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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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21. Mining and Labour

It would be impossible to write a history of mining without referring to and commenting on the subject of labour, and indeed we have looked at the conditions of work and the issues facing mine labour over the centuries in a number of contexts already. We look at some aspects of this topic in more detail now.

The first formal miners’ strike

One of the more interesting case studies is that of the Mexican silver miners in 1766 at the rich Real del Monte mine in the central eastern region of the country and their dispute and strike. The dispute concerned the altering of working practices that had afforded the miners extra incentives to encourage their efforts and supplement their income. Mining has always been, and remains ...

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