The decision by the Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers to call a halt to all reciprocal exchanges with trade union members from the Soviet Union should be copied by every other union, Mr Terry Duffy, the Catholic president-elect of the AUEW said this week.
His vote was significant in persuading the union's executive to adopt the boycott. The decision was taken by five votes to two. with the out-going president. Mr Hugh Scanlon. opposing it.
Mr Duffy told the Catholic Herald that the Soviet persecution of dissidents required a clear demonstration of disapproval from trade union members.
"I am convinced that what we have done represents the feeling of the whole trade union movement not only in Britain but throughout the world," he said.
Asked what effect the decision might have, Mr Duffy replied: "I think it will make a difference. The Russians are not used to being criticised by the trade union movement, and this should give our protest greater significance. The whole of the TUC should add their support to what we have done."
The TUC is to be faced by a number of resolutions complaining about the treatment of workers in the Soviet Union at its next meeting in Brighton in September.
• The trial of Alexander Podrabinek, the dissident best known for publicising the Soviet abuse of psychiatry, began this week with no more word from the Russian authorities about the granting of a visa to Mr Louis Blom-Cooper, QC, one of two Western lawyers acting on Podrabinek's behalf.
Mr Blom Cooper had been promised a visa by the Soviet Embassy to enable him to attend the trial.