Coal Mining In Cape Breton

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Coal mining in Cape Breton is an important piece of history, it gave many men, young and old, secure jobs. Jobs that also meant endangering their lives every day as they went into the mines, possibilities of dust explosions threatened them daily along with unknown threats to their health, breathing in the dust from the mines would build up and cause serious long term lung diseases. Taking jobs in the mines meant being put in a company town, leaving them little to none free choice of their own, also taking the job meant being paid very little which resulted in hunger and poverty among the miners, and when striking against the company for more money and more power over their own lives it resulted in extreme police brutality towards the miners.…show more content…
In Cape Breton, the Sydney coalfield is one of the richest coal resources in the world. Before becoming miners, many poor European Immigrants came to Canada for hopes of earning more money than they did before, many Scottish immigrants settled in Cape Breton but remained poor and jobless. Business men in the late 1800s saw better use for the failing mining companies in Cape Breton if there was a railway built going from Sydney to Louisberg, the provincial government agreed to this which meant coal was not only worth more but the mines would not close during the winter months as they usually did. The dominion coal company took over many unprofitable coal mines in the Sydney Coal Field, many mining sites were built in Glace Bay when the coal industry really took, men were coming to get jobs daily in large numbers and The Dominion Coal Company hurriedly built boarding houses for the men to live in. After these boarding houses were built, they built school houses for the married miners children, hospitals, police stations and fire stations. It was the Coal Company Town, in which many others were built all around Cape Breton. (Mellar John, pg…show more content…
Miners had to go through many struggles whether it be being paid so little it results in poverty and hunger, working through dangerous conditions that cause accidents and miners being seriously injured and killed, when protesting for these rights for decent pay and better safety they were beaten by company thugs or even the police, they lived in company towns that helped little and made debts go up which resulted in families being forced out of their company houses, and when finally getting these basic rights many miners fell ill due to breathing in the coal dust for many years and no protection from it. Coal mining may have created jobs for poor men and immigrants, and earned the government money yet miners and their families for many years were ignored and looked after so terribly that many lives were lost too prematurely. "The company couldn 't be loved as it many times in the past proved, it didn 't love us." -James McLachlin (miner and union
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