Unions (HM1QH7)

Location: Rock Springs, WY 82901 Sweetwater County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 45.739', W 108° 58.089'

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The Union Hall

Unions were established in the Wyoming coal fields for several reasons. In part, they developed due to the dangers found underground in coal mines, the lack of fair wages and the fact that coal companies often controlled a man's life from cradle to gave. Labor unions and coal mines became almost synonymous.
In 1903, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) began organizing miners into what would become the most powerful union in the state of Wyoming. By the spring of 1907, the UMWA had organized coal miners along the "Southern Wyoming Coal Field". Naturally, Union Pacific Coal Company objected to the UMWA, as it weakened their control over their mining operations. Like mine managers throughout the United States, UP saw little to gain and much to lose if the mines became unionized.
The year 1907 witnessed one of the largest labor strikes in Wyoming history. Pro-Union speeches delivered in different languages were enthusiastically received in Sweetwater County. By the end of 1907, Union Pacific Coal Company recognized the UMWA, and South Superior, whose livelihood depended on coal mining was now "Union" town.
Immediate benefits of the Union were the establishment of an 8 hour day (from 10 hours previously) and wage increase from $3.03 a day to $3.40 a day. By 1934, the 7 hour day had been realized, with wages of $5.42 per day.
The Union Hall

The Union Hall in which you are now standing was built not only to house union offices, but to serve as a community center. On the second floor of the building was a large stage and dance floor. Here people would gather for plays, concerts and dances. The second floor served several functions and was one of the largest meeting halls in the Superior area.
The Union Hall was constructed ca. 1921, the architect and builder are unknown. In South Superior six UMWA locals contributed to the construction fund for this substantial hall. Neither a rectangle nor a square, the building is a trapezoid, unique in Wyoming as a structure of this type.
HM NumberHM1QH7
Placed ByThe People of the Town of South Superior, The Wyoming Department of Environment, Tern Engineering, Western Wyoming Community College, Noel Griffith & Associates, Sweetwater County Commissioners, Linda Tallifero, Larry Calier and Fred Radosovich
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, January 14th, 2016 at 5:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12T E 668901 N 4625382
Decimal Degrees41.76231667, -108.96815000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 45.739', W 108° 58.089'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 45' 44.34" N, 108° 58' 5.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)307
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 141 S Main St, Rock Springs WY 82901, US
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