Rebellious miners who jumped the gun on a threatened nationwide strike returned to work in six states. Thursday, but about 12,000 others stayed off the job in the soft coal fields. A coal loading facility was set on fire and equipment was damaged at two mines. Pennsylvania State police said three large coal loaders owned by the Kent Coal Company, a division of the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company, caught fire near Clarksburg, Pa., Wednesday night.
United Mine Workers union officials persuaded hundreds of miners in Illinois, Alabama, Virginia, and parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia to end their wildcat strikes. The strike was centered in southwestern Pennsylvania, where an estimated 6,700 miners were off the job.
In a related development, the North American Coal Company, headquartered in Cleveland and with 10 mines in Ohio and Pennsylvania, said it had offered to barg ain separately with the UMW.