On this day 99 years ago miners strike in Butte


BUTTE, Mont. - June 13 is officially Miners Union Day, a day of celebration marked by widespread strikes in Butte 99 years ago.

According to the Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives Center, on June 13, 1914, miners unions paraded through the city asking for better wages.

It started in 1878, when the first miners union formed to strike over a wage cut for workers working in the Lexington mine from $3.50 to $3 a day.

Wages remained the same all the way through 1914, even though copper prices had doubled, which sparked the protests and strike.

The miners union also fought for better pay and safety when working in the dangerous underground mines.

"Those were things (pay, safety) that miners were fighting for in the 1900s, and those are still issues today that are being addressed by labor unions and working people," said Butte Archives Center director Ellen Crain.

Miners Union Day became the one day a year when miners would take the day off and celebrate their hard work.

Today it's celebrated by a free day at the World Museum of Mining in Butte.