Former miners' leader Arthur Scargill has been told he is being expelled from the National Union of Mineworkers.
Mr Scargill, who led the union through a bitter, year-long strike over pit closures in the 1980s, is among a number of people who have received letters saying they no longer qualify for membership.
Mr Scargill, the union's former president, has told friends he intends to fight the move,
He retained an honorary position within the NUM after standing down as a full-time official and has been engaged in work for the union.
Ken Capstick, who has worked for the union for 30 years and currently edits its Miner magazine, has also been told he is being expelled.
"We have been told that the reason we are being expelled is that we don't qualify under the union's rules," Mr Capstick said.
"A number of us have been raising claims of financial irregularity in the union and I believe we are now being subjected to a witch-hunt because of this.
"We will definitely challenge this decision, which has been made on extremely spurious grounds."
But NUM national secretary Chris Kitchen told BBC radio: "Arthur saying that he's been expelled is not correct.
"It's whether he should qualify under the national rule book as a full financial member, not whether he should be a member."