Around 1,100 union coal miners in Brookwood, Alabama, have been on strike over unfair labor practices at Warrior Met Coal for over five months. Workers and their families are holding the line, demanding to get back what was stolen from them with their last contract, demanding to actually have time to spend with their families, demanding to be treated with the respect they deserve for making the mine more productive than ever. The UMWA’s strike motto is “One day longer, one day stronger,” and workers are showing no signs that they plan to back down.

In Part I of this special two-part update on the miners’ strike, guest hosts Jacob Morrison and Adam Keller from The Valley Labor Report, Alabama’s only weekly labor radio talk show, interview striking workers and supporters who attended a solidarity rally that the union held in Brookwood on Aug. 4.

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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.
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