National coal strike of 1912
The national coal strike of 1912 was the first national strike by coal miners in Britain. Its main goal was securing a minimum wage. After 37 days the government intervened and ended the strike by passing a minimum wage law.
The dispute centred upon an attempt by the Miners Federation of Great Britain, the main trade union representing coal miners, to secure a minimum wage for miners in their district, and to replace the complicated wage structure then in place, which often made it difficult for a miner to earn a fair days wage. The same issues had caused a major dispute the previous year in South Wales, and had become a national issue. The strike was a repeat of the unsuccessful strike of 1894, which also sought a minimum wage.
The strike began at the end of February in Alfreton, Derbyshire and spread nationwide. Nearly one million miners took part. It ended on 6 April, after 37 days. The Coal Mines (Minimum Wage) Act 1912 was a result of the strike.
The strike caused considerable disruption to train and shipping schedules.
- National coal strike - Peter Gill.
- Nostalgia: 100th anniversary of the national miners’ strike Michael Kelly, The Journal.
- Brian R. Mitchell (1984). Economic Development of the British Coal Industry, 1800-1914. CUP Archive. pp. 190–1.
- Manchester Guardian 8 April 1912