Wednesday, 13 October 2010

75 years ago: when the Welsh Miners stayed down the pit

WHEN the Chilean miners emerge from the San Jose mine - it is 10.30pm and the twenty-fifth miner has just got out - it is also the 75th anniversary, almost to the day, of a pit occupation by 150 Welsh miners employed at Nine Mile Point in 1935, one of the biggest collieries in Monmouthshire. On October 12th, 1935; this protest against the employment of 88 non-union miners began. The unionised miners responded with an occupation of the pit and hunger strike. When at the end of their morning shift the elevator came for them to return to the surface the men refused to leave the mine, declaring that they did not intend to leave until the non-union men had been discharged. They said that they would stay underground without food, will sleep in their ordinary clothes at their usual work places and would not communicate with the outside world until their demands were met.

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