Union Miners on Strike

Published: 1978
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI

Dennis Collino: Union miners sang strike songs and left the pole in the ground. The stockpiles industry had in reserve plus non-union coal kept most power plants and factories alive. Yet layoffs climbed to more than 25,000. The mine owners ignored the slim chance of Government seizure as the 160,000 strikers ignored the threat of violence, and so the strike went on and on and on.

President Carter brought the bargainers to the White House, announced one settlement that was not to be and invoked the Taft-Hartley Act. For weeks, things looked better without getting better …

President Jimmy Carter: "In the last 24 hours, I have detected progress."

Dennis Collino: President Arnold Miller’s grip on the United Mineworkers loosened as his bargainers rebelled and angry dissidents demonstrated. It took a full 110 days until late March before the strikers finally agreed with the owners, winning benefits the White House had to say were too good.

By year’s end, the coal industry was still behind, mining less than the year before, a setback for the President’s plan to switch much of the nation back to coal.

This is Dennis Collino reporting.