July 21, 2021

For the first time in four decades, union mine workers in Alabama are taking part in a historic strike, accusing Warrior Met Coal of exploiting workers and now inspiring violence against them on the picket line. More than three months in, the historic labor action has been ignored by CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC, says Media Matters:

The origins of the strike lie in the 2016 takeover of a failing coal company by newcomer Warrior Met, leading to profits for the buyer alongside lower pay and loss of benefits for the workers. The miners in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, who were caught up in the acquisition faced dramatic pay cuts and reportedly weaker safety measures for what is often ranked one of the nation’s most dangerous professions, leading to multiple charges of unfair labor practices levied against Warrior Met.

The miners said they were promised wages would increase with profits, so when management this year failed to restore pay and benefits during contract renegotiations with the workers, the United Mine Workers of America called a strike.

The first major strike of coal miners in Alabama in four decades received coverage from local media and independent journalists who were reporting on the strike within the first few weeks, but CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News have declined to cover the story.

Media Matters said between the start of the strike on March 31 and July 13, the three largest cable news networks made no mention of the miners in Alabama.

It's a classic American tale, where the companies who ask the workers to risk their lives in the mines are shuffled from one corporate entity to another so they can avoid pension obligations and medical benefits for chronic conditions like black lung disease. Oh, and of course driving cars into crowds of strikers! Via Tuscaloosanews.com:

Last month, the union reported three incidents of vehicular assault on three consecutive days had occurred on picket lines.

“We have members in casts, we have members in the hospital, we have members who are concerned about their families and potential of violence against them if they come to the picket line,” Roberts said, accusing Warrior Met Coal of the violence. “We have been to court on multiple occasions regarding what we can and cannot do on the picket lines and our members respect the guidance of the court.

“Warrior Met seems to believe that it is all right to strike people with cars as they engage in legal, protected activity.”


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.