Judge issues restraining order against UMWA in strike on Warrior Met Coal
TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court judge issued a Temporary Restraining Order against United Mine Workers of America International to stop picketing at Warrior Met Coal Mining. It was filed October 27, 2021.
Striking miners at Warrior Met have been on strike since April 1, 2021.
The workers are asking for new contract negotiations with better benefits.
Things got heated at the ongoing strike. Union officials say some workers turned to violence.
The United Mine Workers of America tells WBRC, some of its members were hit by cars while on the picket line.
A UMWA spokesperson said the Temporary Restraining Order will not stop the strike.
READ THE JUDGE’S ORDER HERE:
United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued this statement Thursday:
“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.”
This is the statement from Warrior Met Coal:
Early in the strike, Warrior Met Coal, Inc. was granted a court-ordered injunction in an effort to maintain a safe environment for our employees – including those actively at work and those currently on strike. This injunction was granted to combat unlawful activity on the picket lines, to allow for peaceful ingress and egress to our facilities, as well as maintain public safety.
Today, the Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order following the increase in violations of the existing injunction and to stop the increase in picket line violence committed by UMWA leadership and members in recent weeks.
The Company is focused on maintaining the safety of all employees and the community at large.
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