FROM THE ARCHIVE OF: The TV Room
Following the breakdown of talks between Thames management and the ACTT union regarding staffing levels in the Central Transmission Facility (CTF), Thames technical staff walked out on strike on Monday 27th September 1984.
[00:00:00] INFORMATION GRAPHIC: the IBA radiated this caption from transmitters servicing the Thames TV transmission area, from 9.25am on Monday 27th September 1984. The caption remained in place all week, during Thames’ transmission hours. TV-am was broadcast as usual each morning.
London Weekend Television also went to air as normal in its usual slot on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The schedules for many iTV companies were affected during the week by the loss of networked programming that would’ve been provided by Thames.
Channel 4 was also impacted by the strike action. In those days, the Channel 4 signal was routed through each ITV contractor, so that the ITV company could insert the ad breaks on Channel 4.
It’s believed that the ACTT intended to black out Channel 4 in the London area, as the signal was routed through Thames TV. However, the IBA rerouted the Channel 4 signal directly to the transmitter sites, bypassing Thames. This ensured Channel 4 programmes were seen in the London area, albeit there were no commercial breaks there.
Because the IBA thwarted the ACTT’s Channel 4 blackout plans in the London area, the union asked members in other ITV regions to black out Channel 4 ad breaks. It’s believed that commercial breaks in the Border, Central, Grampian, Scottish and Ulster regions were impacted.
Following intensive talks over the weekend of 1st/2nd September, the dispute was resolved. Normal programming resumed on Thames TV at 1pm on Monday 3rd September 1984.
However, the settlement was short-lived. Further industrial action affected Thames output from Wednesday 17th October 1984. The main difference on this occasion was that Thames management eventually managed to transmit a daily programme schedule.
That dispute was resolved on Friday 2nd November 1984, with normal programming resuming on Monday 5th November 1984.
PICTURED: IBA apology graphic. COPYRIGHT: Unknown.