Letter to the Editor
United Mine Workers Food Pantry requests assistance
Editor’s Note: The Women’s Auxiliary of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) has written a letter for help with their Food Pantry, which is providing food and essential items to the 1,100 coal mining families, north of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who have been on strike for two months, against Warrior Met. The company, which was formed by Wall Street hedge funds, took the company out of bankruptcy, more than five years ago, by getting wage and benefit concessions from the workers. The company promised to restore the cuts once they became profitable but they have refused to follow through on their promises leading to this strike.
This letter was originally sent to Ryan Haney, Teamsters Local 745 in Texas, who traveled to Alabama to support the strike.
Dear Editor: We have been on strike at Warrior Met Coal LLC. in Brookwood, Alabama since April 1st, 2021. Currently the UMWA local members are picketing 24 hours a day seven days a week. For many families the strike has stopped their only source of income, this is a battle that has to be fought. With solidarity and support from our brothers and sisters across the nation we are doing our part to keep the strike moving forward one day longer. At the beginning of May we saw that the need was growing for families to receive assistance in the form of food, hygiene, and baby products so I spoke with [UMWA local officer] Larry Spencer and we set up a PayPal account for donations to help provide these families with essential items. Our Auxiliary for Locals #2245 and #2368 is newly formed while Auxiliary #2397 has been established for 31 years. We are working side by side in this venture. Each week we make and distribute 200 bags to families. As the strike continues the number of families will grow. We know this unfair labor practices strike will not be won quickly as one of the company negotiators has stated several times, “We will starve them out”. The UMWA auxiliary members are doing everything we can to make sure no union family goes hungry or without basic needs. We are also planning ahead in how we can help relieve some of the financial burden from families when school starts back in August. We are planning bookbags with socks and school supplies to make sure the children of the UMWA will have what they need to be successful in the classroom. We know the result of our contract negotiations at Warrior Met will set a precedent for all unions who have contract negotiations in the future. We are not only fighting for our own families but for all union families. Thank you for your support,
Haeden Wright Auxiliary President Locals #2245/2368
Amy Kelly Auxiliary Financial Secretary Locals #2245/2368
Cheri Goodwin Auxiliary Committee Member Local #2397
Connie Jones Auxiliary Committee Member Locals #2245/2368
You can support this effort by sending funds to: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/UMWAStrikePantry or UMWA Strike Aid Fund, P. O. Box 513, Dumfries, VA 22026