My grandfather Roger Silva Sr. worked at the mine for about 30 years and was apart of the Local 890 Union. From my understanding, he was apart of the union to protest against the conditions him and other workers were facing. He was a big supporter of keeping the union in place.
The union was important because my grandfather & others he worked with wanted to ensure that future workers would not have to deal with their same conditions. I learned about his involvement when I was in fifth grade and told my mother we were going to be watching the Salt of Earth film in class. That led me to my mother telling me about my grandfather’s involvement in the union.
I know that the union must still mean something to my grandfather today. My older sister recalls seeing my grandfather wearing a black and yellow jacket from the union during her childhood. I remember seeing my grandfather wearing that jacket not too long ago and hadn’t realized its meaning until my sister had pointed it out.
The mine was a big part of my grandfather’s life and I know he worked hard to support my mother’s family throughout the years. I can understand the pride he must have for fighting for better working conditions.