The Strike

In September 1913, coal miners working in coal mines along the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains went on strike.  Evicted from coal company towns, the strikers and their families moved all of their personal belongings into striker camps established by the union, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).  The UMWA, the miners, and miners’ families established a total of eight tent colonies.  Ludlow, the largest of the tent colonies, hosted 1,200 people including women and children.    

The UMWA provided the strikers and their families with striker wages, supplies, and organizational support throughout their fourteen-month stay in the colony.  Union workers in conjunction with the strikers organized schools, medical facilities, and activities to sustain the needs of the people living in these communities.  They also organized public demonstrations in which men, women, and children protested the treatment of the coal miners.  The conflict attracted the support of Mary “Mother” Jones, a national figurehead for labor reform and increased publicity for the cause of the coal miners.  

Throughout the duration of the strike, constant conflict existed between the strikers and the employees of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company (CF&I).  This conflict eventually drew the attention of the Governor of Colorado, Elias Ammons, who dispatched the Colorado National Guard to the strike zone to help quell the violence. The National Guard largely took the side of the CF&I and carried out violent attacks against the strikers.

The Strike Images

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