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30 years on: The Great Miners' Strike

Dated: 03 Mar 2014

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Tories want ten percent of miners on the dole - Now is the time to fight

The Tories want to put at least one in every ten miners on the dole. And they declared this aim just a week after they defied the TUC and drove trade unions out of GCHQ at Cheltenham. Thatcher has always wanted to humiliate the miners. She wants revenge for her party and her class for the dramatic NUM victories in 1972 and 1974 when the union defeated the last Tory government.

International Comment Features Reviews What We Think Other


Kitchens in danger

These kitchens are in need of immediate financial help. Rush donations, and organise New Year delegations to:

Life without the union

Sixteen scabs at Bentley colliery went on strike last week and asked for union representation.

Jail supports miners

The heroic struggle of the miners has been a source of inspiration to many and has led to hundreds of thousands of pounds being collected. But the most moving story of the strike must be that of the self-sacrifice shown by one unlikely group of supporters – prisoners serving life sentences in a Portsmouth jail. 

Behind the secret talks - Tories plan to split the miners

The secret talks between the Coal Board and the NUM are a grave threat to the miners’ strike.

Pit villages fight back

Yorkshire pit villages erupted on Monday when miners kept NCB area safety men out of pits in response to coal board efforts to engineer a back to work movement.

Harwich shows the way

Two hundred seamen and a group of dockers at Harwich took strike action on Wednesday in support of the miners. The seamen work on the passenger liner, the St Nicholas.

'We're all in this together' (on the picket line)

One thousand steelworkers at three Lanarkshire BSC plants - Clydesdale, Clydesbridge and Balziell - all within a four mile radius of Ravenscraig - are now out.

URGENT: Much more picketing, Much better organisation, Much greater involvement

This is crisis week for the miners' strike. It is a crisis which can be overcome and pave the way for victory. But only if urgent measures are taken.

Hundreds arrested in Notts

There is intimidation every day in the Nottinghamshire coalfields. It is planned intimidation, executed in cold blood and it goes completely unreported in the Fleet Street press.

Wives must picket too

Miners' wives who encouraged their husbands to cross picket lines were the darlings of the press and television at the beginning of the week.

Bus workers back miners

A strike by workers at the National Welsh bus garage in Porth, South Wales, has forced their management to lift a ban on hiring coaches for miners' flying pickets.

15,000 march in Glasgow to support the miners

Over 15,000 people joined the demonstration in Glasgow last Wednesday in response to the Scottish TUC's call for a day of action in support of the miners. Many workers had taken strike action to join the march.

Why you should support this strike

The miners strike is a strike for every worker in this country.

Defending the strike against scabs

The banners of Newstead, Ollerton, Gedling and Thoresby collieries, backed by 3,000 striking Notts miners, defended their area NUM office against a scabs' rally early on Tuesday morning.



United in battle for the class

One of the most exhilarating and exciting things about the miners’ strike is the mobilisation of women, writes Paul Foot.


The battle of Orgreave and how it was lost

The events outside Orgreave coking plant near Rotherham over the past two weeks may well come to be seen as the turning point in the miners’ strike. Alex Callinicos tells the story.

Miners after three months - a crisis of leadership

Tony Cliff looks at the issues facing the miners after three months on strike and the confrontation at Orgreave

Dock strike - now start to picket

The registered ports and all the largest unregistered ports are supporting the national dock strike.

Dock strike - from show of strength to shambles

Last weekend's conclusion of the docks strike was a messy affair. What started as a dramatic show of strength by the TGWU finished just ten days later in a shambles and few will be happy with the final outcome.

Strike brings more support

A strike at Manchester's Piccadilly station has ensured support for the miners there will continue.

Court seizes miners' funds - an attack on us all

The Tory anti-union laws have finally been used against the miners.

Onto the defensive

We report from a meeting last Sunday of Socialist Workers Party members from 15 pits across the country. They discussed the present stage of the miners' strike, and how to combat scabbing.

Tories' picket line lies

The police and the media have spent the twenty eighth week of the miners' strike engaging in an orgy of lies about 'picket line violence'.

Stopping the filth

'Miners once the salt of the earth, are now the scum of the earth'. That would have been the Sun's front page on Saturday morning had action by the print unions not kept this filth off the streets.

TUC get off your knees - Defend the miners' union

The NUM is facing an attack on union rights more serious than anything we have seen in a lifetime. Never before have our rulers had the nerve to hand over a trade union lock, stock and barrel to a Tory lawyer.

Battle for the power stations

Three power stations - West Thurrock, Didcot and Tilbury - have in the last week all seen action in support of the miners. Workers at each station have refused to accept scab coal and oil.

Still solid at Christmas - victory to the miners

Christmas on the picket line is something that Margaret Thatcher has admitted she thought she'd never see.

Scargill calls for mass pickets

Most of the miners’ leaders have refused to call for mass picketing as the only way to guarantee victory for the strike. But there is one notable exception – Arthur Scargill.

Scab walks no more

Women from Sunnyhill village in South Yorkshire last week smashed police and Coal Board plans to demoralise strikers at Silverwood colliery.

Regular meetings are key

Even in pits where there is a high level of scabbing it is still possible to hold the strike together.


What We Think

After 12 months of struggle - stabbed in the back by Kinnock and Willis

Bitterness and anger are raging through the pit villages of Britain. But it is not, as the press would have us believe, directed at Arthur Scargill. The hatred which the miners and their families feel is for the Tories, the TUC and the Labour Party leadership.

Other Categories


How ideas change under struggle by Fran Postlethwaite, 10 year old Vicky from Doncaster writes in about how her parents are fighting for her future and postal points from around the country

Inside the system

Shining a light on the inner workings of the system

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