The miners’ strike
Arthur Scargill, the president of the National Union of Mineworkers, addresses a rally in Barnsley in September 1984. Previously planned pit closures had been averted by the threat of industrial action, but in 1984 Thatcher announced plans to close 20 mines at a cost of 20,000 jobs. Unknown to the miners, the government had planned for the inevitable strikes by stockpiling coal, converting some power stations to run on oil and preparing fleets of lorries in case railway workers also went on strike.
Jack Collins, Secretary of the Kent division of the National Union of Mineworkers, addresses a picket in Tilmanstone Colliery near Dover in 1984 during the year long industrial action. Under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the Tories intended to close down loss-making mines and mechanise others. Miners opposed the measures, which would result in mass redundancy and a weakened union.