[Prologue High School: Coal Mining Mural 1]

An interview with Marion Kline, a former coal miner who moved to Chicago after retirement, conducted at an event celebrating Appalachian culture in Uptown and the unveiling of a mural based on Kline's experiences.

00:02Copy video clip URL An interview with Marion Kline. He describes first going into the West Virginia coal mines to work when he was 13 years old and his first jobs in the mines. Working for company script that had to be spent at the company store. 

03:10Copy video clip URL Working for the coal company for about ten years, until he was 23 years old. Leaving after he got married. Wages improving after the miners unionized. The unionization effort from the United Mine Workers and the immediate improvements. 

06:02Copy video clip URL Going on strike, and strikes getting violent. His jobs working for unions. 

08:30Copy video clip URL The company towns, where the coal company owned everything. 

09:15Copy video clip URL Union efforts to improve safety in the mines. 

10:15Copy video clip URL The most dangerous aspects of working in the mines. 

11:10Copy video clip URL Working in the mines for 36 years altogether. Liking the work. 

12:32Copy video clip URL Accidents, deaths, and injuries that happened in the mines. 

13:40Copy video clip URL Getting too old to work in the mines and getting cut out of the job. Moving to Chicago after losing his job. Still getting a few dollars of union benefits. 

15:02Copy video clip URL Not being able to get health insurance because he worked in the mines. Suffering from black lung. The effects of black lung disease and ways of dealing with it.

17:05Copy video clip URL Chicago residents not understanding the nature of coal mining. The importance of coal and coal miners for the country’s economy. “Coal miners are the backbone of the world.”

18:33Copy video clip URL Billy, a teenager whose father and uncle worked in coal mines, talks with Kline about not wanting to work in the mines himself, but he says that he prefers living in West Virginia. He says that his father moved to Chicago mostly so that his children didn’t have to work in the mines. 

20:50Copy video clip URL Discussion of diversity among mine workers, including Black people and women. 

21:34Copy video clip URL Going back to West Virginia to visit. Discussion of “family mines” on individual’s property. 

22:36Copy video clip URL Discussion of the relative safety of union and non-union mines. Difficulties in unionizing non-union mines. Unions being opposed to Republicans and needing to vote Democrat. Managers and anti-union owners always being Republicans. 

24:50Copy video clip URL The destruction caused by strip mining. The Buffalo Creek Flood being resulting from strip mining. 

27:20Copy video clip URL Discussion of the mining of coal layers and different heights of mines. 

29:18Copy video clip URL Stories about organizers. John L. Lewis of the United Mine Workers, who Kline met several times. Mother Jones, who worked to organize a union before the miners really understood what that meant. 



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