Side A: Following a wage reduction from 70 to 60 cents per ton after many Hocking Valley coal mines consolidated in 1883, the Ohio Miners’ Amalgamated Association struck on June 23, 1884. The operators responded by offering an even smaller tonnage rate and a requirement for returning miners to sign no-strike contracts. The strike idled three thousand miners in 46 mines at Nelsonville, Murray City, New Straitsville, Carbon Hill, Buchtel, Longstreth, and Shawnee. (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) Syndicate mines precipitated violence by importing hundreds of immigrant strikebreakers and employing dozens of Pinkerton detectives as mine guards. A mine fire set at Syndicate #5 in New Straitsville still burned more than one hundred years later. Although the strike ended in March 1885 with no victory for the miners, the Ohio Legislature ended the operators’ practice of requiring miners to trade exclusively in company stores. Strike leader Chris Evans later became secretary of the American Federation of Labor and was a founder of the United Mine Workers of America.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, Little Cities of Black Diamonds Council, and The Ohio Historical Society