Warrior Met Coal, Inc. respects the right of represented employees to engage in lawful strike activities and has provided the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) picketers with reasonable spaces to picket at our entrances since the strike began on April 1, 2021. However, while the UMWA has portrayed their actions as “peaceful protests,” in recent weeks striking workers have escalated the amount and severity of criminal behavior. Warrior Met Coal is condemning the recent increase in vandalism and violence by UMWA leadership and members as the strike continues.
In addition to interfering with the entrance and exit to our facilities, picketers have increased attacks on personal vehicles, property, and uninvolved community members near the Company’s property. The UMWA picketers are engaging in behavior that is clearly in violation of both Alabama’s workers’ rights and the injunction granted by the Judge in Tuscaloosa County.
While unacceptable behavior by the picketers has been occurring since the strike began, actions both on the picket line and in the community have reached a dangerous level over the last week. For example, employees have been attacked in their vehicles, physically intimidated, and assaulted, and had personal vehicles and homes vandalized. The Company’s transport buses are being escorted by law-enforcement vehicles and yet continue to be threatened and attacked by UMWA picketers. Video: UMWA Picketer Violence
Picketers, who often seek to conceal their personal identity by wearing masks, have also expanded violence and disruption beyond the Company property and into the surrounding community, endangering those families, and our neighbors. Our employees’ homes and vehicles have been shot at from passing cars, and jack rocks and spike strips have been placed on area roads to damage their vehicle tires.
Misleading and erroneous statements made by UMWA leadership and members and repeated on social media are inflaming the situation. Criminal activity and intimidation by the UMWA must stop before someone gets seriously injured. Warrior Met Coal calls for the UMWA to change its practices, strongly denounce this behavior and take action to stop this violent, unlawful conduct in order to maintain public safety.
Warrior is a U.S.-based, environmentally and socially minded supplier to the global steel industry. It is dedicated entirely to mining non-thermal met coal used as a critical component of steel production by metal manufacturers in Europe, South America and Asia. Warrior is a large-scale, low-cost producer and exporter of premium met coal, also known as hard-coking coal (HCC), operating highly efficient longwall operations in its underground mines based in Alabama. The HCC that Warrior produces from the Blue Creek coal seam contains very low sulfur, has strong coking properties and is of a similar quality to coal referred to as the premium HCC produced in Australia. The premium nature of Warrior’s HCC makes it ideally suited as a base feed coal for steel makers and results in price realizations near the Platts Index price. For more information, please visit www.warriormetcoal.com.
D'Andre Wright, 205-554-6131