LABOR: Fresh Air in The Mine Shaft

Fresh Air in The Mine Shaft

The nine-month strike produced an estimated 3,000 broken windshields, dozens of scuffles and nearly $65 million in court-ordered fines against the United Mine Workers union. But last week both sides in the dispute were smiling. After two months of federally mediated talks, the U.M.W. and the Connecticut- based Pittston Co. reached a tentative agreement to end the rancorous walkout that had crippled the company's coalfields in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. Some 1,700 miners and 4,000 laid-off and ill union members will vote on the contract as early as next week.

Details of the agreement were kept secret, but it is...