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The Workingmen's Benevolent Association
was a 19th century labor organization that consisted mainly of coal-miners. It was organized in 1868 in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania
-Notable people:*Boxing heavyweight great Muhammad Ali had his training camp in Deer Lake.*Charles Justin Bailey, commanding general of the 81st Division in World War I, was born in Tamaqua on June 21, 1859....
, with John Siney as president. In 1869, the organization called a strike of coal-miners from May 5 to June 16. There were some gains resulting from the strike. The union was organized in an area of Molly Maguires
The Molly Maguires were members of an Irish-American secret society, whose members consisted mainly of coal miners. Many historians believe the "Mollies" were present in the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania in the United States from approximately the time of the American Civil War until a...
Strikes were called in 1868, 1869, and 1871.
The organization is transformed into a national entity
John Siney also headed the Miners' and Laborers' Benevolent Association. The Miners' and Laborers' Benevolent Association was formed in 1870, and in 1872 it became a national union in the bituminous fields of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Michigan. The Miners' and Laborers' Benevolent Association was crushed in 1875. Pennsylvania Industrialist Franklin B. Gowen
Franklin Benjamin Gowen served as president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad in the 1870s and 1880s....
forced a strike in January 1875 that came to be known as the Long Strike. The strike lasted six months, and resulted in the destruction of the union.
An earlier organization, the Workingmen's Benevolent Society of Carbon County was organized in the Schuylkill region in 1864.