Barbara Castle – 1969 Statement on Unofficial Strikes at Yorkshire Coalfields

The statement made by Barbara Castle, the then Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity, in the House of Commons on 14 October 1969.

About 80,000 miners employed in the Yorkshire coalfield came out on unofficial strike yesterday in support of a claim by surface workers for a shorter working week.

The National Union of Mineworkers is claiming a 40 hour week, inclusive of meal times. The National Coal Board has offered a 40 hour week excluding meal-times, but the union rejected this offer last Thursday.

Negotiations are, however, continuing between the union and the N.C.B. in the light of further wages proposals made by the union on Thursday last.

My Department is, of course, keeping in close touch with the parties.