Miners strike (quick question)

Home Forum Chat Forum Miners strike (quick question)

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 138 total)
  • Miners strike (quick question)
  • richc
    Member

    Monday morning and politics isn’t a good start I know.

    Anyhow got into a *discussion* about the miners strike over the weekend, and the people I was talking to were saying how Thatcher had to do what she did because of the demands of the trade unions, and how the miners were demanding massive pay increases which would make them earn around the same as doctors and surgeons, which was wrong so she had little choice.

    Now this smacks of propaganda to me, however they insisted this was true and as I don’t know for certain if this is true it was hard to dispute, so does anyone have any links to information to disprove this (or even links to miners pay scales, and pay increase demands at that time) as it seems very unlikely to me.

    trailmonkey
    Member

    It wasn’t about wage demands, it was about pit closures.

    uplink
    Member

    Yup – they went out after Thatcher vetoed the Govs review committee & demanded the closure of Corntonwood Colliery for her own political reasons rather than any economics.

    I think some of the scabs got extra money but no one else did IIRC

    IanMunro
    Member

    Sorry no links, that claim could be true by newspaper standards though. Ie. compare a junior doctor with a miner on shift work and i’m sure the miner would earn much more.

    surfer
    Member

    I suspect this will run!

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    havent got the time to do the comparative analysis (dentist awaits! 🙁 ) but this should start you off

    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/written_answers/1973/nov/27/coal-miners-pay

    richc
    Member

    I’ve been reading up on it, as I really didn’t know much about it and it is certainly interested, Scargill and the Govt. both seem to have been utter bastards, and the miners got the shitty end of the stick for their blind loyalty.

    Still no proof on the wages thing, I suspect it was newspaper/BBC spin on what IanM said tho.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    A very politicised strike by both sides. ostensibly from the union side it was about pit closures – nothing to do with money. Thatcher used it to destroy a strong union power base ( who may have overused their power in the past) History vindicated the miners union – when pit closures went far beyond what they were predicting.

    Thatchers legacy is such stupidity as in Lothian – where there was a coal mine and a coal burning electricity plant linked by rail – a reasonably “green” solution. Instead we go coal brought in by boat from Poland which had a far higher sulphur content thus increasing pollution.

    In the economic calculations about the cost of coal mined in Britain Thatcher did not include the costs of paying unemployment benefits to the 1/4 million folk added to the dole queues nor the increased environmental damage from using imported high sulphur coal.

    A very nasty politicised strike where we all lost and no one gained apart from Thatcher who improved her political standing with the CBI

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    thatcher did it for no other reason than to put a end to the power of the working man.
    the pits were and still are a more viable source of fuel than anything else.
    this will be proved with the opening of many of them in years to come.
    i for 1 will celebrate with a days holiday when the evil **** witch dies.

    richc
    Member

    Looks like they might have been right, from those links average gross income for a miner seems to be around £32 (before any pay increases), whereas senior doctors/radiographers were on £33 pounds.

    So any pay increase would put them on more than a Dr, however that appears to be because Thatcher was **** the NHS, rather than the miners being overpaid.

    surfer
    Member

    I recall Scargill claiming that coal could be mined and given away free and still make a profit if the same subsidies that were given to other forms of fuel where given to coal production.

    I cant be sure of the source of these figures but a powerful argument.

    trailmonkey
    Member

    i for 1 will celebrate with a days holiday when the evil **** witch dies.

    +1

    cynic-al
    Member

    ton – you told me you were never nasty 😛

    surfer
    Member

    A few Elvis Costello supporters here!

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    ton – you told me you were never nasty

    al, i consider this quite a pleasent view from me regarding this woman.
    i come from a staunch mining/labour area of the uk.
    this woman and her american enforcer ruined dozens of villages and towns in the north.
    they also destroyed thousands of families and also the self respect of the men from those families.
    no other strike or it’s outcome has had the same effect on britain and i do not think it ever will.

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    surfer ???
    and for your info my dad was a miner at ackton hall featherstone.
    most of the men there never broke the strike, he was one of them.
    5 weeks after the strike finished he had a stressed induced heart attack which left him fecked.

    surfer
    Member

    Elvis Costello wrote a song about dancing on her grave.

    Lest you misunderstand, I support your position.

    richc
    Member

    just out of interest Ton, what do you think of Scargill?

    slugwash
    Member

    i for 1 will celebrate with a days holiday when the evil **** witch dies.

    I’ll be taking a full **** fortnight! And I suspect that it’ll not be too far away into the future either.

    Premier Icon paulosoxo
    Subscriber

    Scargill? Possibly corrupt, bent some might say infinitely preferable to that old hag Maggie, and what she done to Sunderland and County Durham.

    I still remember my old primary school head teacher telling us all how evil thatcher was(is), during our morning assembly.

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    just out of interest Ton, what do you think of Scargill?

    rich, i think he was a good union leader who was prepared to do what his members voted for.
    but above all he was right.
    he predicted all along that thatcher wanted to destroy the industry.
    at the start of the strike there were about 175 pits in the uk, at present there are about 10. and we now need more fuel to run the country than ever before.

    pantsonfire
    Member

    My Uncle was a miner at Plank lane colliery Wigan till the day it shut. He lived in a council house and went on 1 holiday a year (a package trip to spain usually) never owned a new car and ended up struggling to pay his gas bill. So no I dont think he ever earned anything like what a doctor earned or was ever likely to.

    As he spent the last 4 years of his life connected to an oxygen bottle and died prematurely of miners lung I think he f*cking well earned every penny he got

    When the North sea runs out of gas and oil and we have to go begging to some megalomaniac russian for gas we might regret getting rid of all those profitable pits

    surfer
    Member

    rich, i think he was a good union leader who was prepared to do what his members voted for.
    but above all he was right.
    he predicted all along that thatcher wanted to destroy the industry.
    at the start of the strike there were about 175 pits in the uk, at present there are about 10. and we now need more fuel to run the country than ever before.

    Ton I agree with almost all you have said however I would argue that Thatcher simply wanted a fight with a trade union given the damage they had done to Edward Heath. The Miners unions were the first in line and she used them as an example.

    Junkyard
    Member

    i for 1 will celebrate with a days holiday when the evil **** witch dies.

    +1

    Me to I have a t-shirt ready with her picture on it and the phrase ding dong the witch is dead…my mate made it..he hates her I agree…. if they give here a stats funeral I predict a RIOT and see some of you there?

    Premier Icon langylad
    Subscriber

    Well I hope I dont die too soon
    I pray the lord my soul to save
    Oh Ill be a good boy, Im trying so hard to behave
    Because theres one thing I know, Id like to live
    Long enough to savour
    Thats when they finally put you in the ground
    Ill stand on your grave and tramp the dirt down.

    Elvis not mincing his words

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    i also think a lot of the problems in the country started in the 80s.
    prior to the strike the villages and towns in yorkshire/nottinghamshire/lancashire/whereever that had mines were very nice busy place, plenty of shops, pubs and other businesses.
    go into one of these places now and see what they are like. the places are ruined, shops have gone, pubs gone, working mens clubs are gone.
    also when i left school in 82 the drug culture was nowhere as near as it is now. these villages are rife with drug, and drug realted crime and not only with the younger end.
    a lot of these places have no future and this has rubbed off on the people.
    i think the country went bad under thatcher.

    If the pits are that profitable why are they still closed?

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    surfer, that is what i meant.
    kill the most powerfull union in the country and the rest will be a pushover.
    and it worked, and for that i hope the woman burns in hell.

    richc
    Member

    I thought one of the major issues was Scargill wasn’t prepared to put the strike to a vote (as a reported 70% would have voted against it) as he knew he would lose it, thus making it an illegal strike and allowing Thatcher to do as she wished when trying to break it.

    Also his attitude that no mines should shut, regardless of there profitability scuppered any deals which may have saved the majority of the mines in the long run.

    Like I said, I am no expert, I am just trying to educate myself a bit on this subject.

