BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Wednesday Senator Bernie Sanders held a virtual meeting with union workers from across the country. It’s regarding their fight against big corporate companies, including a coal mine here in Alabama.
Workers at Warrior Met Coal have been on strike since April 2021 and they say they are fed up.
Workers are pushing for better wages and benefits. According to the United Mine Workers of America, back in 2016, in an effort to keep the company alive and jobs in the community, coal miners agreed to a $6-an-hour pay cut and a substantial reduction in their healthcare and retirement benefits. It was part of a restructuring deal. Now, years later workers say they have still not seen their pay bounce back, with the exception of a $1.50 an hour increase.
Braxton Wright said his employers told them “you don’t deserve it.”
“We’re not even asking for more than what we had, we’re just asking to get back what we gave up so the company could be profitable again. They say they can afford it but we don’t deserve it,” said Wright.
In April 2021, the company sent out a statement saying, in part: “Throughout negotiations, our sight has remained on the future — to provide our employees with a competitive package while protecting jobs and the longevity of the company and its workforce.”
CBS 42 reached out for comment on Wednesday’s meeting. We are still waiting to hear back.
Right now, about 1,100 workers at Warrior Met Coal remain on strike.