A political and economic theory of social organisation which advocates that the community as a whole should own and control the means of production, distribution and exchange.
On the 4th May 1979 Mrs Thatcher became Prime Minister.
Her one aim in life was to destroy the unions.
She started with the National Union of Mine Workers. (NUM)
They were the biggest and strongest union in the country.
The miners strike was a major industrial action affecting the British coal industry.
"The strike became a symbolic struggle, since the Miners Union was one of the strongest in the country.
The dispute exposed deep divisions in British society and caused considerable bitterness, especially Northern England and in South Wales where several mining communities were destroyed."
The National Coal Board wanted to close 20 pits with the loss of 20,000 jobs.
The miners could not accept this and the President of the national union of Mineworkers, (NUM).Arthur Scargill called for the miners to show their strength and they went on strike.
The strike began on the 12th March 1984.
The strike lasted for almost a year and on the 3rd march 1985 a special NUM conference was held and the miners had to concede defeat.
In July 1985, there were only 31 pits left in South Wales, with the loss of thousands of jobs.
The reason for the defeat?
Mrs Thatcher made it impossible for anyone to help them.
Please see below:
Mrs Thatcher was intent in destroying the unions because they were the only ones that could help us "working class" people. They helped us with the Health and Safety at work, and decent pay for a decent days work.
She knew how strong unions were so she set out to destroy them.
1. 1980. Secondary picketing was restricted and legal rememdies were given to employees from unions fpr refusing to join closed shops. Now closed shops required an 80% approval by the workers in the bargaining unit.
2. 1982. Union immunity from civil law suits was withdrawn and sympathy or secondary strikes were outlawed.
3. 1988. All remaining legal protection for existing closed shops were abolished.
4. 1990. The creation of new closed shops were outlawed. Union officials became responsible for unofficial strikes and the legal immunity for actions supporting unofficial strikes was withdrawn.
Remaining secondary union actions were made illegal.
5. 1992. The wages council abolished.
6. 1993. The automatic deduction of uniuon dues from salaries were mad eillegal without specific worker consent. Workers were given the right to join the union of choice.
7. 1998. The Natioal mininmum wage was brought in by the labour government.
The eighties were a real fight for democracy and socialism.......I know.....I was there.
I was on many, many demos, fighting for our rights.
The right to work, the fight for jobs.
Not to be paid low wages, not to be exploited by the employer.
I was also on picket lines until it became illegal for secondary picketing.
The best was when we and many thousands more joined Arthur Scargill and his miners on a march in london. That showed our strength.
Mrs Thatcher did not destroy the unions, they were too strong.
Thank god for that.