David M. Turner
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The industrial politics of disablement
in Disability in the Industrial Revolution

Exploring both local and national campaigns, this chapter examines the ways in which unions took up the cause of disabled miners and provided their own systems of support. It also examines the political agency of disabled miners themselves and explores their experiences of industrial conflict. This chapter asks how seriously labour leaders and employers took the needs of disabled workers. Both sides frequently proclaimed they had the best interests of disabled workers at heart. Disabled miners and their families - like inhabitants of mining communities more generally - undoubtedly faced increased hardships during strikes. The chapter presents evidence that industrial disputes may have presented disabled mineworkers with opportunities that some chose to exploit. While the Employers' Liability Act of 1880 set a precedent for subsequent and more comprehensive compensation legislation in the immediate aftermath of its enactment, provisions for disabled miners still rested primarily on local, voluntary initiatives.

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Disability in the Industrial Revolution

Physical impairment in British coalmining, 1780–1880

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