End of the Great Strike – Resumption on Easter Tuesday – Grave National Peril Averted.

April 1912

South Yorkshire Times and Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 13 April 1912

End of the Great Strike
Emerging from the Wilderness.
General Resumption on Easter Tuesday.
Coal in Circulation Once More.
Grave National Peril Averted.
Situation Reviewed.

After 40 days in the wilderness, the emergence of industry is to be proclaimed; the heralds are in every movement of the coalfields, and rivers of the North.

The great national coal strike was officially ended on Saturday evening, when a national inference of miners’ delegates, convened by the Miners’ Federation of Great Britain, passed the following resolution by 440 votes to 125, a majority of 315:

“Seeing that there is no provision in the rules or regulations of the Federation to guide this committee as to the majority required to continue the strike except the resolution pained by the conference held on December 21, 1911 that a two-thirds majority was required to declare a national strike, we agree that the same majority be required to continue the strike, and seeing that a two-thirds majority vote is not in favour of the continuance of the strike, and acting upon that vote, we advise a resumption of work.

The conference was thoroughly representative, and each vote represented a thousand miners. Thus, the gloomy situation created earlier in the week by the ballot, which was adverse to a return to work, was dispelled, and the way made dear for a general resumption of the prosperity of the country, which had suffered very considerably during the five weeks and two days the dispute was officially in progress. The miners’ ballot resulted as follows:

For resumption of work 201,013

Against 244,011.

108 Majority against 42998

Substantial as this majority appeared, it was considerably below the proportion of the total polling required to continue the strike and as a consequence the Executive of the Miners Federation recommended on Friday a return to work, and that recommendation the national conference has endorsed.

On Saturday night all the local branches of the Federation were wired instructions to inform men that they eight return to work on Tuesday. Thus, so far as the ruling authorities of the miners are concerned. the strike is at an end, and any further resistance will he regarded as entirely individual, and will have no official countenance and support.

We believe the feeling in this district is still against a return to work, and some of the local collieries sent delegates to London en Saturday to vote against the adoption of the recommendation of the Executive. But they have had to bow to superior authority and submit with as good a grace as as possible. It was quite clear, and has been patent to onlookers of the struggle for a week or so, that the miners, in obtaining legislation the Government conceded them,  the principle of the minimum wage, had got the maximum of benefit that was to be obtained, from the dispute at present, and that any further benefit must be looked for from the machinery which the Minimum Wage Act sets up.

Had the miners remained out another six months they would have got no more, while those who did not take hold of the Act and work it would have lost that benefit also.