Economic issues of the general strike
The trade unions and the mine owners stressed they needed to modernise the coal industry with new machinery (The smaller pits were uneconomic and the geological conditions were deteriorating) to prevent larger problems.
- the foreign competition
-reduced wage/ extended hours
sankey commission- Revealed poor working conditions and suggested that the miners had a rise and their hours were cut. The government refused this and the miners were angry
Samuel report- Long term:Improved working and living conditions with decent housing. They received national wages. No increase in working hours. Small companies should join together for efficiency. Short term: Government subsidy should not be renewed beyond may 1st 1926. Miners wages should be cut 10% This was highly unpopular with the miners.
It could also be argued that the government's opposition to the strike was because of the potential damage to the economy.
Political issues of the General strike
Political issues :were stressed by the government and the press. Conservatives saw the strike as part of a syndicalist approach to change. and were worried it meant social and economic change. The conservatives feared revoluntionary action and saw the rise of labour as a threat. They also thought the samuel comission was a way of buying time.
Government: Was determined to break the strike seeing as it was a threat to authority and to constintional government.
However there was a split between Churchill and Baldwin. Baldwin wanted to break the strike but did not want to be vindictive. Churchill wanted to completely destory the power of the unions.
Conservatives: tried to destabolise labour: In 1926 the daily mail refused to print an artical attacking the general strike allowing them to conduct the strike on political terms.
Trade unions: from the trade union point of view they were aware that wage cuts in the mines would lead to a hard line and give trade unions less power.