Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2022 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tuscaloosa County coal miners may end their strike

miner-1903636_1920.jpg
Pixabay
/

An Alabama coal company has reached a tentative deal with labor to end a strike that idled more than 1,100 workers in Tuscaloosa County. The United Mine Workers of America announced the agreement with Warrior Met Coal Incorporated where members have been on strike at two mines and adjoining facilities since Thursday. APR spoke with the United Mine Workers Union on how rank and file miners were gearing up for the long haul. Union spokesman Phil Smith said strikers would be supported by a fund union members contribute to every pay period.

“That strike fund right now is at a little bit over $100 million, so we will be paying benefits to members on a biweekly basis as long as they are participating in the strike—standing on picket line duty, or doing some other sort of duty," said Smith. "We’re gonna be setting up food banks; we’re gonna have other operations that we need to be doing for folks.”

During the strike, Smith commented how companies coming out of bankruptcies require employees to make sacrifices but miners’ sacrifices for Warrior Met haven’t been honored.

“Our members gave Warrior Met that financial freedom," said Smith, "They made some significant sacrifices, and in the interim Warrior Met made tens of millions of dollars. It’s important to remember that most of that money is not staying in Central Alabama. Most of that money is going to the Wall Street hedge funds that own Warrior Met. All we’re looking for at this point is a fair recompense for the sacrifices we put forward.”

Warrior Met Coal hasn't comment publicly, and details of the tentative deal haven't been released. But the union says meetings will be held Wednesday to explain the agreement to members, and a vote will be held on Friday. The company says it hopes workers ratify the contract.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
News from Alabama Public Radio is a public service in association with the University of Alabama. We depend on your help to keep our programming on the air and online. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.