Watch & Donate to Help Us Cover Alabama Coal Miners Strike

Coal miners on the picket line in Brookwood, Alabama (Peter J. Callahan/Payday Report)

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With the fight at Amazon in Alabama winding down for now, another major labor fight is kicking into high gear right up the road, 45-minutes from the Amazon warehouse. In Brookwood, Alabama, 1,100 coal miners of the United Mine Workers of America are entering their second week of a major strike at Warrior Met Coal, a metallurgic coal mine. 

Last week, an overwhelming majority of workers at the coal mine voted down a contract offer, with 95% of the workers voting to continue the strike. 

Many have written off Alabama as anti-union territory, but the strike at Warrior Met Coal, whose workforce is one-third Black, presents an interesting example of the legacy of militant union culture in Northern Alabama. For over a 100 years, mineworkers unions in Northern Alabama have been racially integrating, creating a unique legacy. 

“It’s just a special bond, man,” coal miner Mike Wright told Payday earlier this month. “When you talk to them, and they say, yeah, we’re part of the UMWA, that means something that’s big time. And you just automatically feel that connection. Because this is, like I said, a brotherhood.”

Payday was on the picket line in Brookwood, Alabama earlier this month to cover the strike and we also released a batch of videos with interviews of workers from the picket line. (Watch our videos from the picket line here)

Our 1st Bill Greider Grant recipient, Alexander Richey, who helped us on the Amazon union story, lives in Birmingham and is available to help cover the struggle. However, we need to raise some money to pay him for his work. 

So, please donate so we can continue covering the inspiring strike of over 1,100 coal miners in Northern Alabama at Warrior Met Coal.

Remember, the best way to support us is to sign up as a recurring donor today.

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]

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