SPECIAL FEATURE: International Solidarity UK and Ukrainian Miners

International solidarity between the miners of Ukraine and the UK goes back a long way. It was Welshman John Hughes and Welsh miners who travelled to Ukraine to develop the Donbas coalfields in the Nineteenth Century. In the fifties and sixties there were regular trade union exchanges. During the 1984/5 strike the Ukrainian miners raised

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A unique organisation

The Miners Federation of Great Britain was formed in 1889 and became the National Union of Mineworkers from 1944

The Miners Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) formed in 1889 and subsequently became the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in 1944 and is still a functioning organisation today. The closure of Kellingley Colliery in 2015, the last major deep mine in the UK, brought to an end deep coal mining on an industrial scale in the UK. The motto of the NUM is “The Past We Inherit The Future We Build”. The immediate past is what remains of the coal industry and the miners and their families who worked in the industry. The NUM has consistently fought for the terms and conditions of its members including wages, holidays, pensions, fuel allowances and a host of social welfare benefits. It has also fought to have industrial diseases recognised and benefits from disablement paid. There have been many thousands of personal injury settlements pursued and settled by the NUM indeed there are cases that remain ongoing. The rapid removal of coal mines from our landscapes have followed a sort of “scorched earth” policy designed to remove any trace of those who built communities and hope for future generations. Whilst the NUM is able to it will continue to fight on into the future, representing, protecting and speaking up for the many gains that miners and their communities have made. There are still wrongs to put right, agreements to protect and our ongoing belief that coal is a safe fuel that can benefit the UK and is best produced by miners in the UK will be a constant reminder to those who have placed the UK at the mercy of imports that we have not gone away quite yet.   More on the History of the N.U.M

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