Labour History Review

Coalminers, Coalowners and Collaboration: The Miners’ Permanent Relief Fund Movement in England, 1860-1895

Labour History Review (2003), 68, (2), 181–194.

Abstract

British coalmining history has long been influenced by the classic, conflictual view of industrial relations, according to which the history of the industry is best understood in terms of a courageous trade union leadership inspiring a united workforce in an unending struggle against self-interested and intransigent employers. Accordingly, it is the purpose of the paper to argue that the miners’ permanent relief fund movement repays more serious attention than the conventional perspective allows. It will be shown that the movement attracted a large membership, and provided the mining community with a major source of compensation for industrial accidents. It will be suggested that the permanent relief funds owed their success not just to their administrative efficiency but to the collaborationist foundations upon which they were predicated.

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Author details

Benson, John