Trade Unions, Workers

Honouring those involved in Britain’s longest strike

In a rightful recognition of the hardship overcome during 1984, the Durham miners will be honoured at a gala on the 14th of July.

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The 1984 the Durham miners’ strike was the longest industrial dispute in the history of British trade-unions. Historians have claimed that it is one of the most important episodes in Britain’s post-war history along with the Suez Canal crisis and the Falklands War.

The dispute was provoked when mine owners made the decision to reduce the working day by a quarter. The proprietors pointed out that as their income from the mines had fallen as a result of a drop in coal prices, workers should also take a cut in their earnings.

To commemorate the incident, a major gala is held in Durham every year in which hundreds of banners are marched towards the city’s old Racecourse accompanied by a local brass bands.

Speeches are given by many high profile speakers from the left, with this year’s line-up featuring Paul Kenny, Secretary General of GMB; Mark Serwotka, Secretary General of PCS; John Hendy, miners’ lawyer’ Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty; Tom Watson, scourge of the Murdoch empire; and Ed Miliband, leader of the Labour Party.

The Durham Miners’ Gala takes place on the 14th of July from 9am until 7pm at The Racecourse Ground, Green Lane, Durham City, DH1 1JD.

(Translated by Rachel Eadie)

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