ABINGDON, Va. — Three union leaders jailed for encouraging strikers to block mine entrances were freed today after promising to obey a judge's restrictions, raising hopes for an end to a wildcat walkout by 27,000 miners in nine states.
The United Mine Workers officials said after leaving the judge's chambers that they can win their dispute against the Pittston Coal Group despite the judge's ban on tactics such as sit-down demonstrations to block coal trucks.
"This strike is still building," said strike coordinator Marty Hudson as a cheering crowd of about 35 striking miners and family members waited outside the court of U.S. District Judge Glen Williams.
"There are no white flags on these hands. We're going to win this strike. We're not turning back," Hudson said.