Miners rally in Brookwood as strike nears 2 years

Miners

It’s been more than 600 days since members of the United Mine Workers of America employed at Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood went on strike over what they said were unfair wages and benefits.

On Wednesday, union members still on strike and their supporters gathered in Brookwood, rallying for the same benefits they’ve been after for nearly two years. Those benefits are long past due after the union workers took large pay cuts in 2016 to help ensure the business stayed afloat amid major financial trubles.

That was when it was Jim Walter Resources, but that same year the company went bankrupt and emerged as Warrior Met Coal. Since then, the new company has experienced record profits. That’s why the strike began in the first place, union members said.

“We want to get at least what we lost, and (the company doesn’t) even want to talk to us about that,” said UMWA member William Lee.

UMWA District 20 Representative James Blankenship said the union is supporting its members and won’t let up until they get what’s rightfully theirs.

Blankenship said momentum is imperative with movements like these, and that’s why the striking miners are still gathering on the regular.

“We are trying to get a new contract because our last contract expired,” he said. “We are not asking for anything more than what we gave up. It’s as simple as that. Give us back what we gave up.”

Categories: Local News