The first sign of an end to the anti-apartheid strike came in an announcement from the Minister for Labour Ruairí Quinn.
The major supermarkets told him they intended to phase out South African produce. The Minister believes the aims of the strike could now be achieved by a return to work, by concentrating on consumer boycotts and keeping South African goods off the shelves.
Strikers are to meet on Monday to consider the latest development and their Union Executive will meet on Tuesday. The key question is how quickly the stores, especially Dunnes Stores will switch from South African produce?
The Union wants to meet with Dunnes directly to ensure there is no victimisation of the strikers, something the Labour Court had strongly opposed.
On the foot of the Minister’s announcement, Karen Gearon shop steward in the Henry Street branch of Dunnes Stores in Dublin says she feels,
It forms the beginning of the end of the strike because I think that if all South African goods are phased out in every other store, it’s a hell of a lot more than what we hoped to achieve. Because it means that every store, not only Dunnes Stores, is going to phase out South African goods eventually.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 14 September 1985. The reporter is Liam Cahill.