The UK miners' strike of 1984 - 85 was a major industrial action affecting the British coal industry. The strike was led by the National Union of Mineworkers, established in 1888 as a syndicalism federation and one of the largest labour unions in Britain. Coal mining, though nationalized in Britain by Clement Attlee's Labour government in 1947, was encouraged to gear itself toward higher profitability in the 1980s following the 1979 election of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Tensions between the Thatcher government and the public unions mounted as the administration considered the NUM to interfere with the market, risking public inflation. Two million manufacturing jobs were lost between 1979 and 1981, which some ascribe to Thatcherian policies, and others see as the inevitable result of decades of nationalization of unproductive industries in the face of rising competition from lower cost producers. Following a narrowly averted strike in 1981, the government announced in 6 March 1984 their intention to close 20 coal mines, revealing as well the plan in the long-term to close over 70 pits. Mass walk-outs and strikes began following this revelation in March, including the widely reported Battle of Orgreave between 5,000 miners and 5,000 police officers.
The strike ended on 3 March 1985 following a NUM vote to return to work.
1 disc containing 3 documentaries on this subject, total runtime approx 100 mins
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