Thousands of coal miners in Britain began a strike today (Monday, 9th of November) for more pay.
Thousands of coal miners in Britain began a strike today (Monday, 9th of November) for more pay. All mines in South Wales, one of Britain's main coal producing areas,were idle, and many of those in Scotland.
Later this week other miners will decide whether to join the strike.
The strike is an unofficial one. The miners walked out over their union's acceptance of a new pay offer. The miners have been demanding pay increases of GBP5 (12 dollars) a week, and the union decided to accept increases of between GBP2 and GBP3 (4.80 to 7.20 dollars). The decision angered many miners and led to walkouts.
Now 112,000 of the total 285,000 coal mining work-force is on strike and union leaders have warned the men - and the general public - of severe hardships if the strike continues.
The chairman of the Government - owned coal industry, Lord Robens, has blamed communists for the stoppages. He claimed that rank and file union members would have accepted the pay offers but militant communists turned them away from acceptance. He warned that the country's fuel situation was on a knife-edge and there would possible be shortages of both industrial and domestic coal in the winter.
Union leaders will be asked at a meeting later this week to back the stoppages.