Religious Leaders Call for a Fair and Equitable Contract for Warrior Met Strikers

Religious Leaders Call for a Fair and Equitable Contract for Warrior Met Strikers

July 7, 2022
Signatures: 25Next Goal: 50
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Why this petition matters



We are religious leaders from many faith traditions who affirm the collective bargaining process and the moral right of workers to form and maintain effective unions.

Since April 1, 2021, more than 800 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) have been on strike at Warrior Met Coal, Inc. in Brookwood, AL. This is the longest strike in Alabama history.

In 2015 the former owner of the mine went bankrupt and a new company bought the mine financed by a number of Wall Street hedge funds. Warrior Met Coal is the new company that emerged from bankruptcy. It was not required to hire any of the current workforce. The private equity partners that owned the mines finally did agree to bring the workforce back, but they forced the workers to accept a contract worse than any other union coal mine in the nation.

The Warrior Met workers and their families made major sacrifices to save the company, even as company executives took bonuses.  The miners gave up wages, health care benefits, pensions, retiree health care benefits, and more. Under the contract, the miners were required to work 16-hour shifts with few days off and only three paid holidays. These sacrifices by the workers allowed Warrior Met to emerge from bankruptcy in 2016.  

In 2021, after five years of sacrifice, low pay, a disrespectful management style, and dangerous working conditions they expected some loyalty for the sacrifices they had made to save the company which came to more than $1.1 billion.

As religious leaders, we remind Warrior Met that the miners should not be treated as disposable property but rather with human dignity and respect.  Too often the history of the coal industry in the United States has rejected this idea.

Simply stated, the miners deserve a fair and equitable contract that recognizes their sacrifices for the company, and Warrior Met has turned its back on them refusing to make meaningful changes in the last contract. The miners have held fast to the same demands they proposed on April 1, 2021 and again on April 9, 2021 when they voted down the contract offer.

Warrior Met has enjoyed significant profits every year since 2016, except during the COVID year of 2020. The company has paid $1.6 billion in stock dividends to its Wall Street owners in the last 3 years. 

We profess that coal is a natural resource given by God to humanity as a gift.  Corporations that profit directly from extracting this resource from the earth are called to be responsible stewards of that resource.  Stewardship of the earth entails a profound responsibility. We are guardians of divine trust. Surah 2:30; Surah 25:63; Genesis 2:15; Isaiah 41:17-20; Ecclesiasticus 24:13-17; Mark 12:28.  Gratitude and respect are signs of good stewardship.  The Warrior Met Strikers deserve both.

After 14 months on strike, the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and Warrior Met are presently in negotiations for a new labor agreement where issues of great importance to the welfare of the miners, their families, and communities are being decided. We call on Warrior Met to approach this bargaining in good faith and reach an agreement with the UMWA to end the strike and come to an agreement that is fair and just to the miners, their families, and communities.  BlackRock, your largest shareholder, has called on you to do the same.

We are calling for a delegation of religious leaders to meet with you and members of your board of directors to present a moral and ethical perspective on why Warrior Met Coal Inc must come to a just and fair agreement with the UMWA to end this 14-month strike.

Signers: Complete the form HERE and sign the petition in the box on the right.

Sponsored by the Alabama Poor People’s Campaign, United Church of Christ, and the Interreligious Network for Worker Solidarity

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Signatures: 25Next Goal: 50
Support now