The Iconic Mineworker Campaign
Against Pittston Coal:
How one radio spot massively broadened popular support (and victory) for labor in a historic
In a state where over 90 percent of the electorate had never been anywhere near a "coal county" in distant Southwest Virginia, this single radio spot on the air for less than 10 days produced a dramatic 40-point surge in statewide support for the UMWA’s effort to protect the healthcare and other benefits of laid off and retired workers and their families.
The remarkable success resulted from "universalizing" the specific "Pittston" issue into a broad and directly personal assault on the healthcare and retiree benefits of "every working family in Virginia."
Within days after the spots were aired, Pittston quit the fight and the UMWA won a very, very favorable contract.
Listen for 60 seconds and hear precisely how this was done.
A model for your next contract (or organizing) campaign, perhaps.