Businesses react to the third major bank strike in a decade by refusing to cash cheques.
A 12-week bank strike in 1966 and a 6-month strike in 1970 left Ireland without a banking system in an era before ATMs and online self-service banking. The supply of cash dried up quickly. Many traders who agreed to cash customers’ cheques ended up going out of business and were targeted by fraudsters.
By the time a third bank strike loomed in 1976, businesses were extremely wary, having been badly burned in 1970. ‘Seven Days’ interviewed John Gunnigle of Superquinn, Joe Fitzsimons of Foxes Covert pub in Tallaght and garage owner James Barton about how they would handle this latest strike.
The 1976 bank strike lasted for two months until it was called off by the union. All three banking disputes related to pay and the first two were settled in the workers’ favour.