perfect quote to summarize my point.
My mother, born in 1934, still tells me the story (when I beseech her to) of how her dad, my Granddad Charlie, was a coal-mine mechanic and how his sector of the industry around there (clear the opposite end of Kentucky, in Crittenden County along the Ohio River) was reluctant to join the union. This would have been back before The War, maybe the late thirties, and a time when not everybody who got their hands dirty was willing to jump in bed with the “godless Bolsheviks”, which was how a lot of good hardworking Christian folks saw the unions, in the years after the Russian Revolution had left “our boys Over There” high and dry following Lenin’s separate peace with the Germans at Brest-Litovsk (turns out even hillbillies from down in a coal shaft can read the papers).
Mom, being a Crittenden girl from the wrong side of a county line where the more prosperous Union County’s school bus service stopped to wait for the Crittenden kids, sometimes would get a ride from her dad when the weather was bad, down to the county line six miles from Bells Mines to catch her morning bus. She tells me that the first thing he did during the union troubles before starting his pickup of a morning, was check and make sure the union boys hadn’t come out and wired up his gas tank to blow up off the brake light circuit, which was, apparently, a common-enough tactic to use on the fellows who were hanging back about joining the union for whatever reason.
Another Matewan quote which, in somewhat hyperbolic terms, summarizes the hesitation folks had between the world wars about collective bargaining, or collective anything, enforced by outsiders:
The Prince of Darkness is upon the land. Now in the Bible his name is Beezlebub, Lord of the Flies. Right now on Earth today his name is Bolshevist! Socialist! Communist! Union man! Lord of untruth, sower of evil seed, enemy of all that is good and pure and this creature walks among us.