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7 Wounded in New Mine Battle

(February 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 13, 27 February 1933, p. 1.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The State Senatorial Committee investigating conditions in the mines of southern Illinois received a real dose of the class struggle in a battle that occurred in a Peabody mine in Springfield which they were “investigating”. Two members of the Progressive Miners Union, three scabs and two deputy sheriffs were injured in the skirmish that occurred at the Woodside and Capital mines when the labor-hating Peabody trust attempted to operate them with scab labor.

More than 1,000 miners of the P.M.A. were on hand at each mine when the strikebreakers were getting ready to leave for the day. The 100 scabs (according to the N.Y. Times report) were protected by a mob of company gunmen who immediately opened fire on the pickets. The miners who could not be subdued even by this murderous fusillade, retaliated by hurling chunks of coal and stone at the thugs and scabs. According to this same news report the miners, overwhelmed by these armed representatives of “law and order”, withdrew their lines.

This is just another instance where the Peabody gang is making an attempt to circumvent the only bona-fide union of coal diggers in the slate of Illinois with the extinct and discredited shell of a “union” of Lewis-Walker and Co. But they are meeting with stiff resistance from the miners. These miners working in the Peabody mines have been out on strike now for almost a year. They are striking virtually only for union recognition. They refuse to let the Peabody slave-drivers force them into the treacherous outfit known as the UMWA. While the remainder of the miners in Illinois, not in the employ of the Peabody Co. have signed up the independent employers and have been at work for several months these workers have valiantly held out. Those miners in the rest of the state who are working at the present time have contributed large amounts of money out of their meager wages to maintain their brothers yet on strike. Not only this but at the first skirmish with the bosses the members of the PMA have joined their forces in solidarity with the striking miners. More power to the Illinois miners in their struggle against the scab-herders and their agents of the Lewis gang!

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