Warrior Met Coal files restraining order against UMWA over recent protest

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

BROOKWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — Tensions have grown in Brookwood over the United Mine Workers of America protest over workers contracts at Warrior Met Coal.

The company released video on Monday showing some of the protesters breaking windows of employees heading to work. Warrior Met Coal cited violent incidents along the picket line in their decision to request a restraining order against the UMWA.

A spokesperson sent CBS 42 this statement:

“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.”

– United Mine Workers of America spokesman

Representatives with the union say the order violates their constitutional rights to peacefully protest.

And as the strike enters it’s seventh month, the tensions are being felt throughout the community.

“Their going at it and they’re involving innocent people such as myself, just driving through,” Alyssa Mathis said.

Alyssa Mathis from McCalla said the tire of her brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee became flat by a jack rock while driving by one of the union halls off SR-216. She said two of her children were in the car when it happened.

“You’re endangering lives. You’re endangering me. I’m actually pregnant. And so, my unborn child, my two kids,” Mathis said.

CBS 42 asked UMWA if they made the jack rocks Warrior Met Coal claimed they did. UMWA Auxiliary President Headen Wright said that claim is false and contractors with Warrior Met Coal were responsible.

“No. These that have been out since the beginning of the strike, these have not come from us,” Wright said.

Warrior Met Coal responded to Wright’s claim:

“Warrior Met Coal has always put safety as a top priority. The Company would never do anything to harm our employees or the community where we work and live.”

– Warrior Met Coal

Wright and other union representatives say the recent video released by Warrior Met Coal was edited to make them look violent and that it doesn’t tell the whole story. She said those still on strike are tired of being ran over and threatened while on the picket lines.

“So, at some point, you have to fight back. At some point, it becomes a danger to us,” Wright said.

As the strike continues, Mathis and other members of the community hope the tensions end soon.

“It should have never ever have happened,” Mathis said.

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