The Times of London, shut down in England by a labor dispute for more than five months, was forced to abandon plans to print a weekly edition in Frankfurt today by demonstrators and the alleged threat of violence.
The management of the paper had tried to set up a special overseas edition that would have been printed at a plant in Frankfurt printing a Turkish-language newspaper. The special weekly version of the 194-year-old daily Times would have been circulated to 64 countries outside Britain with a planned initial press run of about 85,000 copies.
After a night and day of demonstration by several hundred German and Turkish workers and labor union representatives-plus what the newspaper's management claimed were nonunion activists with a record of being present when violence occurred-the paper announced it had called off its plans to print in Frankfurt.
Times editor William Rees-Mogg said in a statement that the decision was made after consultation with police and owners of the Turkish newspaper, Tercueman.
"The police advise that any attempt to print would lead to serious violence. They would protect the plant today, but not guarantee effective protection on subsequent days. In this circumstance," he said, "The Times decided it was not right to risk life and property or to jeopardize the future business of Tercueman, which has been helpful and courageous in every way."
Earlier, a spokesman for the paper had claimed that gasoline-soaked rags had been stuffed into air vents leading into the plant during the picketing.
The chairman of the local West German printers union in Frankfurt helped mobilize German and Turkish laborers to picket the plant in response to calls of support from the National Graphical Association union in Britain. The British union has urged European counterparts to defeat The Times plans to publish outside Britain.