Rules, Orders, etcetera. - Preface; pages 2 and 3

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The preface explains the need for a trade union in the Staffordshire coal industry.

Miners were vulnerable to unemployment and often had to travel far from home to find work - however, at this time they could only receive poor relief in their own parishes and so could easily fall prey to abject poverty.

Therefore, a trade union - divided into local 'lodges' - was needed to provide relief and to campaign for fairer wages.

Rules 1 to 8

  • 1. That the society should be known as the Friendly Associated Coal Miners' Union Society.

  • 2.That each lodge should have its own seven-strong elected committee, to serve for six months at a time, and that a Treasurer and Secretary should each serve for a year, unless they are voted out.

  • 3. That each lodge should have a box with three locks and three keys, and that the President, Treasurer and Secretary should each be key holders.

  • 4. That miners can become full members by paying 10 shillings and sixpence, and that they should pay three pence a week to retain their membership. Members failing to keep up payments will no longer be paid a benefit, and can lose membership after 3 months.

  • 5. That three members of any lodge can be nominated to attend meetings of other lodges, and that they will be paid reasonable expenses.

  • 6. That all lodges will be able to examine each other's accounts.

  • 7. That rule changes can only be made with two weeks' notice and with the consent of every lodge in the union.

  • 8. That every lodge should work together and that their collective funds should be thought of as one. Also, that whenever any lodge had collected over £20, their fund should be paid into a savings bank.