Nicolae Ceausescu and the Jiu Valley miners’ strike of 1977

Twentieth Century Communism - ISSN 1758-6437
Volume 2022 Number 23

Nicolae Ceausescu and the Jiu Valley miners’ strike of 1977


The miners’ strike of 1-3 August 1977, in the Jiu Valley, Romania’s largest coalfield, was a rare example of popular revolt against the regime of Nicolae Ceau?escu, although it did not take on an explic-itly political character. This article places the strike in its international and domestic, political, and especially economic, contexts. The miners’ unrest was the result of deteriorating living and working conditions, as the regime, increasingly in debt to western banks and hit by the global economic downturn, accelerated industrial investment at the expense of other sectors. This mass strike, which mobilised around a third of the miners in a proletarian ‘bastion’, shook the regime, and even brought Ceau?escu to visit the Jiu Valley in person, and it extracted a range of concessions. However, as archives of the Securitate secret police show, masked methods of repression were used against the miners and their leaders, while concessions were quickly reneged upon. This strike against a ‘workers’ state’ anticipated further breaks in the social pact between the regime and the Romanian people, culminating in the fall of Ceau?escu in December 1989.

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To cite this article
RALUCA NICOLETA SPIRIDON (2022) Nicolae Ceausescu and the Jiu Valley miners’ strike of 1977, Twentieth Century Communism, 2022(23), 147-157

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