Essay on The General Strike of 1926

Essay on 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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