MRS B Darnell WV COAL MINNERS 7 Sept 1973
of Mine to one union-appointed, one ap- usually e n o u g h . ' ' Mrs. the second shift. Both mines Miners' Wives Organizing Against Striking Women Women pickets identified as striking employes of the United Mine Workers of America, District 29, Welfare and Retirement Fund" are expected to be met by another group of women "picketeefs." Wives of several county coal miners are organizing to confront the pickets as they attempt to prevent coal miners from returning to their jobs. Mrs. Patty Darnell of Coal City, and Mrs. Brack Darnell of Farley Hill, are instrumental in organizing the new group of coal miners wives. Mrs. Brack Darnell, whose husband is employed at the M c A l p i n e " mine o f Westmoreland Coal Co., said, "I'm very strongly against what the women are doing. They have much better benefits and retirement than the working miner and they should not be considered a picket line at all." Picket lines were set up at the McAlpin mine on the 3 p.m. shift Thursday and only five miners reportedly "crossed the line." Mrs. Darnell said, "The women don't belong to the UM- WA and I don't see why they need to go after the coal miners. We mean for them to stay away and our husbands are as burned up as we are." Also picket lines forced some miners at Stotesbury, Eccles and East Gulf to return home Thursday afternoon. Two shifts at the Affinity mine were forbid to work Wednesday morning and evening. An official at the Stotesbury mine reported that only six or eight men worked on the second shift Thursday and four on the third shift. However, the official reported that on the day shift the men walked past the pickets failing to recognize them. One Stotesbury m i n e r reported that he didn't consider the picket line legal and also walked across. He is Earl York, who said, "Why are they picketing us when they don't even belong to the UMWA. I told them To Hell with them e 8 and good bye' and went to work." An official at the East Gulf mine said the evening and day shift employes walked past the women without i n c i d However one East Gulf miner Fred Hammon, vice president of the local union, said "I will support' them. They have been trying to get a contract for 20 years and need to be covered." One of the 23 striking women, Mrs. Wanda . Goodson, said, "Some of the men are going through the line, some are a little nasty and a few stopped to give their support. She said, "If the miners are not working and stop production, then everyone will be hurting." She continued, "It is wearing me down physically, mentally and money-wise and I would like to go back to but we must have a contract. If we go back now, all our hopes are lost." On the lighter side: One who reported for work at one of the mines was met by his wife -- on the picket line.