Talk:Pittston Coal strike

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Good article Pittston Coal strike has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
April 15, 2010 Peer review Reviewed
April 28, 2010 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article

Slight name change[edit]

Because the object of the strike was the Pittston Coal Company, should not the article be titled "Pittston Coal strike" (with "Coal" capitalized)? Plazak (talk) 13:44, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

stuff to do[edit]

Good work so far. There are some things left to do, probably before you seek a peer review.

  1. Insure proper citation format. Enclosing your web address in < > is not the format. I've done the first one for you. They should all be like that.
  2. The bibliography should also list the citation web source the same way, in [http://www etc (space) "Article Name"]. The newspaper goes in Italics.
  3. Insure proper citation page numbers. You have some articles with several pages, but the pages are not cited. They need to be.
  4. Redundant citations. You don't need to cite the whole citation a second time. Just use the last name, and the page number. If you have two sources with the same last name, use an additional distinguishing feature.
  1. Please check your prose again. Strike should be spelled properly, at least, not Stike. I've corrected a lot of them, but I may not have found them all. Refer to people by first and last name the first time, then by last name subsequently. You only need to link them the first time. Mother Jones is always called Mother Jones, but you would include her full name the first time.
  2. Please pay attention to text informality. Don't. Can't. etc. They got to do something.
  1. do you know where / what the primary mine was? the other mines? Perhaps a list or a table of the key sites would be in order.
  2. Were there casualties?
  3. Do we have total cost figures?
  1. If you can, you might locate the mines on a map, to show the locations.
  2. Other pictures?

This is it for now. I like what you've done here, and it is much improved over the first article. Nice. Auntieruth55 (talk) 22:03, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Be sure to spell "strike" correctly in your citations. At least one time it is spelled "stike".  :) Auntieruth55 (talk) 20:51, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
you might also check this source. for info about miners versus Coal company. And this is a direct result, isn't it? Auntieruth55 (talk) 21:23, 6 April 2010 (UTC)


Megzie, you might continue working on this using the comments you have. GA reviews sometimes take a while. Auntieruth55 (talk) 01:02, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Pittston Coal strike/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Dana boomer (talk) 17:28, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Hi! I will be reviewing this article for GA status and should have the full review up shortly. Dana boomer (talk) 17:28, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    • The third external link dead links (where it says "click here").
    • There are several dab (disambiguation) links in the article, which can be seen with this tool. Although resolving these is not required by GA criteria, it is a nice thing to have fixed.
    • There are a lot of really short (one and two sentence) paragraphs in the article, which make it choppy and harder to read. Please combine these with other paragraphs or expand them into paragraphs in their own right. As a general rule of thumb, paragraphs should contain at least three sentences, and successive short paragraphs tend to be a no-no.
    • The Some mines involved with the strike section should be converted into prose (as opposed to a list) and probably incorporated into the prose in its chronological place in the previous section.
    • Events leading to the strike section, "Up until 1987 the Pittston Coal Company worked in cooperation with the Bituminous Coal Operators BOAC." What does the Bituminous Coal Operators have to do with the British Overseas Airways Corporation (which is what that link goes to)?
    • UMWA should be made consistent whenever it appears, rather than having various letters left out. I have corrected these as I have found them, but please take another run through and make sure they're all correct.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    • In the Bibliography section, the Beckwith, Karen reference link takes me to the website's home page, not the article page. Also, what sort of thesis is this paper? Undergraduate or graduate? Undergraduate thesis are generally not considered reliable sources because they are not peer reviewed; however, graduate thesis are usually peer reviewed, and so are usually considered reliable.
    • There are a few citations that need to be converted into short format (author, page) to match the others.
    • These are looking better, but still need a bit of standardization. Some have commas, others done, some have periods, others don't. I don't really care what format you use, just keep it all the same.
    • I tagged a few places that need references, and included hidden text explaining my reasoning, which can be tossed when the references are provided. A couple of the places that I tagged feel slightly like original research, and so really need references.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:

I have taken a first look through of the article, and overall it looks like a nice bit of work. I need to take a closer look at the prose and sourcing, which I will do later this afternoon. I should have the full review up by late evening. If you have any questions, please let me know! Dana boomer (talk) 17:38, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

