Coal strike of 1902. The Pittsburgh Writer 2022-10-20
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The coal strike of 1902 was a significant event in American labor history that resulted in a major victory for the United Mine Workers of America (UMW). The strike, which lasted from May to October of that year, involved over 400,000 coal miners in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. It was the largest strike in the history of the U.S. at that time, and it had a major impact on the coal industry and the broader labor movement in the country.
The coal strike of 1902 was sparked by a series of disputes between the UMW and the coal mine operators. At the time, coal miners worked long hours for low pay, often in dangerous and unhealthy conditions. They also had no job security and could be fired at any time without reason. The UMW, which was founded in 1890, had been trying to negotiate better working conditions and higher wages for its members, but the mine operators had resisted these efforts.
The strike began in May 1902 when the UMW called for a nationwide strike to demand a 20% pay increase and the recognition of the union by the mine operators. The strike quickly spread, and within a few weeks, over 400,000 miners had joined the action. The strike was characterized by violence and clashes between the miners and the mine operators, who hired strikebreakers to try to keep the mines running. The violence reached a climax in July when a group of armed men, believed to be mine operators and their supporters, attacked a group of striking miners and their families, killing more than a dozen people and injuring many more. This event, known as the "Lattimer Massacre," became a rallying cry for the striking miners and increased public support for their cause.
The coal strike of 1902 was a major turning point in the history of the U.S. labor movement. It was one of the first times that workers had successfully organized and staged a nationwide strike, and it helped to establish the UMW as a major force in the labor movement. The strike also had a significant impact on the coal industry, as it led to the recognition of the union by the mine operators and to significant improvements in working conditions and pay for coal miners.
Overall, the coal strike of 1902 was a significant event in American history that helped to improve the lives of coal miners and set the stage for further progress in the labor movement. It is a reminder of the power of organized labor and the importance of standing up for one's rights in the face of injustice.
Coal Strike of 1902
Republican Senator The anthracite coal strike of 1902 The issues that led to the strike of 1900 were just as pressing in 1902: the union wanted recognition and a degree of control over the industry. The miners had asked for an The aftermath of the strike Organized labor celebrated the outcome as a victory for the UMWA and unions generally. The success meant growth from 10,000 to 150,000 members and thus a much larger treasury to use to expand their gains. The UMW set up tent camps for miners and their families who had often been evicted without warning. More important in the long run, a new role was established for the Federal Government in labor disputes. The miners had gone more than half way and objected to further sacrifice, he believed.
I instantly said I should appoint my labor man as the 'eminent sociologist. Blood, Sweat, and Toil: Remaking the British Working Class, 1939-1945. On October 16th the President announced a commission to arbitrate the dispute, and by October 24th, a little over a week, arbitration was completed between the strikers and the owners. The Anthracite Coal Strike May-October 1902 began after mine operators refused to meet with representatives of the United Mine Workers of America. Although this was an oft-made proposal, Root added a face-saving wrinkle.
Hellraisers Journal: Testimony of Miners, Wives and Children, of Pennsylvania Anthracite, Brings Commissioners to Tears
He then explained the origins of the strike, the demands of the workers, the claims and complaints of the employers, a dispute over weighing coal, wages, and the cost of production, profits, and the question of freights. The Anthracite Coal Strike Commission convened in Pennsylvania in November, calling on miners, mine owners and union officials to publicly share their concerns and defend their demands. Mineworker organizing had more than its shares of highs and lows in the period before 1935's National Labor Relations Act. Roosevelt attempted to persuade the union to end the strike with a promise that he would create a commission to study the causes of the strike and propose a solution, which Roosevelt promised to support with all of the authority of his office. With the conflict unresolved, Henry Cabot Lodge, a senior Republican and close friend of Theodore Roosevelt, warned the president of the potentially disastrous consequences for the party if the anthracite strike dragged into November, when elections were to be held. How did the federal government respond to the coal strike? Why did the miners go on strike? The owners, who also owned the railroads that shipped the coal, and thereby operated the largest industrial monopoly in the United States, refused to meet with In 1900 the mine owners, under political pressure from Republican leaders fearful of losing the Attempts at arbitration failed in June.
Wright ordered special agents, experts, and clerks to drop current assignments and go to the coalfields to obtain prices of items commonly used by employees of anthracite mines. The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. Coal and Coke in Pennsylvania. Mitchell underestimated the opposition of the mine operators, and the operators underestimated the militancy of their workers. George Baer made the closing arguments for the coal operators, while Clarence Darrow closed for the workers. Labor Unrest in Scranton.
Hammond, June 19, 1902; Wright to President Theodore Roosevelt, June 20, 1902; Wright to Herman Justi, June 30, 1902; all in NARG 257; The Independent, June 12, 19, 1903. Commissioner of Labor Carroll D. In Chicago, residents tore out wooden paving from their streets to use as fuel. The mine operators, fearful of rising public hostility and under pressure from Morgan, accepted the Root-Morgan recommendation provided that they could set ground rules. NARRATOR: Baer's presumptuousness only angered the miners. Kate Burns, widow: husband killed in mines, children forced to work in mines, forced to go to work washing and cleaning as soon as baby born. But when these maintenance crews walked out on June 2, both sides settled down for a long and bitter fight.
Photo: 'BuzzWeiser196,' Creative Commons license 4. Some manufacturers had to get by with sawdust in their furnaces. Rosenberg, "The Springhill Mine Disaster Songs: Class, Memory, and Persistence in Canadian Folksong," Northeast Folklore 2001 , Vol. But he also knew that a legal solution, if there was one, would come too late. The pathetic stories of the former witnesses were almost forgotten as the stories of still more unfortunate slaves of the miners were told. So sour that the Pennsylvania National Guard was brought in to try and contain any potential violence. Baldwin-Felts Agency Chief Thomas Felts hired a team of lawyers to prosecute a case against Sid Hatfield and fifteen other men alleged to have participated in the Matewan Shootout, specifically on the charge of murdering Albert Felts.
The Business History Review, 50 1 , 69—91. Will you read it over and then at cabinet we can discuss whether it shall be made public. But in hospitals, schools, and private residences, coal bins sat empty. On April 18, 1912, union and non-union miners from Paint Creek, as well as 7,500 miners from the previously non-union Cabin Creek, Kanawha, and Fayette counties, went on strike. A coal famine in the winter is an awful ugly thing.
Mitchell knew that if Baer tried to break the strike with nonunion labor, there would be bloodshed. There photographers took pictures, and the room became so saturated with smoke from their flash powder it had to be aired out. What did coal miners do in the 1900s? Morgan's representatives agreed to Bishop John L. Power and Responsibility: The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. Additional Resources Books Gould, Lewis L. Roosevelt apologized to Cleveland for dropping him. On October 11, 1902, the two men met for 5 hours on Morgan's yacht, the Corsair, allegedly because newspaper reporters could not bother them there.
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The President feared "untold misery. But they stated that all workers had the right to join unions and that employers would ultimately benefit from collective bargaining. I could not if I would delegate this business management to even so highly a respectable body as the Civic Federation, nor can I call to my aid. The operators rejected the offer. As of 2014, all but one out of the 18 coal mines in Wyoming were strip mines.
The First Century and a Quarter of the American Coal Industry 1942. Mitchell implored the miners to obey the law and retain their determination. Flinn, and David Stoker. Mary Ann Raber, widow: husband killed in mines with Mrs. I ask because it is a question continually being asked of me.