AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka delivered the following remarks via video for the Warrior Met Rally in Alabama:
Hi brothers and sisters. I'm Rich Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO and I’m also president emeritus of the UMWA, proud third-generation coal miner and a member of United Mine Workers, Local 6290.
And I stand with my brothers and sisters at Warrior Met.
I stand with you today. I stand with you tomorrow. And I’ll stand with you for as long as it takes to win a fair contract. And I want to say that your 12.5 million brothers and sisters of the labor movement will stand with you for as long as it takes for you to win a fair contract.
When you’ve been working alongside your fellow workers two miles underground, when you’ve been watching each other’s backs and fighting for your rights on the job, you truly trust and understand each other in a very, very fundamental way.
You understand that because you’ve lived that.
That’s why you sacrificed so immensely for your communities in Alabama.
And that’s why you work tirelessly each and every day.
And that’s why you’re on strike today!
Warrior Met or BlackRock have never led the lives that we have.
But it’s time for them to recognize our reality.
To pay us a fair wage. To provide us with good benefits. To give us a fair contract now! And nothing, I mean NOTHING LESS, is acceptable.
And don't tell us that it’s too much to ask for. Don’t tell us that can’t be done!
You see, you, brothers and sisters, are the reason for Warrior’s prosperity! And we will not sacrifice our dignity for their profit!
And that, quite frankly, is what this strike is all about.
Brothers and sisters banding together and demanding better.
Better is what we need. And better is what we’ve earned. And better is what we will get if we make the PRO Act the law of the land.
You see, for decades, big businesses and anti-worker politicians have chipped away at our rights.
They’ve tried to take away our power.
Well I could tell you something, they won’t win. And neither will Warrior Met.
You see, it's time to regrow America’s labor movement, to restore our rights .and to reclaim our power!
It’s time for a fair contract!
To Warrior Met and all the union-busters out there: No matter how much you try to intimidate us, no matter how hard you try to break us, working people are not going to give in or cave in or capitulate! We're not going to give in and we won’t give up.
We will prevail.
One day longer. One day stronger. WE’RE ONE!
God bless you. Take care! Solidarity forever!