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Arnold Miller

AKA Arnold R. Miller

Born: 25-Apr-1923
Birthplace: Leewood, WV
Died: 12-Jul-1985
Location of death: Charleston, WV
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, London Cemetery, London, WV

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Labor Leader

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: UMW President, 1972-79

Military service: US Army (1944-45)

Working at coal mines since age 14, Arnold Miller eventually suffered from black lung, but neither the United Mine Workers nor his employers were sympathetic. A wildcat strike in 1969 led to the passage of West Virginia's first black-lung bill. Incumbent UMW President W. A. Boyle won the rigged 1969 UMW election, and then three weeks later had his primary opponent, Joseph Yablonski, murdered. The hitman was paid for with funds from the union treasury. In the aftermath of such shenanigans, in 1972 a US District Judge threw out the 1969 election and a new one was held, and Miller handily defeated Boyle.

As President of the UMW, Arnold Miller introduced significant reforms, increasing democracy and localized control. A 28-day strike in 1974 was at first blush a great success, but in the long run it weakened the union's ability to engage in collective bargaining. This brought many wildcat strikes. Miller was viewed as a weak President, and a 1977-78 strike lasting 110 days was concluded with a contract which left both miners and the union in a disadvantaged position. Soon after the end of the strike, Miller suffered a stroke and heart attack, turning over operations to Sam Church. Miller regretted the choice of Church, who also was a weak President. Lapsing into a coma for the last few weeks of his life, Arnold Miller died in a Charleston hospital in 1985.

Father: George Miller
Mother: Lula Burgess Hoy
Wife: Virginia Ruth Brown (m. 26-Nov-1948, div. 1979, one son, two daughters)
Son: Larry

    United Mine Workers of America President (1972-79)
    Miners for Democracy (1970-72)
    Stroke 29-Mar-1978
    Heart Attack 12-Apr-1978
    Purple Heart

    Harlan County, U.S.A. (18-Oct-1976) · Himself

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