This morning I was given a letter of authorisation from the Lodge which allows me to collect funds on their behalf. Apathy and lack of action has seen us end the unofficial strike committee and I have handed over all monies to the Treasurer. Nowt happened last week except daily visits to the Westoe picket, and nowt happened there either.
This afternoon I went on a tour of various workplaces in Newcastle with Geoff Price of Militant. He is also on the regional executive of the Labour Party and so carries a bit more clout than myself, a mere miner. We visited the Fire Brigade Union in Newcastle and received a good reception. Their Secretary told us that he wasn’t surprised at the Notts miners because during their national strike it was the Notts firemen who were very reluctant to take part and support everyone else. He also joked that the Notts men were carried around in buckets because they have no backbone! Anyway, he has promised to support us in any way he can, including asking his members to join our picket lines. Very encouraging.
Later we paid a visit to ‘The Duck’, which is Wearmouth’s strike centre. I was very impressed with their set up, which includes maps on the wall with every open cast site in the North East marked on it. Stan Pearce, their Lodge Delegate, gave me a letter which appeals to trade unionists for support and funds. I intend asking our officials for something similar because it’s better than the letter I got this morning.