Striking Miners Form Picket Line at Warrior Met Coal Headquarters Friday
Striking employees of Warrior Met Coal held a brief sit-in at the company's headquarters in Brookwood, Alabama Friday morning.
The labor strike began on April 1 after negotiations to negotiate contracts for the miners failed. Since the strike began, Warrior Met has presented the strikers, who are members of the United Mine Workers of America, with a contract that they voted to decline.
Jeff Fleenor, a heavy equipment operator who has been an employee at the mine for 16 years, says that the miners decided to have a "peaceful sit-in [because they] are tired of [the] strike."
According to a striking miner who watched as a bystander, about 30 to 40 miners gathered in front of the Warrior Met Coal main office and blocked traffic in and out of the parking lot for a short period of time.
Fleenor, a participant in the sit-in, said that officers with the Brookwood police department arrived on the scene three minutes into the event and Tuscaloosa County sheriff's deputies arrived shortly after.
The miners stopped blocking traffic before any arrests were made.
"We were hoping that would last longer today," said Fleenor. "We didn't move for the police, but our UMWA international people came down, and we moved because they have other plans for us. We were going to jail until they came there."
At this time, whatever those plans entail remains unknown. The union is currently providing strike pay and insurance to their dues-paying members and holding weekly Unity Rallies every Wednesday at Tannehill State Park.
Those who want to support the strike with monetary donations can find more information on the UMWA website.