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Chapter 13 - Relative Importance of Union and Non-Union Fields

THE FOLLOWING table was prepared by the U. S. Geological Survey, at the request of the operators. It was compiled for the purpose of ascertaining the strength of the miners' union in the 1919 strike. As will be seen, union coal is 71.6 per cent of the whole, while non-union coal is 28.4 per cent. These figures agree pretty closely with the estimate that about three-fourths of the 800,000 coal miners are organized, while the unorganized would be one-fourth or about 200,000. By dividing the number of tons in each district by 875, we will be able to ascertain the approximate number of organized or unorganized workers in each field. The table also helps us to locate the unorganized workers for organization purposes. It is said that some of the non-union fields in the East, which are of strategic importance for steel production and other key industries, such as the Connellsville district, are so closely guarded by hired gunmen and spies that the workers are living in a permanent state of terror, and organizers cannot get near them.

Maybe the I. W. W. will be the St. George that will kill that dragon, figuratively speaking, of course, and liberate the workers, by serving as the medium of organizing them.

Some of the figures in this table are estimates.

Please note that these figures are for 1919. Naturally there are some changes since that time, but we cannot discuss them here for lack of space. The New River district, W. Va., is now largely non-union, for instance.

On to Chapter 14

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