On Thursday, April 1, around 1,100 coal miners at Warrior Met Coal in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, went on strike. After the bargaining unit with the United Mine Workers of America reached a tentative agreement with the company last week, the membership overwhelmingly rejected it and opted to remain on strike. In order to cover this important strike and spread these workers’ stories, we’ve teamed up with Jacob Morrison, a union organizer and cohost of “The Valley Labor Report,” Alabama’s only weekly labor radio talk show, and Alabama musician Lee Bains III of The Glory Fires. Morrison and Bains went down to the Warrior Met Coal picket line to talk with striking miners, play some music, and show solidarity. In this special episode of “Working People,” we’ve compiled clips from Bains’ live musical performance, as well as Morrison’s interviews on the picket line and at the local UMWA union hall.

Additional links/info below…

Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive: freemusicarchive.org)

  • Jules Taylor, “Working People Theme Song”
  • Lee Bains III, live performance at Warrior Met Coal strike (April 2021)
  • Jules Taylor, “Cradle to the Grave

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Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.
Email: max@therealnews.com
Follow: @maximillian_alv