United Mine Workers

Birmingham district coal strike of 1908

Birmingham coalminers

A short history of the multiracial coal miners' strikes in Birmingham, Alabama, in the early 20th century which were violently repressed by mine owners and the state.

1921-22: Kansas Miners Strike and Women's March

In 1921 strikes were effectively illegal in the state of Kansas due a state arbitration system (the Industrial Court). In response the Kansas miners struck, the strike nearly failed due to actions of their own Union leadership, but rallied when the women of the mining community began their own campaign.

A strike like no other strike: Pittston strike holds lessons for today

Female supporters of the strikers

Article by the United Mine Workers of America, 20 years on from the 10-month-long Pittston Coal strike in Virginia. As you would expect from an official union account it omits to mention the wildcat strikers and violent acts of sabotage but contains interesting historical information.

Coalminers strike against Pittston Company in Virginia, 1989-1990

Striking miners rally

A short history of the successful 10 month long strike at Pittston Coal against cuts to retirement and health benefits, which included mass sit-ins and sabotage.

Blood on the coal: Colorado strike of 1927 - Patrick Murfin

IWW union hall in Walsenburg, 1928 when members rushed to defend it after it was

A short history of the great Colorado coal strike of 1927, called by the revolutionary union Industrial Workers of the World which lasted until the following year, facing savage repression and killings and won concessions, although not IWW union recognition.

The CIO, 1935-1955 - Robert H. Zieger

A comprehensive, if institutional, history of the CIO, an American federation of industrial unions that organized many of the mass industries in the United States during the 1930s-1950s.

West Virginia's mine wars, 1920-1921

Miners give up their weapons after the battle of Blair mountain

A short historical account and background of the often violent conflict between workers and employers in West Virginia's mines in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, compiled by the West Virginia State Archives.

Racial conflict and racial solidarity in the Alabama coal strike of 1894: new evidence for the Gutman-Hill debate - Alex Lichtenstein

Pinkertons during the 1894 coal strike

Alex Lichtenstein looks at the issue of race in an Alabama coal strike.

“You understand we are radical”: the United Mine Workers of America, District 18 and The One Big Union, 1919-1920

The story of the United Mine Workers of America District 18 and their path into, and then later out of, the radical One Big Union.

The US miners' strikes, 1919-1922 - Jeremy Brecher

Jeremy Brecher's account of the strike wave in American mines from 1919 to 1922, where coalminers fought the bosses, the government and even the unions in often pitched battles involving guns, dynamite and on one occasion a makeshift air force.