5. Strikes and Conflicts

1911

The Great Strike

As I already hinted, there have been stormy periods in the history of the concern, as the following

Brief diary of industrial disputes will show:

Coal reached, September 1868

End of strike September 1869

Commencement ofstrike, March 1877

Strike October 1879

End of strike, January 12, 1880

Notice given to miners, December 1880.

Settlement of dispute, January 29, 1881

700 miners evicted, April 1885

Rioting July 1885

Rioters sentenced August 1885,

Settlement of disputes, August 1885.

Strike of fitters, August 1886

Work resumed, February 9, 1888

Boy strike, June 1889

General strike, August 1894

General strike ended, November 17, 1894

Dispute settled, May 22, 1903

The greatest strike was the last one, that of 1902. That history was conducted with the bitterness which set thewhole country agog for its morning newspapers. 5000 men were thrown out of employment through a grievance, which affected 30 of them. The company was obdurate on the question – that of getting bag dirt – and the Yorkshire Miners Association took up the gauge of battle with great spirit. The Doncaster police court was choked with charges against the men by the company of intimidation and illegal leaving.

Eventually there was a climax in the shape of the eviction by the company of the tenants of their houses, such of them as were strikers. These men were turned out of their houses to make room for the people whowere come from other districts to take their places.

Indignation meetings were held all over the place, and while threats of violence were used, no opposition was offered to the little army of police quartered in the village and on the colliery premises, and no serious damage was done anywhere, though the district felt a great depression in trade as a result.

The strike fizzled out tamely as more and more `black sheep´came to the colliery.

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