Warrior Met Coal Strike Enters Fifth Month
WSWS reported that on August 4, the United Mine Workers organized a rally in the small town of Brookwood in Alabama for the Warrior Met Coal strike, which entered its fifth month on August 1. Over 1,000 miners walked out of the mines on April 1 after rejecting the union’s first tentative agreement with the company. As the strike has dragged on, miners have been subject to violence, including multiple instances of vehicular assault, and exhaustion as they struggle to maintain the picket lines while also supporting their families. The mainstream media has largely ignored the strike.
Over the course of the strike, the UMWA has focused its public appeals on claims that the company is “not bargaining in good faith.” At the beginning of the strike, Larry Spencer, UMWA District 20 International Vice-President and AFL-CIO Alabama South District president-at-large, stated that the company had sent human resources officials to bargain individually with workers.
While the company is determined to crush the resistance of workers, the UMWA’s use of this phrase is designed to reframe the strike away from workers’ key demands relating to wages, benefits and working hours. The strike was “Not about the pay,” one UMWA claimed early on in the strike.
This was a clear indication that the UMWA, which had not called a strike since 2007, is concerned only that the company work with them to implement concessions.