The Maritime Trades Department along with many of its affiliates stood with striking United Mine Workers (UMWA) in demonstrations around the United States and Australia on November 18.
More than 1,100 UMWA members from Brookwood, AL, have been on the picket lines against Warrior Met Coal since April 1. In order to keep the mines open and members working, the union agreed to reduced wages and benefits in 2016 when Warrior Met took over for bankrupt Walter Energy with the understanding that the contract would be improved when Warrior Met became profitable. According to the UMWA, the company has shown a profit for the last two years. But Warrior Met has refused to negotiate.
MTD Executive Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Duncan joined AFL-CIO President Elizabeth Shuler and UMWA International Secretary-Treasurer (and MTD Executive Board Member) Brian Sanson outside a Fidelity Investments office in downtown Washington, DC, to express solidarity with more than 100 UMWA members and allies. Among those participating were MTD affiliates AFSCME, AFT, CWA, IAMAW, IBEW, OPEIU, SIU and SMART as well as the Mine Workers. Additional rallies that targeted Warrior Met’s investors to urge the company to return to the bargaining table took place in New York City, Boston, Denver, Alabama, Pennsylvania, California and Australia.
“Today showed that this isn’t just our fight,” stated UMWA International President Cecil Roberts. “This is everyone’s fight!
“We had labor leaders across the nation standing up today demanding justice for working families. Warrior Met and the corporations backing them now know we are not stopping until these families get what they deserved.”