The Bayard Union Hall mural
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member beagle39z
N 32° 45.378 W 108° 54.467
12S E 695999 N 3626207
Quick Description: The Bayard Union Hall mural was created by students with help from local artists to honor local residents past and present. The strike at the Empire Zinc Company mine in Hanover, New Mexico, October 1950 to February 1952, was the inspiration for the movie “Salt of the Earth.”
Location: New Mexico, United States
Date Posted: 4/9/2007 10:04:32 PM
Waymark Code: WM1D7C
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 31

Long Description:
The 15-month strike that inspired the mural and the film coincided with the Red Scare of the McCarthy era across America. The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) had just carried out a purge of leftists in its member unions, including the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers. That "fighting union" had organized workers ignored by other labor groups, including Mexican-American workers, and emphasized solidarity between Anglo and minority workers when bosses tried to split them along ethnic lines.
When Mine-Mill Local 890 struck the Empire Zinc Mine in Grant County in 1950, management tried to portray the Mexican-American workers as the dupes of "Reds." The strike, argued Empire Zinc bosses, undermined the battle against Communists then going on in Korea.
Clinton Jencks, a decorated World War II veteran whom the Mill-Mine union sent to assist Local 890, would later recall in a 2002 article in American History magazine, "The central issue, really, was dignity, equality, being treated like anybody else." By openly favoring Anglo workers, he said, the bosses tried "to keep people fighting each other instead of the company."
After eight months, Empire Zinc brought in scab labor and obtained a court injunction banning strikers from picketing--so the miners' wives took their place on the picket line. When police tried to disperse them, the women fought back and went to jail. Strikers' families—45 women and 17 children—chanted at the top of their lungs in crowded county jail cells until sheriff's deputies thought they'd lose their minds.
The strike was finally settled on January 21, 1952, with workers winning higher wages and insurance benefits. But the company denied demands for paid holidays and pay for all time spent underground.
The new mural in Bayard is unlikely to stir up such controversy, but it may remind passersby of the struggles and passions of that time.

The artwork is part of the Youth Mural Arts Project, sponsored through a partnership of Grant County DWI and the Mimbres Region Arts Council. With funding from New Mexico Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, Grant County youth ages 14-18 take part in the planning, designing and production of murals in the region. The Bayard Union Hall mural also received $750 of support from the Southwest Activities Network Society (SWANS). Local artist Fred Barraza was the lead artist on the project, working primarily with students from Cobre High School and with help from WNMU interns
City: Silver City, NM

Location Name: Building

Artist: Not listed

Date: Not listed

Media: Not listed

Relevant Web Site: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and description of your visit. One original photo of the mural must also be submitted. GPSr photo NOT required.
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