March 9, 1978 – Coal Miner’s Strike – Day 94: Portrait Of An Impasse
March 9, 1978 – Or otherwise known as “Coal Strike: Day 94”. That was the situation America was focused on this day in 1978. More formalities were being addressed, as the Carter Administration moved towards requesting a Taft-Hartley injunction against the nationwide strike, which was now in its 94th day. The three member fact-finding panel which held hearings on the Coal dispute the previous day was expected to present its full report to President Carter before noon on this day. There was little doubt as to what the report would say. The Chairman of the panel, lawyer John Gentry said the situation added up to deep divisions based on widely varying concerns. In other words, an impasse. Later on this afternoon, the Carter administration planned on going into Federal District Court in Washington to ask that Miners be ordered back to work. The government was expected to ask initially for a temporary restraining order against the strike, and follow that up in a few days with a formal request for a Taft-Hartley injunction. The only question that remained was how many miners would obey a back-to-work order, Many were still calling for a federal takeover of the mines; a move opposed by Coal Operators. The administration was trying to discourage speculation about seizure of the mines, but officials acknowledged that it had not been entirely ruled out, if the Taft-Hartley Act did not work.
In response to the ongoing Coal strike, West Virginia‘s governor Jay Rockefeller was expected to announce a series of severe cutbacks in an effort to ease the energy crisis caused by the Coal Strike. Rockefeller was considering shortening the work week – laying off some 17% of state employees as well as closing down the University system until coal production resumed. The month before, Rockefeller stopped all hiring, pay raises and purchases of equipment, but the economic picture was getting worse. In the Coal communities in the state, retail sales were said to have dropped at least 50%.
And that’s just a little what happened this March 9th 40 years ago as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.