Faith leaders from across the nation stand behind the Alabama workers on strike at Warrior Met Coal. While working in extremely dangerous conditions, workers made more than $1 billion in sacrifices to allow Warrior Met to exist at all. Now that the company is making significant profits, it has no intention of sharing it with its workers.
The UMWA has received an outstanding number of signatures from organizations and individuals across the United States who stand behind the workers fighting for justice and fairness on the job at Warrior Met Coal. End this strike Warrior Met Coal!
Clergy has met with the workers from Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood, Alabama. We know that over 800 United Mine Workers have been on strike since April 1, 2021, the longest strike in Alabama history. We are aware of the suffering to which the workers have been subjected.
While working in extremely dangerous conditions, workers have made a myriad of sacrifices while the company went through a transition. Workers’ wages, health care benefits, pensions, and paid time off were reduced, saving the company over $ 1 billion. In fact, when compared to other United Mine Workers of America contracts, Warrior Met Coal has subjected its miners to work under the worst contract in our country, including mandatory 16-hour shifts. But then, as the company emerged from its transition in the last three years, the company has paid $1.6 billion in stock dividends to its Wall Street owners and management has taken exorbitant bonuses. We believe the company has a moral obligation to provide fair compensation to the workers who created such great wealth.
The workers sacrificed greatly to stabilize the company. But now, in spite of huge profits, the company is destabilizing workers’ lives by insisting on substandard wages, benefits, and working conditions. The company is causing the suffering of over 800 families who are not able to pay rent, eat properly, take care of their health, and buy school items for their children, resulting in workers enduring unnecessary hardships for the last 18 months.
We understand that your company has stalled in negotiations, repeatedly insisting on egregious conditions that the workers rejected over a year ago. Just as your largest shareholder, BlackRock, has urged you to end the strike with an agreement that is fair to your workers, we call on you to immediately negotiate a contract that ends the strike and honors your workers. Moreover, since coal is a natural resource given as a gift by God to humanity, your company is called to be a responsible steward of the earth’s resources, reflecting that we are guardians of divine trust.
We urge you to embrace the text from Micah 6 to “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God,” by offering a fair contract and by ending the strike and the suffering of these workers.”