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The World : British Rail Strike Rejected

August 29, 1985

British railroad conductors voted narrowly to reject a call for strike action. In what was regarded as a victory for Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and a blow to organized labor, the conductors, in an 84% turnout, voted 4,815 to 4,360 against a strike. The union had called for the ballot, as required by a law enacted last year, over plans by British Rail to phase out conductors on all freight trains and on some passenger trains. British Rail has fired 245 conductors in the last 12 days for refusing to work, and union leader Jimmy Knapp said the first priority will be to have them reinstated.

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