Anthracite coal miners were one of the first groups of miners to join the UMWA after its founding in 1890. Anthracite coal, or “hard” coal, is harder and more compact than bituminous coal. It has the highest carbon content and fewest impurities of all types of coal. It is primarily burned today as an ingredient in charcoal briquettes.
The miners in Pennsylvania’s anthracite region were the first to negotiate a coal contract in North America ending child labor at the mines. Today, the UMWA represents over a thousand hard coal miners, all of whom work at surface operations.