first local labor disturbance took place at Scofield (Winter
Quarters) in 1883, a year after the D&RGW took control; this was
followed by an 1899 walkout on the eve of Sunnyside's opening. The recurrent
demand for safer working conditions proved especially poignant as terrific
explosions shook the Utah coal fields, beginning with the horrific Scofield
Mine Disaster of 1900 in which approximately 200 men and boys were killed.
There was a strike in 1901, followed by another unsuccessful miners'
attempt to gain the protection of a national union in 1903-04. A localized
strike shook Kenilworth, Utah's first independent mine, in 1910; and
Utah's coal miners joined another national strike in 1922. However,
management prevailed, and local miners had to suffer another terrific
loss of life in the Castle Gate Explosion of 1924, despite repeated
warnings and basic safety practices initiated by the state coal mine
inspector. Unionization by the United Mine Workers of America and the
end of major abuses was finally achieved only after another national
strike in 1933.