November 3, 2021
Warrior Met Coal reported its best quarter since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic today, even as the company continues to deal with a miner’s strike, now in its eighth month.
The company reported a net income of $38.4 million for the third quarter. That’s a far cry from the net loss of $14.4 million it reported for the same period a year earlier when the pandemic hit demand for coal demand hard.
According to the company, business interruption expenses were $6.9 million, which were non-recurring expenses directly attributable to the ongoing United Mine Workers of America strike, which began April 1. The expenses included security, labor negotiations, and other expenses.
The company also reported idle mine expenses of $9.3 million. Mine 4 remained idle through the quarter, and there were reduced operations at Mine 7.
Warrior Met CEO Walt Scheller said the company is taking advantage of record-high prices and is delivering “strong production during the ongoing union strike.”
“While we continue to negotiate in good faith to reach a new union contract, the UMWA, unfortunately, remains on strike,” Scheller said. “During this period, we continued to execute successfully on our business continuity plans, allowing us to continue to meet the needs of our valued customers. Despite incurring costs associated with the strike, we have been able to manage our working capital and spending to deliver strong results in this market.”
Last week, a Tuscaloosa County circuit judge issued a restraining order against picket line activity by the UMWA at Warrior Met Coal sites. The action came after the company issued a statement saying the level of violence taking place along the picket line had “reached a dangerous level.” United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts said the order contains provisions that are “unconstitutional.”
About 1,100 miners walked off the job on April 1, striking for better pay and benefits. The current agreement with the union was negotiated as Warrior Met emerged from the bankruptcy proceedings of the former Walter Energy, which declared bankruptcy in 2016.
Union members say they made numerous concessions in pay, benefits, holidays, overtime, and in other areas to keep the company going and get it out of bankruptcy.