Judge Files Temporary Restraining Order Against UMWA Striking Coal Miners
The United Mine Workers of America spoke out against the recent temporary restraining order issued against the striking miners in Brookwood, citing it's an attack on their right to assemble.
Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court Judge James H. Roberts, Jr. issued the order Thursday in response to the recent increase in violence at the picket line committed by members of the UMWA.
"The temporary restraining order (TRO) issued yesterday by Judge Roberts continues the State of Alabama’s assault on the rights and freedoms of working families that has been the government’s hallmark during this strike," said UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts. "It contains provisions that are unconstitutional and it reinforces the notion that Americans – at least in Alabama – are not free to enjoy their rights to free speech and free assembly."
Roberts said in a statement Friday that the UMWA miners intend to continue to exercise their rights to peacefully assemble. He went on to explain what has led to the rise in tension.
"Consider for a moment that the Wall Street bankers who are calling the shots at Warrior Met took $1.4 billion in workers’ concessions out of Alabama communities and sent it up to New York to line their pockets. And then sucked another $750 million from the company’s revenues almost immediately after Warrior Met emerged from bankruptcy," he said. "That’s more than $2 billion that could have stayed in Alabama helping our communities."
"Consider also that for the last several months, Alabama State Police have been working on the public’s dime to escort out-of-state strikebreakers who have been brought in to take Alabama taxpayers’ jobs," Roberts continued. "We have seen no protest or investigation by our state’s leaders about this clear misuse of taxpayer dollars."
Roberts also asked that Warrior Met Coal accept the still-standing offer of direct, high-level negotiations to come to a fairer contract agreement with the striking miners.
“Let me be clear: We remain ready to engage in serious and good-faith negotiations to resolve this dispute, but this TRO will not stop our strike," he said. "We are far stronger than the mere location of our picket lines.”