BREAKING: Union Says Striking Warrior Met Coal Miners Will Return to Work After 23 Months
The coal miner's strike at Tuscaloosa County's Warrior Met Coal will end after nearly two years, the United Mine Workers of America announced Thursday.
UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts sent a letter to Warrior Met Coal CEO Walt Scheller Thursday, announcing that the nearly 1,000 miners who walked off the job in April 2021 will aim to return to work on March 2nd, assuming the worker is willing and the company allows them to.
“We are entering a new phase of our efforts to win our members and their families the fair and decent contract they need and deserve,” Roberts said in a statement. “We have been locked into this struggle for 23 months now, and nothing has materially changed. The two sides have essentially fought each other to a draw thus far, despite the company’s unlawful bargaining posture the entire time.
“The status quo is not good for our members and their families,” Roberts said. “The company continues to pay the temporary replacement workers in its mines significant wages and bonuses up to $2,000 more per month than it has offered to pay our members at the bargaining table. If it is going to pay that kind of money, we believe it should be going to Alabama miners and their families, not those coming from out-of-state.
Roberts said the union will continue to work with Warrior Met to reach a new agreement for the miners, but that they should not continue to suffer while negotiations stagnate.
“The status quo is not good for the company or its shareholders either, as the current workforce it has in the mines cannot match the level of production that our members can,” Roberts said. “The company’s own reports, including the one issued just yesterday, proves that. They have lost nearly a billion dollars in unrealized revenue over the last 23 months.”
“We have long said that we are ready to get in the same room with Warrior Met leadership and stay there until we have an agreement,” Roberts said. “So far the company has not been willing to do that. I sincerely hope that Warrior Met leadership will accept this offer, get our members back to work, engage in good faith bargaining and finally sit down face-to-face with us to resolve this dispute for the betterment of all concerned.”
Warrior Met has not yet said if they will accept the workers back.