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ATU Denounces NLRB Unconscionable Decision to Unfairly Penalize Striking Mineworkers

Silver Spring, MD – The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) is denouncing the unconscionable decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to unfairly penalize the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) for its members’ exercising their right to strike at Warrior Met Coal.

Warrior Met Coal workers in Alabama have been on strike since April 1, 2021. After provoking this strike, and in the face of an incredible demonstration of the solidarity of UMWA coal miners, Warrior Met has enlisted the NLRB to force the UMWA to bail Warrior Met Coal out of Warrior Met’s own mistakes.  The NLRB has undermined the right to strike and prolonged this labor dispute by insisting that the UMWA indemnify Warrior Met against the consequences of Warrior Met’s own ill-advised and disgusting bargaining strategy.  The NLRB would better serve the purposes of federal labor law by investigating Warrior Met to determine if it should pay the heroic strikers for the hardships they have faced due to this labor dispute caused by Warrior Met’s greed.

“These workers have been out on the picket lines for well over a year due to Warrior Met Coal’s intransigence at the bargaining table,” said ATU International President John Costa. “While we’ve experienced company intransigence before, Warrior Met Coal’s refusal to reach an equitable settlement over the past sixteen months is, thankfully, like nothing we have seen for decades. If this recent decision by the NLRB to award $13.3 million to Warrior Met from UMWA is left to stand, and employers are allowed to finance their strike strategies with union funds, it will encourage more employers to adopt Warrior Met’s ruinous bargaining strategy.”

“But this is not just bad labor policy which would lead to labor disputes. This decision would undermine the fundamental right of workers to strike in their own defense.  The ATU, and every other union in America, is shocked by this decision. Unions cannot be required to pay for loss of production or service during a strike,” Costa continued. “We stand in solidarity with Warrior Met Coal workers in calling on the NLRB to reverse its decision immediately.”