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Some steelworkers disagreed with the strike from its outset and played little active part in it. Their objections typically tended to be a mix of ideological and economic reasons and they all tended to agree that the strike had little chance of achieving its goals.

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Curiously perhaps, some of the most vocal objections to the strike in Wales came from senior ISTC officials. During the interview, I asked him:. It was straight after Christmas, everybody was broke. Nobody had money. Even steelworkers at the Shotton works in North Wales, the closure of which had already been agreed, diligently joined the strike.

A former works crane driver, for example, told me how he passionately agreed with the decision to strike but strongly rejected some of the methods used by the strikers. And I never did picket. Having learnt from the miners strikes of the early s, Welsh steelworkers were involved in picketing throughout the country.

One steel worker remembers picketing:. I went up to the midlands to Derby… I went down to… there was a place we stayed for five days and we were picketing steel stockholders down there. Lots of places down west in Gowerton, Gorseinon, Swansea. Went up to somewhere in the midlands, it was in between Derby and Nottingham. We had coaches taking us up there as well. As well as the daily routine of picketing, the other focal points of the strike were the demonstrations that were held in its support, most notably in Port Talbot, Newport and Cardiff. Perhaps the most memorable event of the strike in Wales, however, was the Day of Action and its accompanying march and rally in Cardiff on January As the strike drew on, however, into March and April of , any initial enthusiasm in Wales began to wane.

I live with my eleven year old son at the above address.


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Both my parents are out on strike and I have no other family who can give me assistance. We have no food in the house and I am desperate for help. I should be obliged if you could deal with my appeal as soon as possible, as I am an unmarried parent. The only food I now have at home is 3 tins of beans.

Who Rules America: The Rise and Fall of Labor Unions in the U.S.

Although not all Welsh steelworkers and their families experienced impoverishment to this extent, enthusiasm for the strike evidently dissipated as the months progressed. By about the eleventh or twelfth week I think people had had enough financially, they broke us.

In Wales, however, celebrations were muted. The resentment felt by some Welsh steelworkers in the wake of the strike is perhaps, therefore, understandable. In regards to the nature of the agreement, with all the ramifications emanating from it, in respect of the working practices, and the job losses.

I am obliged to ask myself, what were the demonstrations, speeches, and the strike all about. It all has a hollow ring about it, and I believe that the majority of members in the Port Talbot area, feel a sense of humiliation, and outrage at what has been signed. It is true we were used as a trial run by Thatchers Government as a precursor to the miners strike but we were less fractured than the mining unions — therefore the Strike ended much sooner.

The Plant where I worked for 30 yrs closed in and will soon be an Aldi Malc…. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. The Steel Strike in Wales Although the official directive of the strike was a wage claim, in Wales — where mass redundancies had been announced and more were still being negotiated — the officially stated aims of the strike became immediately confused with the issue of plant closures and job losses. On the Frontline The confusion arising from the dual, and sometimes conflicting, messages promulgated by the ISTC and the Wales TUC, were partially responsible for the mixed reaction with which the strike call was met in Wales.

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To include a comma in your tag, surround the tag with double quotes. Please enable cookies in your browser to get the full Trove experience. Skip to content Skip to search. Metzgar, Jack. Published Philadelphia, Pa. Language English View all editions Prev Next edition 2 of 2. Author Metzgar, Jack. Physical Description viii, p. Series Critical perspectives on the past Subjects Metzgar, Jack. Iron and steel workers -- Pennsylvania -- Johnstown -- Biography.

Notes Includes bibliographical references p.

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