Boyle, W. A. "Tough Tony"

1970 TLS as Mine Workers President, jailed for murder of rival

Price: $35.00

Description:
(1904-1985) "Tough Tony", president of the United Mine Workers Union (UMWA) 1963-72. Son of a Montana miner, joined the UMWA soon after going to work in the mines, president of District 27 (inc. Montana) to 1948 when UMWA president John L. Lewis named him an assistant. He served until 1960 as Lewis' chief trouble-shooter and chief administrator. Boyle was elected UMWA VP in 1960. That year, Lewis retired and 73-year-old Thomas Kennedy assumed UMWA leadership. In Nov. 1962, Boyle was named acting president and when Kennedy died in 1963, he was elected president. Boyle faced significant opposition from rank-and-file miners and UMWA leaders. Miners wanted greater democracy and more autonomy for their local unions. There was a widespread belief that Boyle was more concerned with protecting mine owners' interests, grievances often took months or years to resolve, wildcat strikes occurred as locals sought to resolve local disputes with walkouts. In 1969, Joseph "Jock" Jablonsky challenged Boyle for the presidency of UMWA. In an election widely seen as corrupt, Boyle defeated Yablonski by a huge margin. Yablonski asked the Dept. of Labor (DOL) to investigate the election for fraud and initiated 5 lawsuits in federal court. On Dec. 31, 1969, 3 killers shot Yablonski, his wife, and daughter. Boyle had demanded Yablonski's death on June 23, 1969, after an ugly meeting with Yablonski at UMWA headquarters; that September, UMWA executive council member Albert Pass received $20,000 from Boyle (who embezzled the money from union funds) to hire assassins to kill Yablonski. On Jan. 8, 1970, Yablonski's attorney requested an investigation of the 1969 election by DOL. Labor Secretary George P. Schulz assigned 230 investigators to the UMWA investigation under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LNRA) of 1959. A reform group, Miners for Democracy (MFD), formed in April 1970 included Yablonski's sons and others. The election was overturned by a federal court and a new election scheduled for Dec. 1972 with DOL oversight. MFD delegates nominated Arnold Miller and on Dec. 22, 1972, Miller was certified as new UMWA president. In early March 1971, Boyle was indicted for embezzling union funds to make illegal campaign contributions in the 1968 presidential election, convicted and imprisoned. On 6 Sept. 1973, Boyle was arrested on 1st degree murder charges in the death of the Yablonskis; Boyle attempted suicide but failed. He was sentenced to 3 consecutive life terms in prison. His conviction was reversed on appeal, Boyle was retried, again found guilty and jailed, died in prison 1985. TLS as President on 10 x 8 official UMWA letterhead, Washington, March 10 1970, to a Virginia collector, sends a photograph (not here), appreciates his interest.

Condition: Very good
Type:Letter






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