For now, I'm going to place the article on hold to allow the above issues to be resolved, and then when that has happened I will go back through and thoroughly review the prose. At this point, from the brief look I have taken, there is quite a bit of copyediting work that needs to be done. There are many sentences that have redundant words or clauses, or that are poorly structured. I would suggest that you thoroughly read through the article after resolving the concerns listed above and try to tighten the prose a bit. Again, please let me know if you have any questions - I have this page watchlisted so I will immediately see any comments the next time I log in. Dana boomer (talk) 20:59, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
I see that quite a bit of work has been happening on the article. Please just leave a note here when you consider the above issues addressed, and I will finish my review. Keep up the good work, Dana boomer (talk) 23:36, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
I think that I read through and checked everything that needed to be done, if you want to take anoter look at it now. Thank you so much for all your help, it is really making this project much easier. Megzie113 (talk) 21:31, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

(undent) Overall, the article is looking much improved, especially the prose, although further work is still needed. I have begun with just the lead tonight, and will hopefully get to the rest of it tomorrow. I apologize for the slow response on this review - RL just got quite busy for me :) In the meantime, please take another run through the prose and address the few issues that I didn't strike above. Dana boomer (talk) 01:25, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Again, I apologize for the slow response times! The work that has been done on the article over the past few days looks great. I have finished my prose review of the article, and just have a few more comments before I pass the article to GA status:
  • In the article, sometimes dates are given in day month year format and other times in month day, year format. This needs to be standardized.
  • The Pittston strike section, "Many efforts of civil disobedience". Maybe "many acts of civil disobedience"?
  • The The Pittston Strike of 1989 section appears to be simply a summary of the article, which is what the lead is supposed to be. This ends up with this section and the lead basically repeating each other. I honestly can't see a need for the Pittston Strike section, unless it serves some other purpose than to be a summary of the article.
  • Strike tactics, "found creative ways for their message to be heard". Such as what?
  • Violent actions, "Although the UMWA wanted the Pittston strike to remain nonviolent, there were some people who failed to comply." You just said this in the preceeding paragraph, so the sentence can probably be removed.
  • Same section, "The strike lasted until a settlement was finally agreed upon in February 1990." The reader already knows this, no need to repeat it.
  • Civil disobedience, I added a fact tag where I would like to see another reference.
  • Since the Camp Solidarity section is already a subsection of the Civil disobedience section, what would you think of combining the two? They are both rather short, and successive short sections made the article choppy-feeling and harder to read.
  • Is it really true that the final case decisions are still in court today, 20 years later? The reference that you are pulling from is from 1996, so they are not a good source for whether the court case is still active.
  • Overall, be on the look out for redundancy and editorializing in the article. The goal of Wikipedia is to present the facts as scholars/reporters see them, with no editorializing on our feelings towards the issue. The goal to aim for is to be able to write an article on a controversial subject and at the end have no one able to tell which side you are on or which side you sympathize with.
Once these issues are taken care of, the article should be good to go for GA status. Let me know when you think the above have been dealt with. Dana boomer (talk) 18:36, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I think I got through most of the points, I'm just trying to find places where the writing seems one-sided now. Thank you so much for your help! Megzie113 (talk) 12:26, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Everything looks good, so I'm passing the article to GA status. Very nice work! If you feel an urge to take the article to FAC, which I think would be a great idea, I have a few more suggestions for you:
  • Get the article copyedited by another outside editor. I would suggest asking User:Malleus Fatuorum, a wonderful editor who takes special interest in helping students working on WP for class projects.
  • Get an image expert, possibly User:Awadewit or User:NuclearWarfare, to check over the image licenses.
  • Work on finding out if the court case has been resolved. This information will be needed to meet the comprehensiveness requirement at FAC.
  • Just generally get comments from as many outside users as you possibly can before taking it through FAC. This might include posting a request for comment on the talk page of related wikiprojects (listed on the article talk page).
I think this would be a great article to take through FAC, once a few more rough edges are trimmed off. It has improved greatly just during the GA process, and the work you did before that was very nice as well. Please let me know if you have any questions, Dana boomer (talk) 21:58, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Peer Review[edit]

I read through your article after you mentioned it in class last week. You have put a great deal of work into this...good job! I think this is a very interesting topic and I feel as though you explain it fairly well. I did find some things that you could fix to make the article even better.

