COAL STRIKE: First the Calm, Now the Storm

First the Calm, Now the Storm

The 14-week-old strike by 1,900 mine workers against Pittston Coal in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky began as a model of genteel labor relations, with strikers staging peaceful sit-ins and picketing politely. But last week the increasingly bitter standoff, which has grown to include more than 37,000 wildcat strikers throughout coal country, turned into an old- fashioned, ugly war. A car bomb exploded at a Virginia coal company, and strikers hurled rocks at coal-carrying trucks near the entrance to Sydney Coal in Kentucky.

In West Virginia, where battles have been especially fierce, nearly 300 strikers were arrested for blocking the road...

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