From Ohio History Central
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During the 1980s and the 1990s, tensions within the United Mine Workers eased. Unfortunately for the workers, they now faced new problems in the workplace. Automation of the mines improved working conditions, but it also reduced the need for miners. Also, the growing popularity of other energy sources, especially natural gas, also reduced the need for coalminers and a desire by employers to cut their employees benefits to reduce company expenditures. Union membership declined precipitously. In 1998, 240,000 miners belonged to the United Mine Workers. Fifty years earlier, the union had 500,000 members. To enhance its voice, the United Mine Workers joined the AFL-CIO in 1989.
[[Category:Industrialization and Urbanization]]