration. There was an attitude that if management could put out a service, advertising revenue could still be earned, although I don't believe Thames programmes were taken by the rest of the network, as there would have been no way of playing them out for other stations to transmit or record.

Of course, we all know that the endgame came in 1987/88 with TV-am. Bruce Gyngell was, frankly, up for a fight and once again management put out the service. Even though the results were questionable, again the station was able to continue earning advertising revenue. The author of the book Morning Glory clearly detests Gyngell, but you can't argue he was the man who finally crushed the unions into irrelevancy.
Inspector Sands13,144 posts since 25 Aug 2004
Not sure 1968 was a management service, more an emergency one.

In 1968 the emergency service was run from ATV's control room in Foley Street, which was presumably redundant as their franchise for London had recently ended. So I think they got around the unions because it and the staff who used to work there weren't part of ITV any more
Markymark6,256 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
Most regions showed the same two programmes (some in a different order) but one imagines these were played out locally, or there were two part-networking setups to cover this.y.


My understanding is that any replacement for a strike affected programme had to be locally played out, and no networking ( in part or in whole) was permitted. Also the GPO union also supported this policy, so any attempt to take an external feed would have had the line cut
Markymark6,256 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
At the risk of getting into the minutae, would HTV Wales and West have been allowed to play out programme to both or would they have had to tread water independently?


Good question. My guess, as the staff all worked for the same company that was probably OK. However I think for instance different union/staff agreements existed at Thames between Euston and Teddington ( due to the Redifusion and ABC legacies) ?
Markymark6,256 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
The 1984 Thames Television strike was interesting to watch. Unlike 1979, Thames continued with a management run schedule. It wasn't great, but at least they were on the air for the majority of the day. My question is, why couldn't a similar arrangement have been put into place in August 1979?

When the largest ITV strike occured in August 1979, all ITV regions except Channel Television went on strike, and no programming aired at all until October. Why didn't they put out a management run service, which they did in 1968?


One reason was early 80s equipment required far less ‘operational skill’ than late 70s. In 1979 VT playout was still from Quadraplex 2inch machines, they required ‘driving’. By 1984 C Format 1inch VTRs were in common use, almost anyone technically inclined could lace them up, and hit play. They required no ‘nursing’ while in play. That alone reduced the stranglehold that 70s ( and earlier) kit had had applied
commseng160 posts since 8 Dec 2016
London London
........................Of course, we all know that the endgame came in 1987/88 with TV-am. Bruce Gyngell was, frankly, up for a fight and once again management put out the service. Even though the results were questionable, again the station was able to continue earning advertising revenue. The author of the book Morning Glory clearly detests Gyngell, but you can't argue he was the man who finally crushed the unions into irrelevancy.

I've got to take issue with your final comment that the unions were crushed into irrelevancy.
BECTU is still working for the members in the industry, and has been since the TV-am dispute.
What has changed is that strikes are far less common, but there are still negociations going on, and the number of personal cases being looked after has not changed much.
It's all lower profile, but keeps both staff and management working together when they may not otherwise.
4
thegeek, Inspector Sands and 2 others
  • DE88
  • UKnews
gave kudos
commseng160 posts since 8 Dec 2016
London London
At the risk of getting into the minutae, would HTV Wales and West have been allowed to play out programme to both or would they have had to tread water independently?


Good question. My guess, as the staff all worked for the same company that was probably OK. However I think for instance different union/staff agreements existed at Thames between Euston and Teddington ( due to the Redifusion and ABC legacies) ?

Surely as both HTV West and HTV Wales often carried the same programmes anyway, it wouldn't have been an abnormal thing to do and required no special measures. Therefore you'd imagine that there would be no objection from the unions?
UKnews725 posts since 26 Apr 2011

I've got to take issue with your final comment that the unions were crushed into irrelevancy.
BECTU is still working for the members in the industry, and has been since the TV-am dispute.
What has changed is that strikes are far less common, but there are still negociations going on, and the number of personal cases being looked after has not changed much.
It's all lower profile, but keeps both staff and management working together when they may not otherwise.

Spot on. In my department I know of a - relatively minor - issue that happened recently, BECTU intervened and a fairer outcome was secured.


The BBC is in the process of implementing some fairly major changes to staff terms and conditions - whatever anyone may think of the fairness or unfairness of them, the unions played a key role and put forward a lot of representations from their members resulting in some changes to the proposals.
2
Inspector Sands and DE88 gave kudos
AidanLunn7 posts since 17 Oct 2017
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
The 1984 Thames Television strike was interesting to watch. Unlike 1979, Thames continued with a management run schedule. It wasn't great, but at least they were on the air for the majority of the day. My question is, why couldn't a similar arrangement have been put into place in August 1979?

When the largest ITV strike occured in August 1979, all ITV regions except Channel Television went on strike, and no programming aired at all until October. Why didn't they put out a management run service, which they did in 1968?


One reason was early 80s equipment required far less ‘operational skill’ than late 70s. In 1979 VT playout was still from Quadraplex 2inch machines, they required ‘driving’. By 1984 C Format 1inch VTRs were in common use, almost anyone technically inclined could lace them up, and hit play. They required no ‘nursing’ while in play. That alone reduced the stranglehold that 70s ( and earlier) kit had had applied


Not quite true, they still required 10 minutes of line-up for every tape, so you couldn't just lace the tape up and hit play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8CbG30G1Zg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ed7NjDGViAY (contains a 1" C dub of ATV's Marty Feldman Comedy Machine)

And through that 1984 strike, a fair bit of broadcast content still came from Quad, as Thames had only made the switch to 1" C a year or two earlier. (And I don't think they transferred Quad VTs to 1" C either, like other companies did. They did as the BBC did and only transferred their Quad tapes to digital formats in the 90s).

And for completeness' sake, here's how to line up a Quad machine (although they could have chosen an RCA TR-70C instead! Best Quad VTR ever made!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHDU1wXw1sU