Union of Democratic Mineworkers

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Full nameUnion of Democratic Mineworkers
Founded6 December 1985[1]
Office locationMansfield, Nottinghamshire, England
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Union of Democratic Mineworkers (UDM) is a British trade union for coal miners based in Nottinghamshire, England. Established in 1985 after a constitutional crisis in the National Union of Mineworkers, the UDM was given its certification on 6 December 1985, although it had effectively been in existence since the Nottinghamshire area of the NUM voted to secede from the federal union on 6 July 1985.[1] After the events of the strike in 1984-5, the Nottinghamshire area of the NUM was involved in a number of disputes with the National Executive Committee that led to a ballot in May on empowering the Nottingham Area Committee to disassociate from the NUM. In ballots on 18 and 19 October on joining with Nottinghamshire in a new union, the South Derbyshire area of the NUM voted in favour by 51% and the Colliery Workers and Allied Trades Association (based mostly in Durham) voted in favour by almost 100%.[2]

The Nottinghamshire Miners' Association initially remained within the National Union of Mineworkers with elected officers including Roy Lynk and Neil Greatrex, later the General Secretary of the UDM.

In 1992, The Independent newspaper reported that officials from the UDM had advised ministers on how to cut miners' power – including attempting to weaken the National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers (NACODS).[3]

The UDM was widely criticised in March 2004 after it was revealed that its top two officials received pay and benefits of over £150,000 each, despite membership having fallen to 1,431.[4] On 3 April 2012, former president Neil Greatrex was found guilty of fraud from a miners' welfare fund.[5]

In 2013 the UDM announced plans to sell its headquarters; however, the union spokesman insisted there was no suggestion of winding the union up.[6]


  1. ^ a b Amos, David (December 2011). "THE NOTTINGHAMSHIRE MINERS', THE UNION OF DEMOCRATIC MINEWORKERS AND THE 1984-85 MINERS STRIKE: SCABS OR SCAPEGOATS?" (PDF). University of Nottingham. p. 12. Retrieved 19 July 2015. The Nottingham Area NUM broke from the national union on 6 July 1985 following a ballot of Nottinghamshire NUM members held in May 1985. During the autumn of 1985 moves were made which resulted in the formation of the UDM, the union receiving certification on 6 December 1985.
  2. ^ Adeney, Martin; Lloyd, John (1988). The Miners' Strike 1984-5: Loss Without Limit. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 274. ISBN 0-7102-1371-9.
  3. ^ Clement, Barrie (14 December 1992). "UDM told ministers how to cut miners' power – UK, News". The Independent. London. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  4. ^ Maguire, Kevin (1 March 2004). "Strikebreaking union accused of profiting from sick miners". Guardian Unlimited. London. Retrieved 25 April 2007.
  5. ^ Sword, Emma (3 April 2012). "Ex-miners' leader Neil Greatrex found guilty of theft". The Independent. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Union of Democratic Mineworkers to sell headquarters". BBC News. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2015.