    As for the coal miners demanding more than Doctors, due to normal inflationary payrises amazingly thats true, however that has more to do with how terribly underpaid Doctors and Nurses were, rather than the miners being overpaid (one report indicates that a Clerical Admin could on average earn more than a 10 year qualified Dr/ Radiologist )

    Premier Icon ton
    Subscriber

    thisisnotaspoon
    who mentioned profit.
    and it was a political thing not a cost cutting thing.

    Premier Icon paulosoxo
    Subscriber

    thisisnotaspoon. Would you work down a pit, there’s no way I would, neither would I let my son. I can’t ever see them being re-opened, but I doubt theyd have shut so easily without thatcher.

    You’re argument could be applied to the banks of today, why don’t we shut them down? simply because we need them. This country should be ran for the people who live here, not to simply make a profit

    Moses
    Member

    thisisnotaspoon:

    Because they weren’t just abandoned,they were destroyed so they could not be reopened.
    Machinery removed or wrecked, drains blocked so the rock below would become unstable. Very political rather than just economic.

    surfer
    Member

    thisisnotaspoon
    who mentioned profit.
    and it was a political thing not a cost cutting thing.

    The question is a good one. At the time we were told there were more than a 100yrs coal underground. Given the volatility of external providers of fuel why have some of them not been re-opened?

    Premier Icon paulosoxo
    Subscriber

    Like all the other trades. You stop bringing in the apprentices, you loose the skills. We probably couldn’t build a ship on the Wear, using Sunderland labour if we tried now. Same with mining.

    surfer
    Member

    the timing of my post has crossed with others.

    There was an interesting debate over the weekend between Evan Davies and Heseltine (?) where Davies made the point that the mines may not be around today however their gradual demise would have ensured that some of the worst effects of immediate closures may have been mitigated as people gradually moved aways and replacement industry was created.
    The fact that it happened almost overnight almost certainly led to the social and economic issues Ton points to.

    trailmonkey
    Member

    If the pits are that profitable why are they still closed?

    What constitutes profit ? If the cost of keeping the next 3 generations on benefits, the cost of subsidiary business’s going bust, the cost of extra healthcare resulting from increased poverty and the cost of decomissioning the mines is factored in, then the mines were incredibly profitable.

    If anyone on this forum is totally unaware of the real cost of closing the coal mines, then I suggest that next time you take a trip to Glyncwrrg, take an hour to walk around town before you go ride your bikes.

    Junkyard
    Member

    thisisnotaspoon – Member
    If the pits are that profitable why are they still closed?

    If the banks are not economically viable why are we bailing them out?
    Politics, Old school tie, upper class or working class etc etc

    Certainly not economics

    Premier Icon Andy
    Subscriber

    TJs comment is spot on. Nobody won. At the time the belief was that the UK suffered from too restrictive labour practices. Thatcher forced the strike to break the strongest union. Scargill tried to lead a strike earlier as he saw this coming (doing his job for his members). By the time they went out it was too late. I still wonder if they had gone out 2 years before whether they would have won!

    trailmonkey
    Member

    I still wonder if they had gone out 2 years before whether they would have won!

    That’s an interesting point. Two years prior, Thatcher was busy drowning Argentinians and certainly would have found it difficult killing people in two theatres. At the same time, it would have been seen in a lot of quarters as an unpatriotic act to destabalise a govt during what was ( ashamedly ) a popular war and a lot of popular support for the miners might have dissapeared.

    More interesting would have been if the strike was 3 years earlier and had coincided with the 1981 summer of civil unrest. I doubt that she’d have stood for that and we’d have probably seen the army on our streets.

    It does make it seem that we thankfully, live in pretty dull times.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Excellent article in the Independent this weekend:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/reunited-at-last-the-striker-and-the-scab-1639777.html

    Thatcher believed that the working class had to be eliminated as a political force. The closure of the mines, destruction of our manufacturing industries and mass privatisation were all part of her agenda.

    “There is no such thing as Society” is a quote that still makes me shudder, not because of it’s ignorance and stupidity,but because it was the core belief of her philosophy.
    I blame her for legitimising much of the greed and corruption in today’s society.
    The day she dies will be a happy one round here.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 138 total)

The topic ‘Miners strike (quick question)’ is closed to new replies.