Impressive Alabama Coal Workers Revitalize Southern Assistance | American Union
AhThere are 1,100 active miners, represented by the United Mine Workers of America in Brookwood, Alabama. attack From the beginning of April, he played against Warrior Met Cole in a new union contract negotiation.
Workers struggle to improve wages and benefits as the strike enters its third month. Walter Energy.
The strikes have revitalized support in the state and in other parts of the South, regions traditionally hostile to labor disputes.
Last month, supporters held a concert to raise funds for strike miners, including Mike Cooley of Drive-By Truckers and comedian Drew Morgan. Union leaders across the United States, including AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson and AFL-CIO Treasury Secretary Liz Shuler, visit and help striking miners.
“Warrior Met is still refusing to participate in meaningful negotiations with UMWA at the negotiating table,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said in a recent press release. “But they’re clearly on the wrong side of the story. With growing community support for the strikers, their struggle is now gaining national attention. “
The attacker claims that they are suffering the consequences of the loss of their income. As a result, it is difficult to manage and pay for basic necessities such as food, rent and shelter. They also committed acts of civil disobedience in front of the company’s head office.
James Traweek has worked for the Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood No.7 Mine for four years. He explained that the miners agreed to a $ 6 hourly wage cut and cuts to health insurance and pension benefits in bankruptcy proceedings five years ago, while adhering to strict attendance policies .
“We had to work 6 days a week, sometimes 7 days, 12 hours a day. We were working on a four-strike system, which meant we would be laid off if we were away four days a year. We are connected, ”says Traweek. “The only accepted excuse was the death of a loved one. I had to work with the flu and many other illnesses for fear of losing my job.
He said workers were only looking for wages and benefits in exchange for mines affiliated with other unions. Warrior Met Coal has hired alternative workers as part of its continuation plan. The use of Traweek has been termed “abdominal pain”.
“We are fighting for our families and all other members of the organized labor community around the world. We must not allow corporate greed to rob us of our dignity and worth. “Added Traweek.” After taking the company from bankruptcy to record production, we think it’s more valuable. “
Prior to the strike, UMWA submitted Sin about an unfair labor practice against Warrior Met Cole. The company threatened to go bankrupt and downsize. Warrior met Cole shortly after the strike started. Obtaining a court order to limit the number of workers on strike in the mines and report of the pickets on the spot of the inhabitants A few weeks after the strike, complaints of visible contamination of two rivers due to a spill at the mine site.
The company recently asked investors for guarantees that a customer production commitment will be met by 2021, despite the impact of a mine strike in Alabama.
“Mining is an important part of the Brookwood community. Alabama It’s been a way of life here for a long time. The wealthy New York conglomerate, which took over the bankruptcy of Walter Energy, does not care about the men and women working in the mines and their families. “The transition to bankruptcy in 2016.
According to Hughett, miners work on multiple tasks, including falling from roofs, build-up of methane gas, low oxygen levels, heavy machinery work, and straining workers to reduce production safety. I am facing danger. Coal mining Historically one of the most dangerous occupations.
The warrior met the coal experienced in the coal and steel industry as declining profits during the coronavirus pandemic slowed The company has made millions of dollars since its bankruptcy. They report that the net profit in 2019 was $ 302 million, but in 2020 it was a loss of around $ 35 million.
“We just want fair wages and good insurance for our families, they make hundreds of millions of dollars, but a little respect for the men and women who took this business from bankruptcy to prosperity.” Must be paid, ”added Hughes.
Worker rejected This was an agreement in principle presented by the company on April 9 and we chose to continue the strike. offered An hourly wage increase of $ 1.50 over five years.
“They played it down,” said Marcus Vance, another striking miner at Warrior Met Cole. “I think they’re trying to starve everyone.”
Warrior Met Cole did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
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