Ayrshire Miners' Union

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The Ayrshire Miners' Union was a coal mining trade union based in Scotland.

The first Ayrshire Miners' Union was founded in 1880, with Keir Hardie as its organiser. The union supported a strike for higher wages over the winter of 1881/82, but this was unsuccessful, and the union dissolved.[1]

A new union was founded in 1886, with its Hardie elected as its first secretary.[2] In 1893, it was reorganised on a federal basis and renamed the Ayrshire Miners' Federal Union.[3] It was a founder of the Scottish Miners' Federation (SMF) in 1894, and by 1897 it claimed 3,000 members out of a total workforce of 10,000 in the county, making it the third largest component of the Federation.[2]

In 1944, the SMF became the unitary National Union of Scottish Mineworkers, and the union became its Ayrshire District, with less autonomy than before.


1886: Keir Hardie
1889: Peter Muir
1908: James Brown
1939: Alexander Sloan


  1. Robin Page Arnot, A History of the Scottish Miners, p.67
  2. 2.0 2.1 David Howell, British Workers and the Independent Labour Party, 1888-1906, pp.33-35
  3. Alan Campbell, The Scottish Miners, 1874-1939: Trade unions and politics, p.41