The story of the 1959 Knox Mine Disaster in Northeastern, PA represents a framework for understanding how labor unions, management, and other organizations had engaged in corrupt labor-management relations. Mining too close to the Susquehanna river bed caused the river bed to collapse. Billions of gallons of water flowed into the mines putting miners lives at risk. The disaster effectively ended the area’s anthracite coal industry. Over 7,500 jobs were lost because of the Knox Mine Disaster causing long-term economic challenges for the region.
Using the Internet, research information on the Knox Mine Disaster and discuss the following questions with your classmates:
- What role did the union, management, and other organizations have in the Knox Mine Disaster?
- According to your research, what was the root cause of the disaster? What labor-relations laws or practices were ignored?
- Could the disaster have been prevented? If so, how? What future labor laws were put in place that could prevent similar disasters from happening?
Many of the major US labor laws governing unions arose in the early 1930’s, however, unions existed well before this time. In fact, labor unions can trace their history, in some form, back to medieval craft guilds. Thus, organizing members of a profession to address issues within an industry has played a great role in the development of modern business practices. There is great value in studying the history of organized labor.
For this assignment, discuss the following with your classmates:
- In your opinion, what were the major issues in labor-management relations in the US before 1930? What role did the industrial revolution play in labor-management relations during this time period?
- How were these issues addressed differently in the US before modern employment laws were enacted
- Historically, what role has the HR profession played in labor-management relations and the development of US employment laws? Should that role change, if so how?
300 words each DQ please label each paragraph as DQ