Twentieth Century Protest

The General Strike (Why?)

1916 Nationalisation of mines – wages agreement

1918                  Pre-war pcxractices act put into effect. Union membership 6m.

1919                        Miners threat of strike over nationalisation supported by ‘triple alliance’; Government forced to set up ‘Sankey Commission.’

1921                     Government rejects Sankey proposals.   April – Miners strike begins.

Fear that the Triple alliance will support the miners.

April 1921 ‘Black Friday.’ The Triple alliance did not support the miners.  Miners stayed out until July 1

1921-22               No of days lost due to industrial action declined (because of slump)

1922-25 Deflation meant cost of living would rise as long as pay not cut.

1924-25              Mine owners agree to wage rises.

1925                  Churchill puts Britain back on the Gold Standard

1925         Price of coal fell.  Owners insisted on wage cuts and longer hours.  Miners did not agree and TUC promised support.

Red Friday – Baldwin agrees to subsidise miners. Samuel Report set up.

March 1926         Samuel Report recommends improvements should be made but in the short-term miners would have to accept wage cuts.

Negotiations start between the Mine owners, Government and TUC.  No agreement reached

April 1926         1,000 trade Union reps pledged support for miners.  Agreed on Gen strike

Negotiations resumed.

3 May Baldwin heard that printers at Daily Mail were refusing to work.  Assuming that strike had begun he gave up on negotiations and went home.

4 May         TUC reps went to 10 Downing Street but found Prime Minister had gone to bed. General Strike had begun.

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