March 1986

A Palm Sunday ecumenical service for striking Daily Record and Sunday Mail employees was held in Anderston Kelvingrove Church, Glasgow. Afterwards it was announced that Archbishop Thomas Winning of Glasgow
and the Rev Ron Ferguson, leader of the Iona Community, were seeking talks with parties involved in the dispute, which had kept the newspapers off the streets for a fortnight. Plans for an open-air service outside the Record building in Anderston Quay had been abandoned because of the weather.

A few days later, the proprietor, Robert Maxwell, brought in barbed wire and guard dogs to seal off the newspaper plant. Roy Jenkins, MP for Glasgow Hillhead, said: 'He’s just sacked everybody for the third time in five weeks, which suggests more bombast than calm authority'. The barbed wire came down, however, little more than 24 hours after it was erected, following an inspection of the site by planning officers from Glasgow District Council. The council said that planning permission would have to be sought before anyone could erect wire which constituted a potential danger. (The planning inspectors were also reported to be inspecting the barbed wire surrounding the Kinning Park plant of Rupert Murdoch’s News International.)

The SNP’s Jim Sillars accused Maxwell of 'industrial terrorism' and called on the Labour Party to stop taking donations from Maxwell. Murray Ritchie wrote in the Herald: 'If there ever was an example of how Scotland’s surrender to the branch factory syndrome has worked against the national interest, it must be the present crisis affecting the Daily Record and Sunday Mail'. (Some years later, Maxwell, having plundered the newspaper group’s pension fund, fell off his yacht to a watery death.)

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