Alabama coal miners rally one year after their historic strike began

McCalla, Alabama - United Mine Workers, along with union leaders and allies around country, converged on Alabama on Wednesday, over a year after the historic Warrior Met strike began.

United Mine Workers of America members and allies joined together in McCalla, Alabama, on Wednesday just over a year after the Warrior Met strike began.
United Mine Workers of America members and allies joined together in McCalla, Alabama, on Wednesday just over a year after the Warrior Met strike began.  © Collage: Screenshots/Twitter/Alabama AFL-CIO

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members rallied in Alabama's Tannehill State Park. It was just over a year after they walked out last April.

Throughout the strike, coal mining workers in Brookwood have been calling for a return to the wages and benefits they had before Warrior Met was taken over by private equity firms in 2016. The venture capitalists raked in enormous profits as workers saw their livelihoods stripped away.

When the challenges of the global pandemic were added to $6-hour wage cuts, worse insurance plans, cruel punitive policies, and less time off, workers said enough was enough.

They rejected Warrior Met's contract offer, and when the company failed to meet their basic needs during negotiations, they walked out.

Holding the line

UNITE HERE representatives from New Orleans, Biloxi, and Georgia joined UMWA workers at the rally.
UNITE HERE representatives from New Orleans, Biloxi, and Georgia joined UMWA workers at the rally.  © Screenshot/Twitter/UNITE HERE

The yearlong strike has taken a toll on workers and their families, as local leader Braxton Wright testified before a Senate Budget Committee hearing in February.

From more time away from partners and children to fewer resources available to pay the bills, holding the line has been anything but easy.

But that didn't stop striking workers from coming out in full force at Wednesday's rally.

And they weren't alone: labor leaders and allies from around the country made the journey to stand in solidarity with Warrior Met workers in their call for justice. Representatives from UNITE HERE!, the United Auto Workers, the United Food and Commercial Workers, the Association of Flight Attendants, and more traveled to Alabama to attend the event.

With strength in numbers, workers are sending the message loud and clear that they won't back down without a fair contract that respects their dignity on the job.

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshots/Twitter/Alabama AFL-CIO

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