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June 15, 1977 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-06-15

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.Poge Two


Wednesday, .June 15,.197"

UMW awaits ballot results

By The Associated Press
The three United Mine Work-
ers presidential candidates cast
their ballots yesterday and each
left the polls predicting he
would be chosen to lead the
troubled, 277,000 member un-
Incumbent President Arnold
Miller received a warm recep-
tion from members of Local

750, on Cabin Creek near
Charleston, W. Va., where
Miller was a miner for 27 years.
lie voted at the union hall, an
abandoned school, and then
dropped his ballot into a con-
verted cereal box.
URER Harry Patrick and Lee
Roy Patterson, a UMW Inter-
national Executive Board mem-

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her, also received hearty wel-
comes. Patrick voted at Bar-
rackville Local 4346 in northern
West Virginia, where he once
was a mine mechanic. Patter-
son, a former strip miner, went
to a local union hall near his
home in Madisonville, Ky.
A light rain fell over much of
Appalachia where most of the
union's members are concen-
trated. UMW officials reported
a moderate to heavy turnout in
the Appalachian coalfields -
with the exception of eastern
Kentucky - and a heavy turn-
out in the Midwest, where the
sun was shining.
"I look for a good 80 per
cent if things so far are any
indication," said Larry Rey-
nolds, president of UMW Dis-
trict 11 in Indiana. "Normally
we have only 40 to 50 per cent."
UMW officials at the union's
headquarters in Washington,
D. C., said the election was

proceeding smoothly.
"WE'VE HAD a few ques-
tions but no problems," said
UMW teller Fred Merrin.
The campaign, however, was
anything but calm. And the
union has been torn by strife
and dissension since Miller
brought democracy to the un-
ion five years ago.
Patterson says he will chal-
lenge the outcome if he loses,
Observers say such a challenge
could seriously hamper UMW
negotiators this winter when
they try to hammer out a new
contract with the coal industry.
The UMW represents about 75
per cent of the nation's coal
miners. The union membership
includes some 187,000 working
miners and approximately 90,-
000 retied miners in 25 states
and Canada.
MOST UNION locals voted
from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. but
UMW tellers said some of the
larger locals would keep their
polls open until 9 p.m.
The ballots won't be counted
officially until July 1. Each
candidate, however, kept his
own tally.
Miller, a 54-year-old disabled
miner, has predicted he will
win handily. He says a second
term will enable him to bring
OPEN 11 :00 a.m.
at the

unity to the union and peace to
the coalfields, which have been
wracked by recurring waves
of wildcat walkouts.
THE 42 YEAR OLD Patter-
son has charged that the ballot
is rigged against him. Despite
this, he still predicts he will
take at least 50 per cent of the
vote. Under the union's consti-
tution, the candidate receiving
a plurality of .the votes will be
declared the winner.
Patterson draws his support
from the union's conservative
wing and from supporters of
former president W. A. "Tony"
Boyle, who was ousted by Mil-
ler and later convicted of con-
spiring to murder Jock Yablon-
ski, a former union rival. Boyle
recently was granted a new
Patrick, 46, is supported by
younger, liberal miners. A for-
mer Miller ally, he is the cham-
pion of the miners who com-
posed the former Miners for
Democracy, which led the re-
form movement that brought
Miller to power.
Miller eventually split from
his former supporters, however,
His top aide now is Sam
Church, a former Boyle sup-
volume LXXXvII, No. 30-5
wednesday, June 15, 1977
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