Environment: A Stinking Strike

Only three years ago, Britain's rivers were rated among the cleanest in Europe. Last week many were full of dead fish, industrial wastes and human excrement. The nation's 80,000 sewage-plant workers, whose wages average $33.60 a week, had gone on strike for a 20% raise. In their absence, management crews bravely tried to run 5,000 municipal treatment plants, which normally cleanse 3 billion gallons of raw sewage a day. In some places, management failed; one official described the stench as "appalling."

In Bristol, a daily torrent of 50 million gallons of wastes poisoned the once sweet Avon River. At Blackpool, raw sewage...

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