Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Abel DeLeon, Jr., August 18, 1986

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:11 - Introduction and background information

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Partial Transcript: Well, uh, could you begin by telling me your background?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. Abel DeLeon shares his family background in Texas along with his educational and work history.

Keywords: Family history

Subjects: Coal mines and mining.; Eastern Kentucky University; Education; Families.; Migration, Internal; Pikeville (Ky.); Texas

00:02:36 - First experiences in the mines

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Partial Transcript: Could you talk about working in mines? What's its like to work in the mines?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. DeLeon talks about working in the mines and describes his first day underground.

Keywords: Column mining; Continuous mining; Greenhorn; High coal; Low coal

Subjects: Coal mines and mining; Hazing; Shuttle cars (Mine haulage)

00:07:56 - Safety measures in the mines

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Partial Transcript: Could you talk more about safety in the mines?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. DeLeon describes some of the dangers of mining. He explains the best way to prevent an accident.

Keywords: Code of Federal Regulations; Communication; Roof falls; Safety committees; Union protection

Subjects: Coal mines and mining--Safety measures; Mine safety

00:14:13 - Union vs. non-union mines

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Partial Transcript: What would you say the biggest difference, uh, that you see working in a, in a non-union mine and--than a union mines.

Segment Synopsis: Mr. DeLeon shares the differences between working in a union and non-union mine.

Keywords: Animals in mines; Humanity; Job security; Union protection

Subjects: Coal miners--Labor unions; Coal mines and mining--Safety measures

00:17:46 - Miners on strike

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Partial Transcript: How about strikes? Can you talk about when you're on strike?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. DeLeon describes what life is like as a miner on strike. He talks about fair wages and the threat of foreign coal.

Keywords: Apartheid; Food stamps; Foreign coal; Minimum wage; Picket lines; South Africa; Strike funds; Weak unions; Wildcat Mines

Subjects: Strikes and lockouts--Coal mining

00:25:37 - Union struggles

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned Massey just a minute ago. W--I've read a lot about that in newspapers.

Segment Synopsis: Mr. DeLeon talks about the strike against Massey Energy Company and other issues surrounding the union.

Keywords: Bituminous Coal Operators' Association; Union busters; Union protection

Subjects: Coal miners--Labor unions; Kroger Company; Massey Energy (Firm); United States. National Labor Relations Board; Wages--Coal miners

00:33:19 - Strike against Massey Energy Company

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Partial Transcript: Okay getting back to the Massey thing again. What, what others ways has Massey tried to bust the union?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. DeLeon continues to describe elements of the Massey Strike and why the miners are striking.

Keywords: Anti-union; Common man; Company contracts; Mistreatment

Subjects: Coal miners--Labor unions; Massey Energy (Firm); Strikes and lockouts--Coal mining

00:37:21 - Outside support for the strike

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Partial Transcript: How about people in the area, people who live around here. How do they feel about the strike?

Segment Synopsis: Mr. DeLeon talks about locals' sentiment towards the strike and the goodwill given by other unions.

Keywords: "Adopt a Local"; Aid from other unions; Job security; Media misrepresentation; Relief funds; Strike funds

Subjects: Massey Energy (Firm); Strikes and lockouts--Coal mining

00:43:28 - Mine at Greasy Creek, Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Oh yeah, this is another thing I didn't even touch on.

Segment Synopsis: Mr. DeLeon describes the situation at Greasy Creek mine when a loop hole was written into the contract.

Keywords: Greasy Creek (Ky); Job security; Loop holes; Non-union mines

Subjects: Coal mines and mining--Kentucky; Wages--Coal miners

00:47:29 - Family roles

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Partial Transcript: I have some questions here a friend of mine wants me to ask on the household and the family.

Segment Synopsis: Mr. DeLeon answers a series of questions about gender roles and family roles.

Keywords: Child care; Cleaning; Gardening; Head of household; Housekeeping; Korean War; Marriage; Tobacco; Wage labor

Subjects: Families.; Sex roles