World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 08 Apr, 2021 05:15 am

Warrior Met coal miners in Alabama denounce UMW president, say they will reject sellout deal

Warrior Met coal miners in Alabama denounce UMW president, say they will reject sellout deal
At a noontime meeting Wednesday, coal miners shouted at United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts and stormed out of the meeting, declaring that they would reject the union-backed deal when the vote takes place on Friday.

A meeting of striking coal miners in Alabama erupted in anger Wednesday afternoon after United Mine Workers (UMWA) officials presented the details of their tentative agreement with Warrior Met Coal.The 1,100 coal miners walked out April 1 at Warrior Met’s mines and processing facilities in Brookwood, Alabama, about 45 miles southwest of Birmingham.By contrast, coal miners in 1982 were earning $11.But the UMWA, the United Steelworkers and other unions have deliberately isolated the strike by central Alabama coal miners.

The UMWA controls this vast wealth in spite of the fact that decades of betrayals have reduced it to an empty shell, from 160,000 active coal miners in 1978 to fewer than 8,000 today.Non-union workers at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse, 25 miles from the Warrior mines, and autoworkers at the nearby Mercedes Benz plant in Vance, Alabama, are also looking for a way to fight against unsafe conditions imposed by companies that have made huge profits during the pandemic.

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