From the early 19th to mid-20th century, coal mining was the industrial engine of downstate Illinois. Workers organized under the banner of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) to win safe working conditions and better pay.
In the summer of 1932, thousands of Illinois miners split from the union after UMWA President John L. Lewis usurped a wage referendum and imposed a company-supported contract on the workers. The dissident miners formed a new union, the Progressive Miners of America (PMA), in order to reclaim the rights of rank and file miners and reject Lewis’ autocracy.
This documentary project which tells the story of the new union and the mine war that followed is produced by Greg Boozell. Click here for email contact.