• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did the General Strike of 1926 take place?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did the General Strike of 1926 take place? A general strike is when a group of workers from different industries all stop work in support of each other to win certain demands. This would bring the country to a halt and make it very hard for the Government to resist giving in to demands. The general strike of 1926 was mainly for the miners, they had low pay and long hours. They wanted better conditions and equal rights for all. In this essay I shall assess the events leading up to the strike and have a look at all the short and long term causes of the strike. The coal industry before the war was booming. It was used for nearly everything and during the war the demand for coal increased even more. Because coal production was so important to the war effort the Government took over the ownership of the mines and ran them instead of the private owners. Improvements were made in conditions and pay for most miners. When the Government nationalised the mining industry miners hoped it would continue after the war. But in 1921 all mines were retuned to private owners. After the war the coal mining industry went into decline. This was because, oil was used as a fuel (especially in shipping), electricity became available, more efficient boilers were made, other countries began to mine coal and British pits had been 'over mined' during the war and owners were reluctant to spend money modernising mines. ...read more.

Middle

The unions had learnt their lesson form Black Friday; a defeat for one union was a defeat for all. In the future they pledged to stand together. In 1925, coal prices fell yet again and owners wanted to cut wages just as they had done in 1921 but the miners were ready to strike developing the slogan, "Not a penny off the pay, not a minute on the day." This time the other industries went on strike with the miners. The Government weren't ready for a General Strike so they brought themselves time buy giving the mine owners a subsidy of �10 million, to keep wages at the same level as they were before the wage cuts were made. This event became known as Red Friday (Friday 31st July 1925) and was seen as a total success for the working class. It also showed what could be achieved if the Trade Unions worked together. However, it was announced the subsidy would only last 9 months - enough time for the Government to prepare for a General Strike. The Government set up a commission called the Samuel Commission, headed by Sir Herbert Samuel to deal with the problems of the coal mining industry. The short-term cause of the General strike was the Samuel Commission, the commission rejected nationalisation and said the government should end the subsidy. It agreed to wage cuts and said working days should be 7/8 hours long. ...read more.

Conclusion

The General Strike began on Monday 4th 1926. The TUC argued that the miners were facing longer hours with lower pay, imposed by mine owners to keep profits up. They said it was an Industrial Dispute between bosses and their workers. The TUC also believed if the miners were defeated it would lead to lower wages for all workers. It was a struggle for all working class people not just he people. The Government argued this was a Constitutional issue and that the Trade Unions were building up their strengths to overthrow the Government. The Government did this to worry people and get them to side with the Government and it worked. I agree with the TUC they only want better pay and conditions. They do not want to take over the Government. The General Strike in 1926 started because of the conditions of the miners. Other workers realised if the didn't support the miners their bosses may lower their wages knowing nothing shall be done. This is why the TUC found the idea of a General Strike appealing, they knew if they stuck together their demands should be met - especially after Black Friday. The Government did not want nationalisation, they were prepared and ready for the prospect of a General Strike and the is why they won in the end. I feel the TUC should have been more prepared although the idea of a General Strike is theoretically unstoppable there were measures the Government could take and they should have been more aware. Raisa Karolia 10c ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Trade Unions section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Trade Unions essays

  1. Explain fully and clearly the importance of negotiation within industrial relations to resolve disputes

    For teachers the NUT want to seek better pay and improved conditions, with time to plan, mark and prepare. They also seek improved educational opportunities for all children and young people. The NUT's responsibility is the promotion and recognition of the professionalism of teachers.

  2. The General Strike 1926

    and during the next two days frantic efforts were made to reach an agreement with the Conservative Government and the mine-owners. The Trade Union Congress called the General Strike on the understanding that they would then take over the negotiations from the Miners' Federation.

  1. "Big" Industries.

    He figured out that if the oil was distilled, it could operate better than kerosene used as a lubricant. Their problem was getting oil, because it could only be found in lakes, so Bissell sent Edwin Drake to find another way to drill for oil.

  2. Why did the General Strike of 1926 take place?

    Unemployment was rising rapidly and had reached over 2 million men by the summer of 1921- people were losing their jobs in shipyards, cotton mills and coalmines across Britain. This was quite an important factor which helped to lead to the General Strike.

  1. Why did the general strike of 1926 take place?

    fight in April, however then the miners federations secretary said that a compromise was possible through local bargaining, this was rejected by his boss but then used by other union leaders as an excuse to back out, the strike notices were withdrawn, and April 15 became known as BLACK FRIDAY,

  2. 'The impact of legislation introduced between 1980 and 1993 is the principal reason for ...

    However how reliable is the data? Edwards argues that it is not always a valid measure as the information doesn't include strikes that do not fall in the official definition; that is; strikes lasting one day or less and involving fewer than ten workers are not taken into account.

  1. Running head: Winnipeg 1919

    (Masters, 1950). This strike served as a successful example of labor strikers receiving their demands through a strike. A few months before the Winnipeg General Strike occurred, a meeting was held in Calgary between miners, lumber, carpenter, machinists, railway and the socialist party of Canada in hopes that they will organize One

  2. There are two broad opposing frames of reference on the role of trade unions:

    > Notable outcomes o Amalgamated Engineering Unions (AEU) 1920 o The Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) 1922 o The General and Municipal Workers Union (GMWU) 1924 > 1926 mine owners once again demanded wage cuts > 30th April 1926, new wage rates were imposed and the miners took to the streets.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work