National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers
|Full name||National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers|
|Affiliation||TUC, STUC, Labour Party|
|Key people||Ian Parker, general secretary|
|Office location||Barnsley, England|
The National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers (NACODS) represents colliery deputies and under-officials in the coal industry. NACODS was established as a national organisation in 1910. Prior to that date, the union existed as a federation of autonomous areas which were collectively known as the General Federation of Firemen's, Examiners' and Deputies Association of Great Britain. The present title of NACODS was adopted in 1947 when the coal industry was nationalised. The union currently has 610 members (down from 16,000 in 1984) and is based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Its General Secretary is Ian Parker. It is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU).
NACODS was much less willing to take industrial action than the NUM, which sometimes led to tension amongst workers in the mines. Militants in the NUM nicknamed NACODS the "National Association of Can-carriers, Obedient Dopes and Suckers". There were some confrontations during the 1972 strike, but nothing compared to what came in the 1984-85 strike.
In April 1984, a small majority of NACODS voted to strike in support of the NUM, but this fell short of the two-thirds majority that their constitution required for a national strike. The National Coal Board had decided in the 1972 strike that a NACODS member was entitled to stay off work without any loss of pay if he faced violence or aggressive intimidation from NUM pickets. When the number of NUM strikebreakers increased in August, Merrick Spanton, the NCB personnel director, stated that he expected NACODS members to cross the picket lines to supervise their work. As this would have meant crossing aggressive (and sometimes violent) lines, it brought another ballot for a national strike from NACODS. For the first time in their history, NACODS voted to strike in September 1984 by a vote of 81%. However, a deal negotiated by North Yorkshire NCB Director Michael Eaton persuaded NACODS to call off the strike action in return to changes to the review procedures for threatened collieries. Ian MacGregor later admitted that if NACODS had gone ahead with a strike, a compromise would probably have been forced on the Coal Board. Files later made public showed that the Government had an informant inside the TUC, passing information about negotiations.
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