On January 14, 2021, workers at Glancy Surface Mine located in Boone County, West Virginia were successful in reaching an agreement after a four-year battle for union representation. The miners are now members of UMWA Local Union 1503. On August 3, 2017, Glancy Surface Mine voted for union representation to improve the jobs and lives of all that worked at the mine. The company, Rockwell Mining, LLC, objected to the election which resulted in litigation that lasted for over two years, until November 18, 2019. The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit Court ruled that Glancy Surface Mine must bargain with the UMWA.
Bargaining between the UMWA and Glancy Surface Mine began in December, 2019 and continued until January, 2021. On January 14, 2021, not only was a tentative agreement reached and voted on, Glancy Surface Mine’s first contract was agreed to by a 100 percent vote by all eligible voters in favor of the agreement.
“The workers organized because they wanted a legal, binding agreement that would set up a bidding process, include rights for safety and grievance committees and provide other protections,” said International District 17 Vice President Brian Lacy. “We were hell bent on fighting until we got that.”
Safety issues for surface mine workers include stable footing and roads for the large machinery, proximity of the drag line and dumping areas for other workers, operating conditions of trucks and other machinery to lower long-term back and muscle issues from driving or operating large machines on rough terrain.
“At Glancy Surface Mine we sought UMWA representation to improve our working conditions,” said James “Curly” McDonald. “We didn’t have anyone to represent us.” James McDonald, Randy Moore and Chris Malcolm are new members of Local Union 1503. James and Randy played a pivotal role on the bargaining team and both James and Chris were on the MSCC for Glancy.