Striking Alabama Coal Miners Take Their Fight To The Streets Of NYC

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Published on 1 Aug 2021, 18:00
Coal miners have been on strike in Alabama against Warrior Met for four months, and this week they took their fight to the BlackRock headquarters in New York City. BlackRock is the primary funder of Warrior Met, and the workers are demanding better pay and benefits - after suffering years of abuses at the hands of their employers. They were joined in solidarity by coal miners from all over the country, and they won't stop fighting until they get what is rightfully owed to them. Ring of Fire's Farron Cousins explains what's happening.

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*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Miners from the state of Alabama for Warrior Met, who have been on strike by the way for four months now, took their fight this week to the streets of New York city to protest outside of the headquarters of BlackRock, which is one of the main investors and financiers of the Warrior Met mining company. Here's the backstory and I'm going to try to put this in as much of a nutshell as possible. So forgive me if details, you know, are omitted. But anyway, here's the backstory of what's happening with these people from the Brookwood mine in Alabama. Several years ago, around 2016, Warrior Met was on the verge of bankruptcy. The company was going to go under. So United Mine Workers of America, the union representing the workers there, got together with management and they said, listen, we don't all want to lose our jobs because the mining company goes bankrupt. So we are willing to give up some of our benefits, they cut $6 an hour from their pay, and they willingly did this in order to keep the company afloat. And it worked.

The company was able to limp along until they could walk and then they could run and then they pulled in $300 million and their, their CEO walked away with how much was it? Um, in 2019 $4 million, actually even last year, $4 million for the CEO. So that's great. So the workers this year said, cool, you're making a ton of money again. CEO's getting millions a year. The company is back on track. Um, we need our benefits back. We need our pay back. And the company said, oh no, you're not getting it. Even though these workers are the ones who sacrificed everything to keep the company going. They're the ones who saved it. They're getting nothing back, even though the money is there to do it for these workers. So they've been on strike for four months, went up to BlackRock this week in a show of solidarity. You also had miners from other states coming in, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Dakota, West Virginia, all showed up on the streets of New York with these miners to show their solidarity for them.

These workers deserve their benefits back. They deserve their pay back and more at this point. They also deserve for the media to start talking about this, because this is an important story. But as plenty have pointed out, there's been a total blackout in corporate media talking about this particular story. These are workers who did everything they could to protect a company and once the company started making money, the company predictably screwed over the workers again. It's almost impossible to justify this corporations actions. You know, BlackRock investing in this company they're to blame as well. And that's why they headed up to New York to do this. But these workers deserve everything that, that they had given up and more. And let's hope that they get it. Not only that, by the way, during the four months they have been striking in Alabama, excuse me, in Alabama, they've been abused. They have been subjected to intimidation tactics, you know, including as reports say, by the police in Alabama. These people have been through hell and back.

They've been through hell and back to save this company and the company still refuses to give them their stuff back. This is how corporations in the United States operate.
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