• Short Summary

    Britain's 270,000 coal miners voted by an overwhelming 81 per cent for a national strike to press their pay demands on the government, it was announced in London on Monday (4 February).

  • Description

    Britain's 270,000 coal miners voted by an overwhelming 81 per cent for a national strike to press their pay demands on the government, it was announced in London on Monday (4 February).

    The four-to-one mandate for a strike increased the likelihood of a crippling stoppage in the coalfields starting next Sunday (10 February). The ballot was held in the coalfields last Thursday and Friday (31 January and 1 February) and gives the miners' leaders authority to call a strike but does not automatically mean strike action.

    The decision to call a strike rests with the union's 27-man national executive which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday (5 February) to decide what action the union should take in pressing its wage claim. Meanwhile, crucial discussions between union leaders and the government continue in an attempt to find a compromise solution.

    The result of the secret ballet was announced at the miners' union headquarters by Major Frank Britton, an official of the Electoral Reform Society, which had the job of coupling the votes.

    Mr. Joe Gormley, the union President, renswed the union's money demands immediately after the result was announced: "What we need is more cash on the table". He went on to say that "this result will prove to a lot of people that we (the union leaders) know what the miners are thinking, rather than the reverse."
    The 81 cent majority was the highest for a strike in the union's history.

    A transcript of Major Britton's announcement of the results and Mr. Gormley's comments follows.

    The British economy, which is already reeling under the battering of the county's unfavorable balance of trade and the energy crisis, will be hard hit if the miners go out on strike. There are warnings that steel production would come to a virtual standstill within weeks and the already curtailed work-week could be further threatened.

    The British public, who still remember the austerities caused by the last miners strike in 1972, are afraid of another job action that could threaten the country's electricity supply and their jobs.

    Visnews report Anthony Steward found the public generally resigned to a passible miners strike and the effect it would have on their lives. A transcript of his, interviews follows.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVACR8V78327549TD6AM5LY80OTT
    Media URN:
    VLVACR8V78327549TD6AM5LY80OTT
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    04/02/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:22:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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