TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — More than 1,100 miners at Coal Warrior Met have been on strike since April 1, demanding a contract with better pay and benefits.
Since the strike began, nearly a dozen people were arrested in May for blocking a mine entrance. In recent weeks, videos have surfaced of miners on the picket lines being hit by trucks.
Hundreds gathered at Tannehill Park on Wednesday for a rally to keep spirits high for the strike. Miners at the rally say trucks driving through the picket lines is crossing the line; they believe if a deal isn’t met soon, things could get a lot worse.
“It’s creating a pattern that I’m afraid this pattern is going to lead to something fatal,” Miner Brian Seabolt said.
Seabolt said he has been hit twice while on the picket line.
“To reiterate this story, this is the same guy that hit me on the first day on the strike,” Seabolt said.
He was recently hit on June 3 around 4:30 p.m.
“He hit me on my right knee right here. As I was trying to get away from him, he was speeding. Floor it and swerved into me,” Seabolt said.
CBS 42 reached out to Brookwood Police and the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office for more information on these incidents and did not receive a response.
However, the United Mine Workers of America remain steadfast in their efforts for better contracts. President Cecil Roberts said he was one of the people arrested for blocking the entry way to a mine. He addressed the large crowd on Wednesday, saying they plan to continue to strike if a deal isn’t met.
“That meets the needs of every worker that works in the UMWA at Warrior Met,” Roberts said.
The strike has gotten attention across the country, which drew Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson from four hours away to share his support.
“I could have stayed in Mississippi, but it’s important to me to inspire workers to stay together,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the efforts at Coal Warrior Met aren’t only inspiring local miners, but people across the country.
“In unity, there is strength,” Thompson addressed the crowd.
Though things are tense at the moment, Seabolt hopes a deal is struck soon so the strike can end.
“It’s time for Warrior Met to come with us and sit down at the table,” Seabolt said. “I think we need to get this patched up so we can go back to work.”
CBS 42 reached out to Coal Warrior Met on workers claims and their thoughts on a deal being made, but are still waiting for a response.