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Vol. 75/No. 1      January 10, 2011

25, 50 and 75 years ago
January 10, 1986
CHARLESTON, W. Va.—Following a National Labor Relations Board ruling that all A.T. Massey Coal Co. affiliates are part of a single company, the United Mine Workers of America has called an end to its 15-month strike at Massey Coal mines.

Massey's owners are claiming that they do not have to allow all the strikers to return to work and that the company is not bound by the terms of the 1984 contract the union signed with coal companies that make up the Bituminous Coal Operators' Association (BCOA).

The strike began after Massey refused to sign the no-concessions agreement the union had negotiated with the BCOA.

Massey sought to test the will of the UMWA and force it into submission. So far, the determination of the ranks of the union has prevented that.  
January 2, 1961
DEC. 28—The eighth day of the protest strike movement in Belgium swept more workers into the movement against the government's "austerity" program. UPI reports from Brussels today state that "More than a half million workers were still out and the strike was still spreading." Thousands of Catholic trade unionists have joined the walkout despite the fact that leaders of the Confederation of Catholic Social Christian Unions had volunteered to help the government smash the strike by calling upon its members to remain at work.

The government has been stepping up its campaign of intimidation and violence against the Socialist-led strikers. The UPI reports that "tough paratroopers in full battle kit," have been "rushed back from North Atlantic Treaty Organization duty in West Germany."  
January 4, 1936
In Italy in 1921 Mussolini's Blackshirts organized and signed an agreement with the Italian Socialist Party for "mutual" disarmament. This pact led to the disappearance of the workers' Red Militia. The Blackshirts two years later took power and smashed what was left of Italian workers' organizations.

In France last month the Socialist and Stalinist parties bound themselves to a similar agreement for "mutual" disarmament and dissolution. In a terrible scene of "reconciliation" in the Chamber of Deputies on Dec. 6 the Socialist and Stalinist bureaucracies joined the Fascists to set the seal on the betrayal of the French workers.

The result gave the French bourgeoisie a new weapon in its systematic drive against the French workers, in preparation for new turns in the screws of exploitation under a deepening crisis, and in preparation for war.  
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