I was born and brought up in Blackridge, a Scottish mining village. My papa was a miner there, I remeber him taking me down to the pit, West Rigg, at the bottom of the village. He was going to get his wages, he sat me on the counter and the man behind the counter said "That's a Braw Lass you've got there". Anyway what I would like to know is what was the wages of a miner in the 1940s?
In 1944 underground miners were earning £5 per day and their wage tribunal refused to raise piece rates. When the Government announced that the national average industrial manual wage had reached £6 10s, miners came out on unofficial strike in South Wales, Kent, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Durham, and Scotland - some 220,000 in South Wales and Yorkshire alone. With the invasion of France looming, the press attacked the miners.
A South Wales miner of 30 years standing commented “... The argument that a strike would let our soldiers down was countered by men who had brothers and sons in the forces who, so they claimed, had urged them to fight and maintain their customs or privileges. They argued that they must retain something for those absent ones to come back to, while the suggestion that we should wait for further negotiations was swamped by the reply that we had already waited a long while...”
Friday 21st April 1944, 'the beginning of the end of insecurity in miners' lives; the Government intervene, restored differentials, and the miners won the highest minimum wage in Britain. Their average earnings ranked 81st in 1938, but rose to 14th after the strikes. Miners' pay agreement signed in London: