Once the insurgent Miners for Democracy had triumphed and Arnold Miller had defeated Tony Boyle by 70,373 to 56,334 for United Mine Workers president, the grueling job began of restoring a union that, under an authoritarian regime, had sadly disintegrated.
For 50 years, democracy in the UMW had been suppressed and derided. The Auto Workers union, John L. Lewis delighted in saying, pumps its members full of “democracy,” but “we” give miners “eating-moey.” Lewis wielded his powers of sarcasm to instill so deep a contempt for internal democracy that delegates would automatically snicker whenever some stiff-spined dissident (what honors you deserve!) would speak up at a convention for the right to e...
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