23 Month Warrior Met Coal Strike to End in Alabama – 2 Entire Coffee Chains – HarperCollins Ends 3 Month Strike

United Mine Workers have ended a 23-month long strike at Warrior Met in Northern Alabama (UMWA)


Greetings from Glendale, Kentucky, cranes are flying as the BlueOval SK, a joint venture between Ford and Korean company SK Innovation, is being built. 

5,000 Ford-Korean Joint Venture Changing Small Kentucky Town 

Glendale is a small Kentucky town of only 2,300 people located off of Interstate 65. The town is radically changing as Ford and the Korean company Ford SK Innovation, joint venture are building an electric car battery plant that will eventually employ 5,000 people (more than twice the town’s population). 

However, the $5.6 billion plant, which is scheduled to open in 20225, worries many in the town. 

“Once, these big corporations come in and take over a small, they just completely change the town. This place is just gonna explode. You just aren’t gonna ” says Jim Alberts at a local truck stop. 

2 Entire Coffee Chains in Louisville Unionize

When we were in Louisville, we met some organizers, who successfully led a campaign to organize the entire 21 stores owned by the high-end Heine Brothers chain. 

Many have lamented the difficulty of getting a union contract at Starbucks, given the refusal of Starbucks Founder Howard Schultz to agree to a union contract. However, with workers at Heine Brothers organizing every store owned by the company and have the power to shut down the entire company, they stand a much better shot of getting a union since the

Now, the small Sunergos Coffee chain in Louisville is organizing the entire chain too. This organizing has some interesting lessons for labor movement to learn. We will have more on this next week. 

Donate to Help Us Pay Our Editors 

We have a bunch of interesting stories to tell from this trip in the South, but we need to pay editors to help us publish them. (Check our dispatch on organizing difficulties at Amazon in Kentucky)

Donate to Help Us Pay Our Editors $32-an-Hour. Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 741 recurring donors today. 

23 Month Warrior Met Coal Strike to End in Alabama 

In Alabama, a 23 month-long strike of over 1,000 coal miners at Warrior Met has ended. The United Mine Workers of America has sent an unconditional return-to-work letter to Warrior Met. The UMWA is asking that its workers be allowed to return to their jobs while management and the union continue to negotiate a new contract. 

“We have long said that we are ready to get in the same room with Warrior Met leadership and stay there until we have an agreement,” UMWA President Cecil Roberts said in a statement. “So far the company has not been willing to do that. I sincerely hope that Warrior Met leadership will accept this offer, get our members back to work, engage in good faith bargaining and finally sit down face-to-face with us to resolve this dispute for the betterment of all concerned.”

For more, check out the UMWA’s statement. 

Harpers Collins Ends 3 Month Strike 

After 3 months on strike, 200 workers at HarperCollins have ended the strike; reachinga  tentative agreement with the company. 

Under terms of the agreement, which has been ratified by the union,  HarperCollins workers will see the minimum salary at the company raised from $45,000 to $50,000 by 2025. Workers also received a one-time lump sum payment of $1,500. 

“The @hcpunion has a strong, fair contract, and I am very, very proud,” tweeted union chair Laura Harshberger, a senior production editor in the children’s books division.

For more, check out AP

Pittsburgh immigrant rights group Hello Neighbor Union Vote “Inconclusive”

Finally, back in Pittsburgh, a recent union vote at the immigrant rights group “Hello Neighbor” is inconclusive. The union election, which was held this will week, will be determined by whether or not 3 workers, who allege that they were fired for union organizing, are reinstated to their jobs by the National Labor Relations Board. 

The United Steelworkers, which had been organizing at the non-profit, were disappointed by the decision. 

“[Hello Neighbor] CEO Sloane Davidson could still voluntarily recognize the union, but instead she has spent her time on classic and vicious union-busting tactics. This includes intimidating and even firing workers,” USW District 10 Director Bernie Hall said in a statement. “These workers serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community. They deserve the same thing every worker deserves: a voice on the job.”

News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere 

Alright folks, that’s all for today. Donate to help us pay for our 7th anniversary Southern labor reporting road trip. Please, if you can, sign up as one of our 741 recurring donors today. 

Keep sending tips, story ideas, comments and complaints to [email protected]  Thanks again for all of the support. 

Love & Solidarity, 


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

Be the first to comment on "23 Month Warrior Met Coal Strike to End in Alabama – 2 Entire Coffee Chains – HarperCollins Ends 3 Month Strike"

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.