Reflections on a 4-Year Labor Strike

When I was a freshman in high school in a little town in northern Wyoming, my stepdad, one of 200+ union mine workers at a nearby mine, voted to strike at 12:01 AM on October 1st, 1987. It was a strike that would last four years and in the process, change our family, our town, and our futures forever.

From the day he started working in his first mine, he'd been a union member.  He believed in unions as surely as he believed in the Bible, and preached the virtues of the labor movement like it was the Word of God.  By the time he met my mom, he was a strike captain in the United Mine Workers of America, Local #1972.  He was also a hardcore Democrat and as far as he was concerned, union and Democrat were one and the same: they both championed the little guy, the one who didn't have the advantage of wealth or power or fame; they both valued the integrity of hard work; they both trusted in the power of the ordinary to do extraordinary things...they both believed that together, we are mighty.

Labor is the great producer of wealth: it moves all other causes. -- Congressman Daniel Webster, 4/2/1824

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