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British coal walkout protests pit closures

Nearly half of Britain's 180,000 coal miners walked off the job Monday to protest pit closures. Union leaders hoped the rest would strike later, despite opposition in some coalfields.

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In Yorkshire, by far the biggest coal area, producing a quarter of Britain's coal, 56,000 men were on strike and union leaders said they were delighted with the response.

The strike has been called to oppose plans by the state-run National Coal Board to close, over the next 12 months, 20 pits which it deems uneconomical, with the loss of 20,000 jobs.

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