The Miners Strike 1984 Essay

The Miners Strike 1984 Essay

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Throughout the century British coal had become increasingly costly and difficult to mine. Nationalization in 1948 had not altered this. Indeed, there was a case for saying that lack of government investment since that date had added to the problem. For some time Britain had been importing coal from abroad. With the exception of few pits producing particular types of coal, British mines by the 1970s were running at loss.

When Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister the first thing she wanted to do was limit union power. She felt that union power applied to nationalized industrial monopolies resulted in poor service at exorbitant cost to the taxpayers. She pointed to inefficient work practices, over employment and restrictive employment conditions such as the all union “closed shop”. The Thatcher government declared its unwillingness to put further public money into an industry which had little chance of being able to recover its place in a competitive market.

“The policies of this government are clear – to destroy the coal industry and the NUM” – Union leader Arthur Scargill. B...

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