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The miners’ Unions of Northumberland and Durham

February 25, 2010 1 comment

Meantime in the last week of December a strike began which was to ensure a sufficiency of incident for the next two years. Westoe, the lodge secretary of Ushaw Moor, was dismissed from the colliery for persistent absence, and for filling dirt among his coal 2 . The dismissal was but the outward sign of a wide- spread dissatisfaction. The owners said that the men had deliberately increased their lost time, at the moment some 23 per cent., as part of a general policy of restriction of output, and that the pit had come entirely under the control of the local union officials, who were men unfit for their responsible positions. The men complained of the general attitude of the manager: he was discourteous, overbearing, violent both in speech and action. In the hearing of Crawford he called the men “a set of lazy b s” 3 . It was an indiscretion he was not allowed to forget.

Ushaw Moor was a colliery with an unusually high proportion of Irish Catholic pitmen, and race and religion soon added their prejudice to what became almost at once an unnecessarily bitter struggle. If the actions of the manager shewed that he lacked

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via Full text of “The miners’ Unions of Northumberland and Durham”.

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