FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FEBRUARY 16, 2023
UMWA issues return to work letter to Warrior Met Coal
[BROOKWOOD, ALA.] International President Cecil E. Roberts of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) today sent a letter to Warrior Met Coal CEO Walt Scheller announcing that the UMWA membership who have been on an unfair labor practice strike at Warrior Met Coal would return to work at the company’s four locations on March 2, 2023.
“We are entering a new phase of our efforts to win our members and their families the fair and decent contract they need and deserve,” President Roberts said today. “We have been locked into this struggle for 23 months now, and nothing has materially changed. The two sides have essentially fought each other to a draw thus far, despite the company’s unlawful bargaining posture the entire time.
“The status quo is not good for our members and their families,” Roberts said. “The company continues to pay the temporary replacement workers in its mines significant wages and bonuses up to $2,000 more per month than it has offered to pay our members at the bargaining table. If it is going to pay that kind of money, we believe it should be going to Alabama miners and their families, not those coming from out-of-state.
“The status quo is not good for the company or its shareholders either, as the current workforce it has in the mines cannot match the level of production that our members can,” Roberts said. “The company’s own reports, including the one issued just yesterday, proves that. They have lost nearly a billion dollars in unrealized revenue over the last 23 months.”
The letter, known under the legal term as an “unconditional offer to return to work,” follows federal labor law and would implement the return to work of hundreds of UMWA members while giving the union and the company time to work out a new agreement.
“We have long said that we are ready to get in the same room with Warrior Met leadership and stay there until we have an agreement,” Roberts said. “So far the company has not been willing to do that. I sincerely hope that Warrior Met leadership will accept this offer, get our members back to work, engage in good faith bargaining and finally sit down face-to-face with us to resolve this dispute for the betterment of all concerned.”