UMW vs. UMWA - You use these seemingly interchangeably throughout your article. If there is no distinction between the two it might be best to just choose one and stick with it. It is slightly confusing.

Citations in the Intro - It seems as though you are conveying information in the intro that you got from sources but there are no citations. It might not be necessary to include references in the intro paragraph but you might want to look into that to see if you need to.

Try to not use the phrase "a lot" as much as it is currently used in the article.

In "The Pittston Strike of 1989" section in the beginning of the paragraph you need to change "in" before February 1 to "on" and about midway through the paragraph you need to fix the sentence that begins "The UMWA declared strike..."

In the beginning of the next section i would suggest saying "alternative types of fuel" as opposed to "alternate".

There are other typos and grammatical errors throughout the article that you should read through and find as well.

The last sentence in the "Strike Tactics" section needs to be fixed...its confusing. Do the same for the second sentence in the next section after that.

In the last paragraph of the article the phrase "The strike lasted until a settlement was finally agreed upon in February 1990" is used 3 times. It looks like it might be a glitch in Wikipedia that caused this or a copy paste error. There are other sections of the paper where this is used too often as well. I would say that you do not need to write that more than three times in the whole article.

Like I said before this is a good article and your hard work is evident. I just know that it is helpful to get honest suggestions from someone else so i hope this helps.

Ragfin (talk) 18:41, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

If I may suggest, the section "The Pittston Strike of 1989" does not appear to be needed in the article; the article itself does a pretty good job of walking through the specifics of the strike from top to bottom, and there fore the article itself is doing what this section tries to do. TomStar81 (Talk) 09:16, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

Quick Comment[edit]

I read through your article and I enjoyed it! It was obvious you put a lot of time into this and you brought everything together very nicely. I fixed some minor typo errors that I saw, but the facts seemed to check out and you stayed to the point. Good article! Nock526 (talk) 03:46, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Events leading up to the strike[edit]

In the first paragraph in the "Events leading up to the strike" section, there is this statement about the Pittston Coal Co.:

"...due to the drop in the value of the American dollar overseas, it began to enter into debt."

This does not appear to make sense. A drop in the value of the dollar would make exports (including coal) more competitive in foreign markets, and make coal sold on the international market more valuable in dollar terms. Thus, a drop in the value of the dollar would increae the profits of coal exporters such as Pittston. Can anyone explain this to me? Thanks. Plazak (talk) 21:07, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

The lead paragraph of this section still appears to contain misinformation. I will document this later, but: 1) US demand for coal was not falling in the 1980s; instead, it was rising (according to the US Energy Information Administration).[1] 2) There was a recession in the early 1980s, but by 1987 we were well out of it (judging by unemployment rates from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics). The difficulties of Pittston may have derived from the price of bituminous coal, which although roughly flat through the 1980s in nominal dollars, was declining in terms of constant (inflation-adjusted) dollars (per the US EIA).[2] Plazak (talk) 19:17, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Aftermath of the strike.[edit]

There is a sentence in this section that reads: "Since the strike, many of Pittston's coal plants have been sold to Alpha Natural Resources, which is now in the nation’s top three coal companies,[4] in order to pay for the health care for the miners"

Absent solid supporting financial documentation, the highlighted assertion of causality could be seen as an interpretation with political bias related to contemporary policy debates and should not be stated as unequivocal fact. In order to lay causality for the plant sales entirely on responsibility for miner's benefits, it would be necessary to eliminate other possible factors contributing to the decision to liquidate assets. In addition to questions about possible declining profitability, it should be verified that there was no significant shareholder profit, decision makers did not achieve bonuses resulting from the transactions, no common-ownership ties among decision makers and no other clear tangible benefits to decision makers that could influence a choice to sell corporate assets.

If the phrase is to be kept, the assertion needs to be sourced. Further, if the only sourcing available are PR statements from the corporation itself or a representative association, the phrase should be restated from being a declaration of fact to clarify that the source of such assertions is an actor with clear interest in public perception of the events and their aftermath. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:58, 20 July 2012 (UTC)