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Changing Technologies and Consequences for Labor in Coal Mining

  • Richard A. Couto
Part of the Plenum Studies in Work and Industry book series (SSWI)

Abstract

The relations of coal miners and coal managers have always been of central importance in American industrial history. The production of coal measured America’s industrial growth and economic power1 and the relations of miners and managers marked the changed relationship of workers and owners as America’s industry changed. This history is familiar. Miners began to organize during the Civil War and were among the first workers to do so. Their efforts met with unexceeded force and resistance from owners. Battles and even “wars” in the coal fields mar American industrial history.2 Later, the union of coal miners led in the formation of the Congress of Industrial Unions and produced leaders of the AFL and CIO in the 1930s and 1940s.3 At the same time, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) acquired a degree of organization among workers in a single industry tantamount to a closed shop. Through this achievement miners acquired unprecedented wage and benefit agreements. The power of the union was so great that in November 1946, the New York Times had this worried headline, “25,000,000 (Workers) May Be Idle II Coal Strike Is Prolonged.”4

Keywords

Coal Mining Bituminous Coal Coal Production Coal Industry Tennessee Valley Authority 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Couto
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Health ServicesVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA

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