1927 General Strike

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Conservative government

A year earlier had established a Royal Commission under Samuel when faced with strike threats. Also, 9 month subsidy granted to mining industry to maintain wage levels. Helped delay an assertive decision.

Following the publication of the Samuel Report, failed to take the lead by implementing the recommendations to restructure the mining industry and compromise over pay and conditions.

Baldwin poorly negotiated. Did not take the initiative or cajole both sides into accepting compromise. Refused to force a settlement onto the owners. Unsure whether the government should be involved in government disputes.

Red Friday decision for 9 month subsidy (31/7/25) viewed by miners as a victory and owners as a surrender.

Broke off negotiations on May 3rd after printers at Daily Mail refused to publish leading article attacking idea of General Strike. Deliberate provocation?

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Mine owners

Notoriously stupid and narrow minded. Almost looking for a fight.

Took little responsibility for miners' safety and welfare. Profit was important, improvements to productivity and safety weren't.

1919 Sankey Commission highlighted poor state of mines and poor housing conditions for miners.

1925: cut pay, increased hours

Ignored Samuel Report. Refused to talk about reorganisation, then demanded bigger pay cuts to deal with declining demand

Needlessly provocative.

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Miners Federation of Great Britain

Uncompromising over Samuel Report


AJ Cook refused wage reduction as compromise to report's recommendations. 'Not a penny off the pay, not a minute on the day'

Completely inflexible

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Trade Union Congress

They were the ones who called the strike

Self interest bound all the workers together in a common struggle

They thought the government would give way

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Structural reasons

Mining was an ailing industry. Technologically backward, lots of foreign competition, awful conditions for the workers

Post war economic depression

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