Interview with Tony Funich, August 19, 1986

Project: Appalachia: Immigrants in the Coal Fields Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

This second interview with Tony Funich, a Yugoslavian immigrant who worked his way to the United States on an ocean-going freighter, states that his life philosophy is "work hard and do what the boss tells you." Before being employed at the U.S. Steel mine at Lynch, Kentucky, he worked in horrible conditions in a deep shaft mine in western Pennsylvania. According to Funich, the mine had too much methane gas and too little ventilation. For this reason he moved to Lynch where the coal mine was relatively gas-free.

Funich discusses how U.S. Steel treated the miners it employed at Lynch. He states that if a miner did anything to displease the company, he was fired and thrown out of his company-owned house in a matter of hours. He describes an incident that almost led to his dismissal. Funich also talks about the company-sponsored baseball team, and says that the players were given plum assignments and were required to do only light duty outside or inside of the mine.

Funich also discusses mine safety and how miners recognized danger and avoided accidents. He states that until the U.M.W.A. was organized in eastern Kentucky, miners had to work under unsafe conditions, and had to walk thirteen miles to the mine face. Once the U.M.W.A. was organized, the men rode to work.

Interview Accession

1986oh272_app080

Interviewee Name

Tony Funich

Interviewer Name

Doug Cantrell

Interview Date

1986-08-19

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Funich, Tony Interview by Doug Cantrell. 19 Aug. 1986. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Funich, T. (1986, August 19). Interview by D. Cantrell. Appalachia: Immigrants in the Coal Fields Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Funich, Tony, interview by Doug Cantrell. August 19, 1986, Appalachia: Immigrants in the Coal Fields Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7rr49g6d3c