More than 1000 members of the MTD-affiliated United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) have entered their seventh month on picket lines in Tuscaloosa County, AL, on strike against Warrior Met Coal.
The Mine Workers walked out April 1 after negotiations for improved wages and benefits broke down. In 2016, the UMWA agreed to a contract that reduced wages and benefits with Warrior Met in order to keep the mines that had been operated by bankrupt Walter Energy open with the understanding that improvements would be made as the company became profitable. According to the union, Warrior Met has shown a profit the last two years.
The MTD continues to stand with the Mine Workers. MTD Executive Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Duncan visited picket sites in June and returned to express the department’s solidarity at during an August rally in Brookwood, AL.
Meanwhile, in September, the UMWA settled a nearly one-year strike with the Peabody Coal-operated Shoal Creek metallurgical coal mine in nearby McCalla, AL.
“I congratulate the membership of Local Union 1948,” said UMWA International President Cecil Roberts. “This ratification will pave the way for the reopening of this mine and means several hundred of our members who have been out of work for almost a year will be heading back to work very soon.”
Roberts added that the Shoal Creek contract “provides a road map to settling the strike at Warrior Met in the same region. I remain ready to negotiate with Warrior Met day-and-night to reach that agreement and get everyone in Alabama back to work.”