The Coal Trader

Miner’s union ratifies contract for Peabody Energy’s Shoal Creek mine

Members of the United Mine Workers of America Sunday approved a new collective bargaining agreement at a mine idled for almost a year.

The UMWA Local1948 ratified an agreement at the Shoal Creek metallurgical coal mine by a 63% to 37% margin. The longwall mine, operated by Peabody Energy and located in Jefferson, Walker and Tuscaloosa counties, produced 2.1 million tons of coal in 2019. It closed last October, citing declining demand for coal and loss of revenue. An announcement at the time said 350 union employees would be laid off.

The action does not affect the ongoing strike by the UMWA against Warrior Met Coal.

The agreement includes an hourly wage increase and health care provisions the union says are consistent with the UMWA’s national coal agreement. There will also be a $5,000 ratification bonus paid to all union members. The agreement expires Dec. 31, 2024.

UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said the agreement will pave the way for the reopening of this mine and “provides a roadmap to settling the six month strike at Warrior Met Coal in the same region.”

“This will provide an economic boost not just for our members and their families, but also to the communities where they live,” Roberts said. “We now have two similar collective bargaining agreements in the coalfields of Alabama, at the Shoal Creek and Oak Grove mines. It’s time for Warrior Met to step up and reach this kind of fair and reasonable agreement with its workers. I remain ready to negotiate with Warrior Met day and night to reach that agreement and get everyone in Alabama back to work.”