Originally posted 2013-05-01 11:00:32.
When Liverpool dockworkers refused to go against their sworn beliefs and cross a picket line, all five hundred were sacked on the spot. On powerful form, Ken Loach reveals the betrayal of these men by the industry they dedicated their lives to. “They’re destroying our culture, generations of culture,” one worker on the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company’s decision to replace the Dockers with casual labour. No right to sick pay or holiday, and men on call for shifts, some twelve hours long. And if there’s no work, sent home with no pay. “There’s going to be nothing for Christmas this year,” despairs one wife as she fights back tears. This is the story of the years-long dispute in which workers were even deserted by the bureaucratic bosses of their own Trade Unions. Retired Dockers express their fears that “If they lose, everything we fought for is gone”. This is a priceless document charting a crucial episode in the history of the British working class, touching for its portrayal of the dignity with which Dockers fought their ground.