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Warriors Met Coal Strike

Alabama’s Striking Coal Miners Are Upping The Ante

Hundreds of coal miners at Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood, Alabama, have been out on strike since April 1, 2020—and, as the strike nears its second anniversary, the struggle has started heating up again. It’s been a knock-down, drag-out fight for 19 months; during that time, recalcitrant coal bosses have refused to negotiate a fair contract with the miners, who are represented by the United Mine Workers of America, and the story has grown into a sprawling epic powered by solidarity, punctuated by moments of violence, and propelled by corporate greed. Last week in the Alabama backwoods, with the late-autumn heat still hanging in the air, the miners opened up a new chapter in their long struggle, and I was on hand to bear witness.

Testimony: Alabama’s Warrior Met Coal And Wall Street Greed

This month marks one year since 1,100 members of the United Mine Workers of America went on strike at Warrior Met Coal in Alabama following the failure of the union and company to agree on a labor contract. The strike continues today. Warrior Met was created to buy the assets of Walter Energy after that company declared bankruptcy in 2015. A number of hedge funds own shares in Warrior Met, with New York-based BlackRock — the world's largest asset manager — controlling the most, at about 13% at the end of 2021. Earlier this year, Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) held a hearing on Wall Street greed and growing oligarchy in the United States that used Warrior Met as a case study.

Coalminers On Strike For 10 Months Vow Not To Be ‘Starved Out’

About 1,100 coalminers in Alabama have entered 2022 still on strike, more than 10 months since they walked out back in April last year, making it the longest strike in the US since the Covid-19 pandemic began and the longest in Alabama’s history. Workers started the unfair labor practice strike over claims of bad faith bargaining by Warrior Met Coal over a new union contract. In the previous contract settled in 2016, miners accepted several concessions, including a $6-an-hour pay cut and reductions in health insurance and other benefits as the mines switched employers in the wake of a bankruptcy. The miners on strike have received support from US politicians such as Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin and Sherrod Brown, and received donations to their strike fund from dozens of labor unions across the US.

Alabama Judge Orders Stop To Picketing At Warrior Met Coal

A Tuscaloosa County circuit judge has issued a restraining order against picket line activity by the United Mine Workers of America at Warrior Met Coal. Circuit Judge James H. Roberts Jr. issued the order Wednesday afternoon. It prohibits picketing “or other activity” within 300 yards of 12 different locations owned by Warrior Met Coal in Tuscaloosa County, including mines and offices. The three-page order also prohibits “in any manner interfering with, hindering or obstructing, by threats, intimidation or acts of violence, the conduct and operation of Warrior’s business and supporting activities.” That includes delivery of supplies, workers entering property, lying in front of entrances, or using obstructions.

Alabama Coal Miners Enter Sixth Month Of Strike

The S-curved roads were dark, surrounded by nothing but trees and the bright stars. After a turn, we arrived at a clearing, where the 4 and 7 mines send their coal. Two bulldozers were doing their last rounds over a large pile of coal, while a few yards ahead, four workers were holding the picket line. On that night of April 1, 1,100 miners at Warrior Met Coal Inc started a historic strike in Brookwood, Alabama. The miners directed us to the entrances of the main mines. When we arrived, workers were setting up tents, unloading firewood, and preparing the fire pits. By the light of a few cellphones, we interviewed Miles, a third-generation miner. When we asked him why he and his union were going on strike, he explained that he was barely able to see his four-year-old daughter grow up.
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