June 22, 1989 |
More than 42,000 coal miners in 10 states took part in wildcat strikes Wednesday that spread in Appalachia and the Midwest. Reports of violence and blockades mounted as coal companies sought relief from the courts. "It looks like the bulk of the industry is shut down," said Taylor Pensoneau, vice president of the Illinois Coal Assn. More than 7,000 miners in Illinois and 700 in Ohio joined the wildcat strike Wednesday in sympathy with about 1,900 United Mine Workers members striking Pittston Coal Group Inc. in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
May 11, 1993 |
The United Mine Workers ordered 2,000 miners on strike in Indiana and Illinois. The miners, who have worked without a contract since May 3, struck AMAX Coal Co., Zeigler Coal Co. and Arch Mineral Corp., union President Richard L. Trumka said. Thomas Hoffman, chief negotiator for the Bituminous Coal Operators Assn., which represents the nation's 12 largest coal companies, said he was disappointed by the decision. Talks between the union and the companies were suspended last week.
August 9, 2010 |
Those who have sought to keep West Virginia's Blair Mountain open for strip mining despite its storied past did not reckon with Kenny King. It was on Blair Mountain in 1921 that an army of coal miners clashed with an armed force representing the authorities in league with coal companies — the largest battle on American soil since the Civil War and a watershed in labor's struggle for recognition. The state kept the Battle of Blair Mountain out of its history books for half a century and for decades has resisted appeals to commemorate the conflict, presumably because the insurrection was a black eye for the state and the coal industry.
June 28, 1989 |
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered an end to wildcat strikes by nearly 43,000 coal miners in nine states, saying they are violating U.S. labor law. U.S. District Judge Dennis Knapp said the walkout by United Mine Workers members violated National Labor Relations Act guidelines against secondary boycotts. The walkout began June 12 in support of 1,900 UMW members who went on strike April 5 against the Pittston Coal Group after working for 14 months without a contract. Knapp issued a temporary injunction at the request of the National Labor Relations Board.
June 15, 2011 |
"The Last Mountain" is a damning look at Big Coal and its landscape-decimating practices, a litany of disheartening statistics and enraging testimony. But director Bill Haney leavens the lament with a moving portrait of the West Virginia residents who are standing up to the bulldozing — physical and spiritual — to save an Appalachian peak from the fate of its neighbors. Whether the view is aerial or up close and personal, the documentary presents wrenching evidence that mountaintop removal mining is more expedient for the coal companies — key among them the headline-familiar Massey Energy — and disastrous for just about everyone else.
April 14, 2002 |
The cluster of forested peaks that soared skyward behind Donald "Joe" Barnett's house is gone. So are the streams that flowed through them. Miners sheared several hundred feet off the mountaintops to expose rich veins of coal and then piled up the leftover rock and dirt in a nearby valley to make a naked, flat-topped, 400-foot plateau.