Sierra Club raising money for UMWA strikers in Alabama and backing the PRO Act

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

The Sierra Club, one of the country’s oldest and largest environmental organizations, is collecting money for striking UMWA coal miners in Alabama.

“At the heart of our work to protect our planet and move our country beyond fossil fuels is a commitment to a just and sustainable transition,” says a fund-raising email from Derrick Figures, the club’s Economic Justice Program director. “We believe in a clean energy future—and the only way we get there is through building healthy communities, protecting people's livelihoods, and guaranteeing family-sustaining jobs.

This is why we're in solidarity with over 1,100 coal miners [at the Warrior Met mine] in Brookwood, Alabama. They have been on strike since the beginning of April, after their Big Coal bosses used bankruptcy to cut employees' wages, pensions, benefits, and protections.”

Founded in 1892, the Sierra Club has chapters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Historically, the organization has been allied with progressive groups and causes. Click here for information about the Kentucky chapter.

"Coal companies, in their quest for profit above all else, have treated both our planet and their employees as disposable," Figures also wrote. "They have not treated the mining community fairly, from bankruptcy to Black Lung disease. And for years, big coal companies have resisted change by leading coal country and miners down a path of broken promises; while it has become clear that they are only interested in profits."

Hence, the Sierra Club is raising money for the miners and their families " to show that we are behind them in the fight for economic recovery and justice."

The email includes a link to donate and explains "100% of your gift will go to these families and continued organizing opportunities for communities in Alabama."

Added Figures: "Labor and economic justice has always been critical to our work to expand clean energy, because we know that we are stronger together. We need millions of working families to help us address climate disruption and build a world—and economy—that puts people and our planet first."

 The email also says that the Sierra Club supports "the THRIVE Act—a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address the interlocking climate, economic, racial justice, and public health crises at the scale and scope that these crises demand—and the PRO Act. The PRO Act is a landmark bill that would significantly strengthen workers' ability to organize to join unions and collectively bargain for better working conditions and benefits."

In addition, the email cites "Hometown Action, a small-town power-building organization in Alabama" which "has been on the frontlines supporting the striking coal workers and organizing for the THRIVE Act and bold climate policy," Figures wrote. "Your gift can go to both support these striking workers and Hometown Action to continue the fight."

The email concludes: "These striking workers need our help. And people and our planet come first. Period. We are all in this together as we move toward a clean energy future."