Miners Say ‘Enough is Enough,’ Turn Down New Contract
By WVUA 23 News Reporter Karris Harmon
Coal Miners on strike from Warrior Met Coal Mine in Brookwood gathered at United Mine Workers of America Local 2397 and Local 2245 to vote against a new contract that does not offer their demands. Miners went on strike due to unsafe working conditions, unfair wages, and unfair labor practices.
UMWA Local 2245 President,Brian Kelly said the only thing that the Miners truly want is to be treated fairly.
“It felt like a slap in the face to the miners,” said Kelly. “The CEOs work five days a week and we work seven. They can go home at 4 p.m. and they could force us to work 16 hours a day for seven days a week. On holidays they’re home with their families. We’re in the coal mines.”
Miners said they even had to come to work during inclement weather because if they would have stayed home they could potentially be terminated. One miner, Dwayne Mitchem, said miners are being treated poorly.
“It has been terrible. They’ve been disrespecting us in every way that they can,” said Mitchem. “The management tells us that we can either ‘Go by the rules or go and find yourself another job.’ ”
Michael Wright has been working at the mines for 16 years and he says the time for change is long overdue.
“We just want to be treated fairly. The goal is to get a better contract and a fair contract to get what we deserve,” said Wright. “We’re going to stay out here on strike until we get it.”