Overnight Open Thread

Guanxi882/18/2010 7:26:08 am PST

re: #233 oaktree

What I saw in the newspapers (western PA) in the early 80s about the WV coalfields that still sticks in my minds were the UMW extremists who were sniping at coal trucks with deer rifles. This was also the same time that there were some nasty picket operations between the USW and a steel company in Weirton.

I presume, since I did not study the issue deeply, that both situations were quite complex in scope. And that the back-biting and bad blood was to the point that neither side was going to really negotiate in good faith and were instead going to play the game to the media and public opinion.

This was about the same time I was having my poor experience dealing with union employees while working part-time in an oil product packaging terminal. Probably the low point in my opinion about unions.

A lot of the strikes, especially the wildcat strikes, got ugly, no getting around it. The biggest problem was - and is - the gun thugs. Both sides escalate to the brandishing of weapons, and from there to their use, in fairly short order.

The miners want to stop the trucks going out - no coal goes out, and the company suffers. The company, naturally, wants their product out, and wants new workers in. The pickets nearly always turned ugly.