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Blue Diamond/Stearns Coal Mining Strike

Description:

This collection of interviews provides information on the 1976-1979 Blue Diamond Coal Strike. The Blue Diamond Coal Strike began June 1976 when the managers at the Blue Diamond Mine failed to accept the miners chosen union, the United Mine Workers of America. The main reason the miners went on strike was for better safety in the mine. The strike lasted for two years, with the miners losing in the end.

The strike was the result of two issues that occurred at the Blue Diamond Mine, union representation and the need for better safety. Before the strike, miners had reported that the conditions with-in the mine were unsafe and dangerous. Miners wanted a better union to fight for their right to safer working conditions, leading the miners to choose the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) to represent them. After this vote though, Blue Diamond rejected the UMW resulting in the miners going on strike. These interviews with miners and management provide information on what life was like for the coal miners and the company before and during the strike, how miners were treated, the safety issues within the mine, the financial difficulties miners faced during the strike, and the lasting affects the strike had on the community.

Items in the Blue Diamond/Stearns Coal Mining Strike Project

Bill Reynolds was a coal miner at the Blue Diamond Coal Company mine in McCreary County, Kentucky. He was one of many miners who joined the Blue Diamond Coal Strike from June 1976 to May 1979. In this interview Reynolds discusses how the coal miners…

James Douglass was a coal miner during the 1976-1979 Blue Diamond Coal strike. Before the strike he worked as a coal loader and a drill runner from the time he was 18 years old. In this interview Douglass discusses the main safety issues within the…

Randell Hines was a striking coal miner during the 1976-1979 Blue Diamond Coal Strike. He worked many different jobs within the mine and said he worked in the conventional sections with different types machinery. In this interview Randell discusses…

Joe E. Jones was a coal miner during the 1976-1979 Blue Diamond Coal Strike. Jones worked at the Blue Diamond Coal Company Mine for two to three years, and he describes his job as repairing and retrieving parts for broken machinery in the mine. …

Bobby Kidd was a coal miner during the 1976-1978 Blue Diamond Mine Coal Strike. While working for Blue Diamond he worked as a roof bolter inside the mine. In this interview Kidd discusses the safety violations that occurred in the mine and…

Frank T. Thomas was the executive vice president of the Stearns Mine during the 1976-1979 Blue Diamond Coal Strike. In this interview Thomas discusses how he came to work first for Stearns Mining Company and then Blue Diamond Coal Company. He tells…

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