The Union Makes Us Strong. TUC | History Online logo TUC banner photo
Advanced Search
Home Timeline General Strike Match Workers The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists TUC Reports Feedback Email Us
Search General Strike section
Click on one of the paths below to find out more...
Historical Background
The Build Up
The Nine Days
TUC Organisation
Government Objectives and Preparations
Local Organisation
Local Organisation
Reactions from Groups and Individuals
Return to Work
International Reactions
Consequences of the Strike
Historical Background
Dock Pickets
Dock Pickets
Dispatch riders waiting outside Transport House
Dispatch riders waiting outside Transport House

After the First World War, workers in Britain's declining staple industries were faced with a concerted attempt by the employers to cut wages and increase productivity.

Due to the fact that the coal mining industry accounted for a sixth of the male labour force and was the strongest and best organised in trade union terms, miners were at the centre of the employers' offensive and bore the main brunt of the post war attack. During the war the State had assumed some measure of control over mining as an essential war time industry.

This had boosted the miners' demand for the nationalisation of the industry. However, after the war the coal owners announced savage wage cuts to well below pre-1914 levels and an ending of national wage agreements.

Employers in other industries were attempting similar tactics.

Professor Mary Davis, Centre for Trade Union Studies, London Metropolitan University

Click here to view documents and pictures

The British Worker, 10 May 1926 Food lorry with an armoured car escort
  Dock pickets   Chiswick Bus Depot  
  Despatch Riders   Miners in fancy dress  
© London Metropolitan University | Terms & Conditions