Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Union ratifies new contract with Jefferson County coal mining company

Two local unions ratified a new agreement with a mining company accused of contributing to a man’s death in March.

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

On May 7, the United Mine Workers of America announced that UMWA Local Unions 2133 and 8982 had ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with Crimson Oak Grove Resources, LLC. Over 400 union members work in the Oak Grove mine and related facilities in Jefferson County.

The agreement was tentatively accepted in March and has now been approved by a 64.4 percent vote in favor by union members.

According to a press release from the UMWA, the five-year contract provides employees with “significant wage increases, and improvements in paid time off, with no changes to health care or other benefits.”

UMWA International President Cecil Roberts favorably compared the negotiations between the UMWA and Crimson Oak Grove Resources to negotiations between the UMWA and Warrior Met Coal. “These are exactly the kind of talks we have wanted to have for years with Warrior Met Coal,” he said.

UMWA members employed by Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood, Alabama engaged in a record-breaking strike between April 2021 and March 2023. The strike ended without any concessions by Warrior Met Coal and at different times the National Labor Relations Board found both the UMWA and Warrior Met Coal to have violated federal labor law.

In response to the strike’s failure, the UMWA tried unsuccessfully to win shareholder support for various reforms at the annual Warrior Met stockholder meeting in April.

While Roberts praised Crimson Oak Grove Resources’ negotiations with the UAW locals, in recent months the Oak Grove mine has been the subject of major scrutiny by both environmental activists and federal regulatory agencies for its use of allegedly unsafe mining practices.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Environmental news nonprofit Inside Climate News has extensively reported on a deadly March 8 explosion potentially linked to the mine.

74-year-old grandfather W.M. Griffice died just a few weeks after his home exploded. His grandson was critically injured in the same explosion. Before Griffice died, the family filed a lawsuit against Crimson Oak Grove Resources, its parent company American Consolidated Natural Resources Inc., and a contractor.

The official cause of the explosion is still undetermined, but the lawsuit alleges that the explosion was the result of a build-up of methane gas caused by the Oak Grove mine.

In the past, mine workers have also been negatively impacted by the mine’s handling of the explosive gas.

According to Lee Hedgepeth of Inside Climate News, since the explosion Crimson Oak Grove Resources has been cited by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration for more than 100 violations. In 2015, miners had to be evacuated due to a methane build-up.

Both the mining company and the UMWA have yet to release a statement on the potential public safety concerns that the mine poses.


Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Chance Phillips is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

More from APR


Mercedes-Benz employees and a former football star discussed why they support the United Auto Workers representing Tuscaloosa workers.

Featured Opinion

You don't need a bunch of stats to know that the working man is getting hosed, or that corporate greed is out of control.


Corporations and the politicians they bankroll want to keep workers divided and afraid of demanding the rights and freedoms we deserve.

Featured Opinion

The only way to make unions seem like the bad guy in a tale of American industry is to lie about them.