AN APPEAL was launched yesterday to raise funds for miners who remain unemployed after being blacklisted for striking against pit closures in 1984-5.
During the struggle 20,000 miners were injured, 200 served time in prison or custody, two were killed on picket lines and three diaed digging for waste coal during the winter of ’84-5.
A further 966 were sacked by the employer, the National Coal Board, and blacklisted. Some were local officials of the National Union of Mineworkers, or were simply active on picket lines.
In 1985 the National Justice for Mineworkers (NJM) was launched to help the sacked men and their families.
Today, more than 32 years after the strike ended, dozens still remain blacklisted and without employment. Ian Johnson, of the NJM, told the Morning Star: “Since 1985 a lot have unfortunately passed away.
“Some have gone abroad because they were blacklisted. Some have not worked since and are still with their families.
“The driving force behind the appeal is to ensure that every sacked miner’s children or grandchildren get presents at Christmas.”
For more than 30 years the NJM campaign was run by Ricky Sumner and his wife Christine, who travelled the country selling mining industry memorabilia to raise funds.
They retired in 2015.
The NJM also allocates money throughout the year to sacked mineworkers facing hardship.
If you wish to donate to the appeal, cheques can be made to National Justice for Mineworkers and sent to 2, Hilden Street, Leigh, Lancashire WN7 4LG. Also see www.njfm.org.uk or the Facebook page Justice for Mineworkers.