Labour calls on Scottish Government to ‘do right by wronged miners’

There are calls to provide financial compensation.

Labour calls on Scottish Government to ‘do right by wronged miners’ PA Media

The Scottish Government should “do right by wronged workers” and back Labour’s amendments to the Miners’ Pardon Bill, the party has said.

Holyrood is set to vote on stage three amendments to the Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill on Thursday.

The legislation would see the convictions of those found guilty of breach of the peace, obstruction of the police, or a breach of bail conditions during the strike of 1984-85 wiped.

The strike arose as workers took action to prevent colliery closures by Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Government.

Scottish Labour said the proposed changes would “strengthen and expand” the Bill and deliver financial compensation.

One amendment from Richard Leonard looks to turn the legislation into “real justice” by requiring ministers to carry out a review into how to compensate those receiving a pardon.

A series of amendments from Pam Duncan-Glancy would additionally extend the pardon to family members and supporters of those affected, in a bid to “send a clear message that standing in solidarity with striking workers should not cost anyone their livelihoods”.

Leonard said: “The SNP and the Greens have a chance to do right by wronged workers and back Labour’s amendments.

“This landmark pardon is long overdue – it is welcome, but we need real justice as well, which goes beyond mere symbolism.

“The SNP must ensure the Bill covers all those who put their livelihoods on the line and provide financial redress for those who suffered hardship: particularly the 500 convicted miners and the 206 sacked miners.

“A striking miner was twice as likely to be convicted in Scotland and three times as likely to be sacked. That grave injustice must be addressed.”