The series of incidents that have most frequently been referred to as the Colorado Labor Wars involved a struggle between the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) and the mine operators, particularly the Cripple Creek Mine Owners' Association (CCMOA), during the period from 1903 to 1904. Like so many other fights between the miners and the owners of the mines, this was a brutal and bloody period in Colorado's history. A nearly simultaneous strike in Colorado's northern and southern coal fields was also met with a military response by the Colorado National Guard.
Colorado's most significant battles between labor and capital occurred primarily between miners and mine operators. In these battles the state government, with one clear exception, always took the side of the mine operators. Additional participants in Colorado's labor struggles have included the National Guard, often informally called the militia; private contractors such as the Pinkertons, Baldwin-Felts, and Thiel detective agencies; and various labor entities, employers' organizations such as the Mine Owners' Associations, and vigilante groups and employer-sponsored citizens groups, such as the Citizens' Alliance.
Two scholars who studied American labor violence concluded, "There is no episode in American labor history in which violence was as systematically used by employers as in the Colorado labor war of 1903 and 1904."
Read more about Colorado Labor Wars: Overview of Miners' Disputes in Colorado, The Cripple Creek/Colorado Springs Divide, The Western Federation of Miners, Governor Peabody, and The Growth of Employers' Power, A Labor Dispute Escalates, The Aftermath
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