This month in 1984, the strike which defined an era and set the country on a new path with regard to its industrial relations, the repercussions of which can still be felt today: the Miners’ Strike began on March 6.
It was Yorkshire miners who sparked the strike of a generation, coming out on strike over colliery closure plans.
However, in the days leading up to all-out industrial action, it was a plan to change meal breaks which brought the entire South Yorkshire coalfield to a standstill. The walkout involved 14,000 men and 15 pits. Meanwhile, Yorkshire’s 5000 pitmen were poised to walk off the job over plans to shut down pits.
Scotland’s 14,000 miners signalled their solidarity. In the coming weeks, the nation would become used to reports of ‘flying pickets’ as striking miners crossed county borders to protest outside other pits.
But the strike would ultimately result in failure, it’s caused smashed by a better prepared and more determined Tory government, led by Margaret Thatcher.
The strike, which remains controversial even today, ran until March 1985.