75,000 Tons Lost So Far Throughout Cadeby Pit Strike

October 1969

South Yorkshire Times, October 4th, 1969.

The Cadeby pit strike escalated earlier this week to involve three other collieries in the N.C.B. South Yorkshire Area, but the threat to production at the remainder of the Area’s pits failed to materialise despite picketing by Cadeby N.U.M. officials.

Local N.U.M. members and officials picketed several pits in the N.C.B’s South Yorkshire Area on Monday, and five collieries came out in support. Kilnhurst, Barnburgh and Maltby remained out, but Wath and Manvers returned to work later.

The strike now affects nearly 3,000 men at four collieries, and coal lost up to and including the day shift yesterday is estimated at 75,000 tons.

The dispute began at Cadeby on Monday, September 15th, and at first it did not involve all the workers. It escalated the following day to stop all production, and despite please of Yorkshire Area officials and the South Yorkshire Area panel, the men have refused to return to work. The N. C.B. are adamant that no negotiations can begin until the men return.

“The N.C.B, are fully to blame for this,” said a local N.U.M. official. “We were to meet the Area Director of the N.C.B. on the Thursday after the dispute began, and i feel sure the men would have returned to work pending the meeting.

Sent home.

“But when the day wage men came in on Tuesday, they were sent home- and they were never involved in the strike. This aggravated the position and the men decided to stay out.

“Now it is going to be difficult to get them to return, they are in a really militant mood,” he commented.

The men are also concerned about the N.C.B’s decision to stop concessionary coal, “We didn’t expect to get it, but  when they deprive widows and pensioners as well i think it is a dirty trick,” said the official. The dispute, which centres on the Pit’s 130 market men, is over the deployment of labour.

A national agreement on pay rates for market men- the pool of labour- is under negotiation at the moment, and it is designed to ensure that these floating workers will get the power loading rates whether those particular jobs are available or not.

“We understand this, and we are not striking over this problem,” said the local official. “What we want is for the market men to be paid the rate when jobs are available. At the moment it is the only industry we know of in which workmen trained for the job are denied the rate even when that particular job in on hand.”

The market men claim they are being given lesser-paid jobs even though face work is available.

The N.C.B. Area Director, Mr. Clifford Machin, claimed on Monday that the men who were out were taking “precautions without waiting for the result of the national agreements pending.