In 1972 a major strike took place involving a dispute between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Government, led by Conservative Prime Minister, Edward Heath. The strike, which began on 9 January, was over the miner’s pay. The strike was characterised by the use of flying pickets which were sent to other industrial sites to try and persuade workers in other industries to join them in striking, to show support and solidarity. This miner’s support led to rail workers refusing to transport coal and power station workers refusing to handle the coal to power the stations. A state of emergency was called on 9 February when power shortages emerged because voltage had been reduced across the whole National Grid. Lasting 7 weeks, the strike came to an end on 19 February after miners agreed to a pay offer.