The coal miners of the Allegany and Garrett Counties in Maryland met on Wednesday, September 10, 1879 and decided to continue their strike. Two representatives from twenty-eight mines met in Lonaconing. Almost unanimously, the miners decided they would not work for less than fifty cents per ton of coal; the companies said they could not pay more than forty cents and that this was even too high to still make a profit. The strike closed all the mines in the Maryland coal mining area and it was thought that they would remain closed for the whole season. Due to the strike, thousands of men did not work.
The coal miner's strike in 1879 fit in with the environment of emerging, struggling, and unsuccessful unions of the late 1800s described by historians Richard Walsh and William Fox. In 1882, the Knights of Labor's strike failed and in 1894, the United Mine Workers strike to increase pay also fell through. Unions at the time were said to fall away when depressions occurred. While the article does not specifically say the strike failed, the author's end comment that it was the strikers who would suffer, not the companies, is perhaps a comment on the instability of unions and foreshadowing of a probable failure.
"The Coal Strike in Maryland: Thousands of Hands Out of Employment and Business at a Standstill," Washington Post, September 17, 1879.