'We've All Had Enough'
His friends call him a scab(1). He has been threatened, followed,
Intimidated even assaulted. The reason: Mel Hunt, 36, is one
of several thousand miners in Great Britain who have returned to
work in recent weeks. He crossed the picket line at the Darfield
Main colliery near Barnsley, a mining town in Yorkshire where
He has lived all his life. "I suddenly thought, 'l've had enough of
this'," lie said. "So I talked it over with my wife and with my
workmate Ray, and we decided we had all had enough. The two
of us made up our minds to go quietly back to work.”
Hunt's return to his job was anything but quiet "That first
morning was the worst," he said, "We were picked up by one of
those armored vans with mesh on the windows and rushed to
work between two police transit carriers. We had to lie flat on the
floor of the van so that no one would see us going in. “It was not a
secret for long. The next day the two men went to a union
meeting. "There were some rabble2 from the NUM [National
Union of Mineworkers] waiting for us outside," says Hunt.
"One of them shouted at me, 'If I see thee(3) walking about the
streets, I’ll kill thee! Bastard scab!(4) Then one of the others carne
up and punched(5) me in the face. He said, 'There's no way you're
getting into that meeting.' They started rocking the car and
yelling abuse(6), so we just drove off. We had to.? As we went they
shouted, 'You two won't be going back to work again'."
1. a scab: a workder who goes against the orders of the trade Union
on strike: a blackleg
2. rabble: a disordered crowd of noisy people.
3. thee: you (Yorkshire dialect)
4. bastard (scab): swear-work (=foutu)
5. to punch: to strike to hit
6. abuse: swear words