LONDON — About 85% of Britain's 189,000 coal miners were on the job Tuesday, officially ending a yearlong strike in the mines.
But a number of militants defied a weekend vote by the National Union of Mineworkers and remained on strike, and Arthur Scargill, the union president, said he will wage a "guerrilla war" against the government's plan to close uneconomical mines and eliminate 20,000 jobs.
Even before the vote, thousands of miners had returned to work--52% of them, according to the National Coal Board, which operates the nationalized industry. But miners in some areas said they will continue to strike until the board arranges for the rehiring of more than 700 miners fired in connection with strike violence.
The orderly return to work called for by the union was disrupted as picket lines were thrown up at coal fields in Yorkshire. Scargill led a group of miners back to work at Barnsley in Yorkshire even though he had opposed the membership's decision to end the strike.