John L., You'd Be Amazed

High-tech tactics replace goons and guns in a miners' strike

John L. Lewis, the late great boss of the United Mine Workers, would rub his shaggy eyebrows in disbelief if he could see a coal miners' strike nowadays. ( No goons with clubs. No beatings. No gunfire (except for an occasional harmless lapse). Instead, in a remote corner of southwestern Virginia, 1,400 striking miners -- and even their wives and kids -- were all decked out in jungle fatigues. A public relations firm was pumping out pamphlets excoriating the bosses. Strike leaders with beepers, walkie-talkies and cellular telephones were blasting orders, tuning in scanners to chart the movements of the state...

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