The World: The Lollipop Budget

First the gas workers walked out, cutting service to 4,000,000 homes. About 3,500 business firms, 1,700 schools and 400 hospitals were shut down—either because of lack of heat or because their own employees were also on strike. Some hospitals even had to burn their soiled bedsheets because their laundries were closed.

As the strike for higher wages spread, stoppages and slowdowns seemed to succeed one another almost at random. The customs inspectors at London's Heathrow Airport returned to duty within 24 hours, but the rail strike that was supposed to last one day dragged on for four. Queen Elizabeth II herself had...

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