The dominant idea of strikes in the 1970s is that of the ‘winter of discontent’ of 1979 in which workers took industrial action in support of pay claims that breached the social contract brokered between union leaders and the Labour Government. However, the highpoint of workers’ militancy was in the early years of the decade when rank and file workers led successful strikes across industry. This meeting will examine the strikes of miners, builders and dockers as well as industrial action in Bristol in an attempt to understand how the disputes of the early 70s were won.

NUM member Dave Douglass, author of The Wheel’s Still in Spin, was a pitman for 40 years in the northeast. Mike Richardson (UWE) was a print worker in Bristol in the 1970s.

Listen to this talk:

Dave Douglas:

Steve Higginson:

Mike Richardson:

Q&A part 1

Q&A part 2

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