July 16 1951, marked the end of the longest an costliest industrial unrest in our country’s history. After 151 days of struggle against the Government and the Federation of Labour, the Waterside Worker’s Union – a union of 8,000 men – lay in ruins. Families had broken up, men had committed suicide and a legacy of bitterness was born that survives to this day. It was the height of the Cold War and it was easy to convince large numbers of people that communist stooges were running militant unionists like the Watersiders. This a story of strong personalities, a changing world and the hardships that ordinary people face when they are pitted against the government of the day.
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