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Warrior Met Coal: Our priority is ‘keeping people employed with long-lasting careers’

Brookwood’s Warrior Met Coal on Wednesday released a written statement about ongoing contract negotiations with the company’s employees, who are unionized members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).

The current union contract is set to expire on Thursday, and Warrior Met Coal advised that it has “been working in good faith to reach an agreement.”

“At Warrior Met Coal, we value and appreciate our employees’ hard work. Simply put, we are only as good as our team,” the company stated. “Our priorities have always been keeping people employed with long-lasting careers and ensuring Warrior Met Coal remains financially stable in a particularly volatile coal market.”

Warrior Met Coal is the state’s largest producer of metallurgical coal, used as a key component of steel production. The company is the Port of Mobile’s largest single customer in terms of tonnage. Met coal is the type of coal sometimes referred to as coking coal. Unlike the thermal or steam variety, met coal is used as a vital ingredient in the steelmaking process instead of being utilized for power generation.

“Throughout negotiations, our sight has remained on the future – to provide our employees with a competitive package while protecting jobs and the longevity of the Company and its workforce,” the statement stressed.

Warrior Met Coal’s employees on average enjoy a starting salary of about $85,000, with many seeing that rise to the six figures within months. The company prides itself on having the best-trained employees in the industry, which itself is high-tech and demands a skilled workforce.

“History has shown that we must remain vigilant in preparing for the volatility of coal prices. Despite a declining market and global pandemic last year, we are especially proud of the fact that we remained open as an essential industry and were able to protect the livelihood of our 1,400 employees,” the company wrote.

As Yellowhammer News has previously reported, Warrior Met Coal has been a leading private sector partner with Bevill State, which operates a state-of-the-art mine training facility. The company prioritizes safety foremost.

“We provide some of the highest paying jobs in Alabama and they contribute immensely to our state’s economy,” the company’s release noted. “Metallurgical coal is a vital component in steel manufacturing and is accountable for 50% of the revenue generated by the Alabama State Port Authority. We take this responsibility for our employees, neighbors and our state’s economic growth very seriously.”

UMWA this week announced that Warrior Met Coal’s unionized employees will go on strike beginning 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Warrior Met Coal said, “We have and will continue to work with the UMWA to reach a resolution. While we are disappointed that the UMWA has taken this extreme step to declare a strike while we continue to negotiate in good faith, we have continuity plans in place to continue meeting the demands of our key customers.”

“We respect our employees’ contributions to Warrior Met Coal and will not stop working to reach an agreement,” the company concluded. “The wellbeing of our team is always at the forefront. We remain committed to achieving a package that employees appreciate, that will protect the Company and can provide a stable future.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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