Thatcher takes hard line against British rail strike

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's government took a hard line against rail worker demands and suspended a $27 million weekly subsidy to the state railroads stymied by a nationwide strike, which was in its fourth day Wednesday.

The British Rail chairman, Sir Peter Parker, said he did not expect the strike to be a short one. In Parliament, Mrs. Thatcher voiced her support for Sir Peter's insistence that the 20,000-member Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen accept efficiency changes. She praised the strikebreakers, whose numbers increased Wednesday. British Rail officials said that by midday 755 trains ran -- about nine per cent of normal services.

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