The following is an example of the strikes that occurred at Fochriw Colliery.
A strike at both the Dowlais and Rhymney Iron Companies occurred at the beginning of January 1873 and was only resolved on 3 March 1873 when work recommenced.
A terrorist letter was received by Mr Thomas Jenkins the Chief Engineer of the Fochriw Collieries advising that 500 men would attack the Fochriw pumps engine and Cab engine on Monday and Tuesday unless the enginemen leave their work on those days. This was printed in the 13 March 1875 edition of the Merthyr Express. Viz:
“Terrorism at Dowlais At the request of the Dowlais Iron Company, we print the following letter:-
Dowlais, March 6, 1875
Sir, - As the Dowlais overmen are so cowardly and so childish as to cut coal, to assist the tyrant masters in the present struggle, it is settled, resolved, swear and signed by a band of upward of 500 men, that Vochriw pump engine and cab engine must go to sleep at once. Therefore take notice, that unless you will timely inform the engineers of the said engines to leave their work on Monday or Tuesday, you, as well as them, shall be a subject to the most cruel action that enemies can enact on. Do not trust yourselfs to the police force, for every member of the said band are armed with deadly weapons, viz. hatchets, mandril wires, spears, and 50 pistols, all in good order. No mercy shall be given to any of the said enginemen from Tuesday out. Let all the overmen, firemen, shovelers, fluemen and everyone it concerns to know the contents of this notice, and should the police interfere in the affairs he or they shall not escape alive. War is a war. So let it, and where it may, mind, you shall be hunted out of your life, must pay for the insult. Then it Will be too late for mice to squail When pussy got her head and tail.
Remember that one pair of feet is far better than two pairs of hands.
To Mr. Thomas Jenkins, Chief Engineer, Vochriw From the said band, DRAGON MERCYLESS”
After a ballot at Deri on 15 May 1875 all collieries in the Bargoed Rhymney Valley, except the non-association colliery known as The Deri, work had been resumed agreeing to an extra 5% reduction in wages. Included are Fochriw, Cwm and Cil Haul belonging to the Bargoed Coal