Ayrshire Miners' Union
The first Ayrshire Miners' Union was founded in 1880, with Keir Hardie as its organiser. The union supported a strike for higher wages over the winter of 1881/82, but this was unsuccessful, and the union dissolved.
A new union was founded in 1886, with its Hardie elected as its first secretary. In 1893, it was reorganised on a federal basis and renamed the Ayrshire Miners' Federal Union. It was a founder of the Scottish Miners' Federation (SMF) in 1894, and by 1897 it claimed 3,000 members out of a total workforce of 10,000 in the county, making it the third-largest component of the federation.
In 1944, the SMF became the unitary National Union of Scottish Mineworkers, and the union became its Ayrshire District, with less autonomy than before.
- Robin Page Arnot, A History of the Scottish Miners, p.67
- David Howell, British Workers and the Independent Labour Party, 1888-1906, pp.33-35
- Alan Campbell, The Scottish Miners, 1874-1939: Trade unions and politics, p.41