BROOOKWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — Union workers with Warrior Met Coal made their voices heard loud and clear again Wednesday. They’ve been on strike for 22 months with no end in sight.
The workers are fighting for higher wages, more benefits, appropriate time off and better scheduling. They still await a face-to-face meeting to have their concerns heard by the company.
United Mine Workers of America Local 2397 called Wednesday a day of action, working to bring attention back to their concerns. They joined with faith leaders calling for action.
Warrior Met Coal changed hands in 2016. Since then, workers from the union told CBS 42 they’ve been overworked, underpaid and not treated well. They’re asking for a face-to-face meeting with Warrior Met Coal to draw up new contracts with better benefits and improved scheduling, but so far, they have not been able to do that in almost two years.
Chris Brubaker has been with the company 12 years.
“I’ll do this until it’s done,” Brubaker said. “It’s been rough, but the union helps us a lot.”
With eight kids at home, he and his wife have made sacrifices.
“You just have to compensate as far as little side jobs and everything else if you can go somewhere else,” Brubaker said.
Faith leaders announced Wednesday they have collected over 200 signatures from more than 50 organizations in support of this strike now on day 673.
Aaron Parker – known as Scooby Steve – said he’s had three flat tires and a gun held to his face for calling out people who crossed the picket line.
“You can’t do nothing about it you just have to deal with it,” Parker said. “It is terrible what they do to us down there in terms of they don’t give any consideration to us at all about how our lives can impact our jobs and they don’t care.”
The two men said the bigger prize will be on the other side.
“Don’t ever give up,” Brubaker said. “If you give up on the little things, the bigger things that come in the end, you’ll have lost it.”
CBS 42 spoke on the phone with Warrior Met Coal Vice President of External Affairs D’Andre Wright who said, “No Comment.”
Union workers are planning another rally on Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. in the Winery Hotel Conference Room at Hoover’s Riverchase Galleria.