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Faith leaders gathered with United Mine Workers of America striking miners and union leadership Wednesday, February 1, 2023 for a Day of Action. The press conference and rally, which was held at UMWA Local 2397’s union hall in Brookwood, Alabama, was held to offer hope and support to the miners and their families, who have been on strike from Warrior Met Coal, Inc. since April 1, 2021, and to address the fact that hundreds of individuals and families have gone without their primary source of income, access to family-friendly healthcare, acceptable work hours, and more. The focus of this and upcoming events is to help impact the negotiations by leaning into our belief in the value of all people, from the miner to the CEO. The humanity of all should be seen as the same. The interfaith coalition’s request of Warrior Met included:
- Stop the exploitation of the miners.
- Negotiate, in good faith, for a new and fair contract that:
- Increases wages
- Provides family-friendly health benefits
- Gives appropriate time-off (ie: paid family leave)
- Improves scheduling
Conference Minister Rev. Kim Wood, Rev. Paul Eknes-Tucker, pastor of Pilgrim Church UCC in Birmingham, and Rev. Helene Loper, pastor of God’s House in Tuscaloosa, Rev. Carolyn Foster, Faith in Community Coordinator of Greater Birmingham Ministries, and Rev. Clinton Carr, pastor of Zion Temple Church in Birmingham participated in the events of the evening.
Warrior Met has continued to stall behind a wall of silence, ignoring miner’s needs for fair wages and safe working conditions while they continue to profit, with executives even receiving exorbitant bonuses. The Southeast Conference is committed to the work of bringing negotiations back to the table and for a just and equitable contract to be reached. Ways you can help include:
- Sign our support letter
- Join our letter writing campaign
- Help the UMWA Families by making donations to the Southeast Conference (note UMWA in the designation memo)
- Spread the word about what is going on
All of this can be found by going to bit.ly/in4umwatoolkit. Please share this link with your local churches, your family and friends, and your wider community. Together, we can help turn the tides and support these miners and their families.