Judge orders striking coal miners to stop picketing
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – A judge has ordered striking miners to stop picketing outside locations owned by a coal company in Tuscaloosa.
Circuit Judge James H. Roberts Jr. on Wednesday issued a restraining order prohibiting the union members from picketing within 300 yards of Warrior Met Coal’s mines and offices.
The company said Monday that the level of violence along picket lines had, “reached a dangerous level over the last week.”
United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil E. Roberts called the restraining order unconstitutional and said it will not break the strike.
Miners have been on strike since April.
Read the full news release from UMWA below:
[MCCALLA, ALA.] Reacting to a temporary restraining order issued by Judge James H. Roberts, Jr. of the Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County that restricts the constitutional rights of speech and assembly, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement Oct. 28:
“The temporary restraining order (TRO) issued yesterday by Judge Roberts continues the State of Alabama’s assault on the rights and freedoms of working families that has been the government’s hallmark during this strike. It contains provisions that are unconstitutional and it reinforces the notion that Americans – at least in Alabama – are not free to enjoy their rights to free speech and free assembly.
“The Constitution of the United States protects American citizens’ rights to stand on the side of a road and call a scab a scab. It protects their rights to peacefully assemble and air their grievances with an employer or any other person or entity. It protects their rights to seek redress from government. We intend to continue to exercise our rights.
“I believe it is important for the public to understand what is going on in the strike area and how we got to this point.
“Consider for a moment that the Wall Street bankers who are calling the shots at Warrior Met took $1.4 billion in workers’ concessions out of Alabama communities and sent it up to New York to line their pockets. And then sucked another $750 million from the company’s revenues almost immediately after Warrior Met emerged from bankruptcy. That’s more than $2 billion that could have stayed in Alabama helping our communities, but went to the glittering skyscrapers in Manhattan instead.
“Consider also that for the last several months, Alabama State Police have been working on the public’s dime to escort out-of-state strikebreakers who have been brought in to take Alabama taxpayers’ jobs. Where is the sense in that? We have seen no protest or investigation by our state’s leaders about this clear misuse of taxpayer dollars.
“Instead of spending time and money on ever-rising legal fees in court, Warrior Met would be much better served to accept my still-standing offer of direct, high-level negotiations to resolve this dispute as soon as possible.
“Let me be clear: We remain ready to engage in serious and good-faith negotiations to resolve this dispute, but this TRO will not stop our strike. We are far stronger than the mere location of our picket lines.”
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10/28/2021 7:37:54 PM (GMT -5:00)