Timeline of UK miners' strike of 1984-85

LONDON -- Following is a chronology of events in Britain's miners strike, the longest major labor dispute in the nation's history: --- 1984 March 6 -- State-run National Coal Board announces plans to cut coal output by 4 million tons to stem annual loss of $340 million a year. National Union of Mineworkers say this will mean closing 20 pits and loss of 20,000 jobs. Miners strike in South Yorkshire and some Scottish pits.

March 8 -- Union executive backs nationwide strikes.


March 10 -- Durham and Kent coalfields join strike.

March 12 -- Strike nationwide. 81 pits are out but 83 work normally. Union moderates call for a strike ballot. National Coal Board says Britain has 23 million tons of coal in stock with another 24 million at the power stations.

March 14 -- Violent picketing shuts down more mines. 132 pits shut. Some 136,000 of Britain's 175,000 miners now on strike. High Court orders miners leaders to stop backing roving pickets.


March 15 -- Striking miner dies on picket line at Ollerton in the Midlands.

March 16 -- Government dispatches 3,000 extra police to the Midlands.

March 17 -- Midlands, Northeast and Northwest miners vote against strike.

March 19 -- Some 8,000 police guard mines roadblocks across Midlands in the biggest police operation in a labor dispute since the 1926 general strhke.

April 1 -- Some railmen refuse to run Midlands coal trains.

May 1 -- Rival groups of miners throw stones and hurl bricks at each other when 5,000 working miners stage a right-to-work march. May 23 - First talks break down. Union leader Arthur Scargill walks out when officialsr refuse to discuss closure plans.

May 25 -- Mass picketing of Orgreave coking plant.

May 29 -- Worst violence so far. 82 arrests, 62 people injured in clashes at Orgreave. Scargill leads 7,000 pickets, accuses police of brutality. Police attack miners with rocks, bottles, potatoes studded with nails. Ambulance men issued with riot helmets and shields.

May 30 -- Scargill arrested on Orgreave picket line.

June 7 -- 10,000 miners march through London to Parliament. Police arrest 110. Opposition Labor Party accuses Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives of intervening directly to defeat miners. Government affirms it will not interfere in any Coal Board settlement with miners.


June 12 -- Cost of policing is estimated at 65 million pounds.

June 15 -- Miner killed by truck at Ferrybridge power station.

June 21 -- Coal Board chief Ian McGregor warns the strike 'could go on until December or even longer.'

June 18 -- Scargill knocked unconscious in Orgreave violence. Police deny he was hit by a truncheon.

July 2 -- Steel union leaders reject call for steel strike as 'completely unacceptable.'

July 4 -- British Broadcasting Corporation reports 3,900 arrests, two dead, 640 injured in strike so far. Police making up to 400 pounds a week overtime.

July 5 -- Union, Coal Board officials meet for peace talks.

July 9 -- National dock strike over movement of coal.

July 18 -- Third round of peace talks collapse.

July 21 -- Dock strike ends.

July 31 -- South Wales miners assets seized and fined $55,000 for contempt of court over picketing.

Aug. 23 -- Second national dock strike called.

Sept. 9 -- Secret peace talks collapse again.

Oct. 10 -- Union fined $200,000 for contempt of court.

Oct. 16 -- Pit supervisors vote to strike Oct. 25.

Oct. 24 -- Supervisors strike called off.

Oct. 25 -- High Court orders seizure of union fund.


Oct. 28 -- Sunday Times discloses the miners asked Libya for money.

Nov. 5 -- Union funds of $3 million seized in Dublin.

Nov. 12 -- 1,200 miners go back to work.

Nov. 19 -- Back to work move accelerates. 2,282 return.

Nov. 30 -- Taxi driver killed taking miner to work in South Wales.

Dec. 2 -- Special union conference votes to fight on.

Dec. 20 -- Nottinghamshire miners vote to defy union rules.

Dec. 25 -- Striking miners celebrate Christmas despite nine months without pay. 1985 Jan. 10 -- Union votes to expel Nottinghamshire.

Jan. 17 -- 24-hour rail strike in support of miners.

Jan. 21 -- Secret meeting between union and Coal Board to effort settlement.

Feb. 20 -- Miners reject peace plan by trades unionleaders and government.

Feb. 25 -- A record 3,807 miners back in one day.

Feb. 27 -- More than 50 perent of miners back at work.

March 1 -- Pressure from regional coalfields to abandon strike

March 3 -- Special delegate conference votes to end strike.

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