European Labor in Retreat

The British miners' strike ends amid a Continent-wide decline in union clout

At 9 a.m. last Tuesday, 2,000 men marched through the black tarmac streets of Grimethorpe (pop. 5,237), a proud coal-mining town in the north of England. Led by the Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band, in blue blazers with shiny brass buttons, the marchers filed past rows of two-story red brick houses darkened by decades of coal dust. Lining the streets to watch and join the procession were 1,500 of the miners' supporters--wives, mothers, fathers and, after a half-day school holiday had been declared, most of the town's children. Though the band boomed out stirring oompah strains and the miners walked with heads...

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