Wapping exhibition moves to cyber space

Wapping exhibition moves to cyber space

16 January 2014

The exhibition of the Wapping dispute – one of the most high profile industrial events of the Thatcher era – will go ‘live’ on the internet on Friday 24 January.

The exhibition highlighting the 13-month struggle against Rupert Murdoch that the employees staged in 1986 to save their jobs and protect trade union rights had a 25th anniversary tour in 2011.

Now the exhibition will be seen on the internet - and the launch of the site will be held at the Unite the union offices, 128 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8TN between 18.00-20.00 on Friday 24 January 2014.

The exhibition organiser Ann Field said: “The launch event will also be a chance to see the exhibition, to buy copies of a new book written by one of the veteran sacked workers John Trow, and to buy Bad News written by veterans John Lang and Graham Dodkins. 

“The website includes material that was not displayed for the exhibition, together with oral history and film/DVD clips.  Additional material will be uploaded regularly to build a comprehensive and accessible archive for anyone taking an interest in the mid-1980s.

“The Wapping dispute was a turning point in Margaret Thatcher’s war against trade unions. Historians will view with interest the role of the government, the police, the media, and, of course, the actions of the central character, Rupert Murdoch.

“Veterans and family members will be able to browse the website to identify or seek to contact long-lost friends and comrades, and to contribute their own memories and memorabilia.”

The Wapping 25th anniversary exhibition in 2011 was given extra topicality by that summer’s phone hacking scandal that engulfed the Murdoch media empire – and which is still being played out in the courts.

Wapping erupted when 5,550 production and clerical workers were sacked by Murdoch overnight.

It was in January 1986 that News International – owners of The Times, Sunday Times, The Sun and the now defunct News of the World – axed thousands of its staff when it moved its operations to Wapping in East London.

The website details will be released next week and, in the meantime, any queries should be directed to the exhibition organising team


For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.