The General Strike of 1926

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The General Strike of 1926 In 1926 the General Council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) called out workers throughout the country on a general strike for nine days in an attempt to force the government to act to prevent the wages and conditions of coal miners being lowered. There is no one reason why the General Strike of 1926 took place, instead a large number of long and short term causes led towards the event, which was finally set off by a trigger cause. An example of a long term cause would be the history of bad relations between mine owners and their workers, a short term cause would be the Samuel Report and a trigger the Daily Mail article. Each cause led towards the strike and this essay will examine what these causes were, and how important they were in bringing about the General Strike. A long-term factor which contributed largely towards the strike was misplaced post-war optimism. During the war Trade Unions had worked alongside the Government to agree on working conditions. They had even allowed unskilled workers, such as women to take on jobs that could no longer be filled by the skilled workers, who were off at war- this was known as dilution of labour. However, this disillusionment of improved working conditions did not last for long. When the war was over the skilled workers returned to these jobs, leaving those who had filled in for them unemployed and disillusioned. It was not only those who had lost their jobs who felt this way, but those that remained in their posts at companies which were handed back to private ownership were disheartened by the deteriorating working conditions, due to denationalisation. W... ... middle of paper ... ...itable, perhaps making this the principal cause of the strike and the Government the group ultimately to blame. However, all four groups involved in the strike share part of the blame for what came. The government called off the negotiations when times were at the most precarious and the measures they took to prevent the strike made things worse, if anything. The mine owners and workers each refused to negotiate, the owners were not successful in convincing the workers it was necessary for their wages to be lowered. The TUC were also partly to blame since they got drawn into a strike which they did not believe would be of use to anyone. The mine workers and owners were mainly to blame since they did nothing to resolve the situation, whereas the Government and the TUC did try and negotiate and come to a fair conclusion.
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