The 1968 strike service was possible because of the franchise changes, I think. It used former ATV and ABC facilities and staff in part.
All strikes are different as well. In 1968 I don't think Equity were on strike and other unions were also still working, so they could create a service, albeit a primitive one. It depends who's out, who's sympathetic and who's willing to work in any dispute.
Also in 1984 BBC1 was off air all day because of a strike, although it was suggested that the Beeb could certainly have got something on air (given BBC2 was still broadcasting), but Bill Cotton wanted to play hardball. There was a lot of posturing on both sides and although you wouldn't go off air if you could help it, like any strike both sides wanted to win the PR battle, and ITV may have thought it was a more powerful statement to go off air and win some sympathy from audiences.
Why didn't the management not discuss it with the unions after say a month off air. When the autumn schedules were about to kick in September 1979, surely then they would see a deal had to be arranged?
They were talking throughout, as mentioned it just happened that this was a particularly prolonged dispute. As you can see in that Transdiffusion article, when the Beeb went on strike at Christmas 1978 it was thought it would drag on for weeks and there wouldn't be any conclusion from the ACAS talks until the end of January, and as it turned out it was pretty much settled within a day.
Even if they were back on for the autumn schedules, the fact the dispute happened in the summer was a factor because that was when they'd usually be producing programmes for the autumn.
Last edited by Steve Williams on 27 June 2019 8:05pm