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Title: Industrial relations in the Northumberland and Durham coal industry : 1825 - 1845
Author: Jones, C. L.
ISNI:       0000 0000 8064 5335
Awarding Body: Sunderland Polytechnic
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 1985
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The prime aim of this work is to examine the industrial relations of the Northumberland and Durham Coal Industry in the period 1825 - 1845. In order to do so comprehensively several different themes are examined. The North-eastern coalfield had a history of m~n~ng enterprises dating back to monastic and other medieval ecclesiastical ventures. It had witnessed expansion and development under the monopolistic Grand Alliance of aristocratic owners in the eighteenth-century. And in the second quarter of the nineteenth-century it presented a multifaceted pattern of ownership varying from some of the largest territorial magnates in the two counties to partnership~composedof representatives of the mercantile, industrial, professional and squirearchic elites of the area. The regularly-expanding labour force was initially composed of a localised aristocracy of skilled labour, who developed strong bonds of occupational solidarity, loyalty and craft-pride. They also had a strong sense of occupational status. Attitudes and beliefs developed within the workplac~ pervaded community relationships and structures) and gave them a cohesive and essentially insular character in which local traditions and folk-lore and bucolic leisure activities continued to predominate. The pitmen had a history of combination and industrial action dating back to the mid-eighteenth-century and their trade unions were craft-orientated, moderate and community-based. Disputes reflected the men's concern with status and privileges, which from the 1820's were being threatened by the employers attempts to rationalise the production processes and reduce costs. In the period under consideration there were two major strikes (1831-2 and 1844): the second involving the national trade union, the Miners' Association of Great Britain and Ireland. Strikes affected the whole community and the pit populations responded with a degree of solidarity which made the enforcement of law and order difficult. The history of the pitmen's trade unions, and their relationship with the coal owners has not been considered in detail since 1923. Using newly-available source material this work will assess the situation using as its basis the pitmen's own perceptions of the situation, to provide a framework in which to analyse their relationship with the employers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Pitmen's trade union history