BROOKWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — An end could be in sight for a strike that has been going on for more than 22 months. This comes after the United Mine Workers of America sent a return-to-work letter to Warrior Met Coal this week.
The strike might just be the longest one in Alabama. It’s now at 688 days.
Aaron Parker, known as “Scooby Steve,” stopped by the Union Mine Workers of America District 20 office Friday.
“It’s a long ride for me but I’ve got the patience to wear it out,” Parker said. “I think the company’s not going to get what they want, and I don’t think we’re going to get what we want either.”
International Vice President of UMWA in District 20 Larry Spencer said this is a new strategy to get the men and women back in the mines working for the same rate as scabs who crossed the picket line and have already returned to work.
“We’re not giving up, that’s for sure, we’re just looking at a different strategy,” Spencer said. “We haven’t asked for anything more than what was lost in 2016. That’s where we’re trying to get back to.”
The union sent a letter to Warrior Met Coal CEO Walt Scheller saying the employees would return to work at the company’s four locations March 2, but first, Warrior Met Coal must accept the offer made. The union is seeking pay and benefits like just before the company changed hands in 2016.
“They’re going to try to muddy things up,” Parker said. “Who knows how things are going to go or how things are going to work out.”
Spencer said they are not giving up.
CBS 42 tried getting in touch with Warrior Met Coal over the phone Friday but was unable to speak with anyone on the phone. The union said it has not yet accepted the offer but will have five days to do so. If that happens, the union is hopeful this allows for contract negotiations.