Mining has marked the history of Labin area, whose inhabitants for decades lived of digging coal. One of the first rebellions against fascism in Europe took place in this area. It was a strike and self-government of Labin area miners, known as the Labin Republic, which lasted for a month: from 2 March to 8 April 1921. The strike began when a handful of miners gathered in the square in Vinež protesting against the fascists who abused their trade union leader Giovanni Pipan in Pazin.
The miners took over the mines and set mines at mine pits and organized armed security forces. They organized the mine management and after a few days started the production. They went down into the pit where they appointed their own manager. On April 8th the management launched a surprise military and police action on land and at sea. Poorly armed and inexperienced miners had to give up. Around forty miners were arrested who were set free after a court trial held in Pula.
The memory of the glorious past is now preserved in Podlabin, the planned settlement built for the needs of mine workers, with its central part called Pijacal, now protected industrial heritage complex. There is also a mine shaft - main entrance to 150 m deep mine corridors, Cultural Centre Lamparna and the new futuristic public library. The monumental marble hall at the former Istrian Coal Mines Raša headquarters, once used to receive wages and rise strikes, is now transformed into a modern mine of culture.