This paper looks at labour morale in the coal mining industry from 1967 to 1984. In particular it examines absenteeism, turnover and accidents over that period, as well as constructing an index of morale based on these variables. The data are taken from the North Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire coal areas, and a comparison is made between these areas in the period leading up to the industrial action in 1984/85. The indices constructed indicate that morale, as measured by the first principal component, increased considerably during the years before the 1984 industrial dispute and that low morale was an unlikely reason for the dispute, although morale in South Yorkshire, a strike area, was lower than in North Nottinghamshire, largely a non-strike area. The steep rise in morale in both North Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire follows closely the rise in unemployment nationally and may simply be an indication of conventional industrial relations assumptions that manifestations of negative worker attitudes are greatest when jobs are relatively plentiful, and considerably less so when jobs are scarce.