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Thatcher wins in holding down civil-service raises

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher won a powerful boost in her struggle to keep the lid on inflationary wage settlements when Britain's civil service workers indicated they will settle for 7.5 percent increases this year.

Civil servants have staged selective strikes in key government departments for nearly five months in the longest national stoppage since 1926. But the government budged only 0.5 percent on its initial 7 percent offer with a L30 (less than $60) flat payment to settle the dispute. The civil servants wanted 15 percent.

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All but one of the union leaders representing Britain's 530,000 white-collar civil servants said they will recomme nd acceptance of the 7.5 percent offer.

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