South Wales Miners' Federation

South Wales Miners' Federation

South Wales Miners' Federation

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The South Wales Miners' Federation (SWMF), nicknamed "The Fed", was a trade union for miners in South Wales.

The union was founded on 24 October 1898,Lewis, E.D. The Rhondda Valleys, Phoenix House: London, (1959) pg 172 following the defeat of the South Wales miners' strike of 1898. It affiliated to the Miners' Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) in 1899.The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (2008) pg827 ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6

In the early twentieth century, a layer of activists in the union were radicalised by such events as the Cambrian Combine Dispute and Tonypandy Riot of 1910 and the hunger marches during the Depression. During this period, its leadership were aligned with the Labour Party or the Communist Party of Great Britain, and gave support to the National Unemployed Workers Movement.

The South Wales Miners' Industrial Union, a bosses' union set up in 1926, an attempt to break the Fed, was finally disbanded in 1938. In 1940, the SWMF also started representing miners in the Forest of Dean.

In 1945, the MFGB became the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), and the Fed became the NUM (South Wales Area), with less autonomy than before.

In 1960, the South Wales Area was expanded to include the Somerset coalfield.

Presidents of the SWMF

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