The Copper Strike of 1968-1969

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CONFERENCE: Retrospection & Respect: The 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium of 2014

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In May of 1968, workers at the Kingston mine, a branch of the Calumet Division of Universal Oil Products walked off the site in protest of a safety issue involving a man-car. Knowing their contracts were due for negotiation in just a few months, the workers quickly returned, only to find themselves striking yet again just three months later, when negotiations failed. Requesting pay equal to that of the workers at the nearby White Pine mine was unacceptable to the heads of Universal Oil, the corporation which bought the long running Calumet & Hecla just a year earlier in 1968. The strike would last for nine months, ending in a total shutdown of all mining operations on the Keweenaw Peninsula, and bring an economic hardship to the area that would take decades to recover from. The Copper Strike of 1968-1969 is often forgotten, though extremely important to the story of the copper industry in Michigan, as well as to the United States.This paper has not yet been submitted.