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Union Miners Save Company

'What is happening at Warrior Met is not an aberration,” Sanders said. “At a moment of unprecedented corporate greed in this country, attacks against workers are taking place in company after company, industry after industry. Here is a dangerous reality: never before in the history of the United States have so few owned so much and had so much power over our economy.Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

When this old union guy thinks of union-busting, he envisions club-wielding cops escorting scabs through picket lines.

So a headline in Patch.com, a Tuscaloosa, Ala., online publication grabbed my attention: “How Private Equity Firms Caused The UMWA Strike In Brookwood.”

The subhead invites readers to take “…an in-depth look at how ongoing business practices have impacted striking blue-collar workers for one west Alabama coal producer.”

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"We want Warrior Met to be successful. But they can be successful and fair to its workers and communities at the same time.”

The story is about the ongoing strike against Warrior Met Coal Inc., a company formed following the bankruptcy of Walter Energy. Warrior Met operates mines near Brookwood and Bessemer, Ala.

The UMWA says its members “made the sacrifices that brought this company out of bankruptcy,” but that “while upper management was getting bonuses, UMWA miners took pay and benefit cuts.”

Adds the union: “The productive, professional miners at Warrior Met mined the coal that meant the company could become successful again. The people who manage the Wall Street hedge funds that own Warrior Met don’t know us, they don’t know our families, they don’t know our communities.

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"And they don’t care. All they care about is sucking as much money as they can, every day that they can, from central Alabama. We want Warrior Met to be successful. But they can be successful and fair to its workers and communities at the same time.”

Berry Craig
AFT Local 1360