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Miners' International Federation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Miners' International Federation
Miners' International Federation.jpg
Merged intoInternational Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions
HeadquartersRussell Square, London (1890–1984)
Belgium (1985–1995)
  • International
4.2 million (1994)

The Miners' International Federation (MIF), sometimes known as the International Federation of Miners, was a global union federation of trade unions.


The federation was established in 1890 at a meeting in Brussels by unions from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. It was initially one of the largest union federations, with membership reaching 1.2 million in 1913, and this grew slightly to 1.5 million in 1931.[1]

From the 1950s, the MIF began to campaign for common international minimum working conditions. However, with reductions in the number of miners in its heartland of Western Europe, its overall membership began to fall, and was below one million by 1976.[1]

The union was based in London for many years, with the British National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) as its largest affiliate. In 1983, Arthur Scargill, leader of the NUM, proposed dissolving the federation and forming a new one with the World Federation of Trade Unions-affiliated Trade Unions International of Miners. This was opposed by a majority of members, but the NUM nevertheless withdrew, leaving the federation to relocate its headquarters to Brussels and struggle with a shortage of funds.[2]

The MIF began recruiting unions in other parts of the world, and by 1994 consisted of 58 unions with 4.2 million members. In 1995, it merged with the International Federation of Chemical and General Workers' Unions to form the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions.[1]


In 1960, the following unions were affiliated to the federation:[3]

Union Country Affiliated membership
All-Japan Federation of Metal Mine Workers' Unions Japan 57,000
Associated Mineworkers of Southern Rhodesia Southern Rhodesia 1,000
Confederation of Copper Workers Chile 24,000
Cyprus Federation of Free Miners Cyprus 1,530
Federation of Miners of Greece Greece 30,000
Federation of Mine Workers Tunisia 6,125
Free Italian Federation of Workers in Mining Industries Italy 12,656
General Dutch Industrial Union of the Mining Industry Netherlands 3,000
General Union of Spanish Workers Spain Unknown
Ghana Mine Workers' Union Ghana 40,000
Indian National Mineworkers' Federation India 150,000
Japan Coal Miners' Union Japan 200,441
Korean Mine Workers' Federation South Korea 28,246
Luxembourg Workers' Federation Luxembourg 2,000
Manpower Citizens' Association British Guiana 2,000
Miners' Federation France 21,000
National Coal Mine Workers' Union Japan 75,000
National Mines and Allied Workers' Union Philippines 3,000
National Union of Mine and Quarry Workers Italy 14,610
National Union of Mineworkers United Kingdom 675,000
Nigerian Mineworkers' Federation Nigeria 10,000
Northern Rhodesian African Mineworkers' Union Northern Rhodesia 36,000
Northern Rhodesia Mine Workers' Union Northern Rhodesia 4,500
Norwegian Union of General Workers Norway 6,000
Suriname Mine Workers' Union Suriname 80
Swedish Miners' Union Sweden 14,000
Tanganyika Mine Workers' Union Tanganyika 1,000
Union of Metal, Mining and Energy Austria 25,000
Union of Mineworkers of Belgium Belgium 36,000
United Mine Workers of America United States 600,000
United Mineworkers of New Zealand New Zealand 3,320
United Mineworkers of Sierra Leone Sierra Leone 5,500
Union of Mining and Energy West Germany 461,674
Union of Mining, Metallurgical and Chemical Workers Yugoslavia 95,000



1890: Thomas Ashton
1921: Frank Hodges
1927: Achille Delattre
1934: Ebby Edwards
1947: Will Lawther
1957: Ernest Jones
1960: Ted Jones
1963: Dennis Edwards
1976: Peter Tait
1984: Jan Olyslaegers
1989: Peter Michalzik


1910s: Robert Smillie
1921: Herbert Smith
1929: Joseph Dejardin
1932: Fritz Husemann
1934: Pierre Vigne
1945: Achille Delattre
1954: Heinrich Imig
1956: Nicolas Dethier
1963: Heinrich Gutermuth
1967: Walter Arendt
1971: Adolf Schmidt
1984: Anders Stendalen


  1. ^ a b c James C. Docherty and Sjaak van der Velden, Historical Dictionary of Organized Labor, pp.183
  2. ^ Ronald Payne and Gary Busch, "Scargill goes international", The Spectator, 30 November 1985
  3. ^ Goldberg, Arthur (1960). Directory of International Trade Union Organizations. Washington DC: United States Department of Labour. pp. 10.1–10.16.
This page was last edited on 12 September 2021, at 20:35
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