TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The majority of Warrior Met Coal workers on strike voted ‘no’ to the company’s tentative agreement Friday. An overwhelming 95% of miners on strike voted ‘no’ on a recent contract offer and only 5% voted yes.
In terms of what’s next, they will remain on strike until a better agreement can be reached. Other workers who are non-union members are continuing to work, even though they too, will reap the benefits of a new agreement, if one is offered.
WBRC spoke to one of those workers, who moved here from a small town in Virginia, after being laid off there. Bobby Allen said Warrior Met Coal gave him a job when no one else would.
He said he must keep working to provide for his family and he described the names he’s been called from those on strike. “Pieces of Cr** other provocative names, people’s vehicles have been damaged. I’m still having an opportunity to work through the strike. I just wish it would be more peaceful. All I’m doing is making a living for my family,” said Allen.
The labor union VP for District 20 Larry Spencer said they continue to promote peaceful protesting on the matter. He also said there have been no reports of violent behavior at any of the picket lines, that he’s aware of.
UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts announced the union will begin holding “Unity Rallies” in the Brookwood, Ala., area for members, families and community supporters to build solidarity and hear from local and national allies. The union is also contributing $50,000 to establishing a relief fund for workers and families. Details for those wishing to contribute to that fund will be available later this week on the UMWA’s website, www.umwa.org.
Later this week, the union will pay roughly $600,000 in the first wave of bi-weekly strike benefits to dues-paying members who have participated in strike activity. The union has also purchased health care insurance for striking members and families.