Timex strike

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The Timex Strike was a major industrial dispute which took place in Dundee, Scotland in 1993. The dispute, which was notable for its level of picket-line violence resulted in the closure of the Timex plant in the city after 47 years.[1][2]


By the 1980s the Timex Corporation had been a major employer in Dundee for four decades. From the early part of that decade the company attempted to streamline their operations in the city, due to difficulties in competing with the Far East. The facility had enjoyed a temporary reprieve in the early part of the decade due to Timex' contract with Sinclair Research to manufacture its personal computer products (principally the ZX81 and ZX Spectrum) which sold in huge numbers. However, Sinclair's computer business was bought out by Amstrad in 1986, who ended the lucrative contract, and once again the factory fell upon bad times. This ultimately led to attempts to reduce wages and cut the size of the workforce. These attempts were resisted by the workers and their Trade Union.[1]

The strike[edit]

In early January 1993, there were proposed layoffs at the factory. A ballot for strike action came out at 92% in favour, while requests for negotiation and arbitration were ignored. On 29 January, the workers came out on strike. They offered to return to work on 17 February, however were told that there would be a cut of 10% across the board, when they refused to accept those conditions they were locked out. Strikebreakers were brought in to replace the striking workers.[3] On 28 August 1993, the factory shut, following 6 months of industrial unrest.

The strike has been described as the last major strike in the UK, and has been the subject of a play[4] and an exhibition at the University of Dundee.[5] A collection of records relating to the strike is held by the University's Archive Services.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "MS 272 Timex (George Mason) Collection". Archive Services Online Catalogue. University of Dundee. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "Timex closes Dundee factory: Company leaves city after bitter dispute". The Independent. 30 August 1993. Retrieved 6 April 2012. 
  3. ^ [Seize the time http://www.marxists.org/archive/foot-paul/1993/06/timex.htm]
  4. ^ [Theatre to perform Timex strike play http://www.thecourier.co.uk/output/2007/08/25/newsstory10183829t0.asp]
  5. ^ [ Timex: History of Struggle http://www.dundee.ac.uk/pressreleases/2006/prmar06/timex.html]