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   Vol. 70/No. 47           December 11, 2006  
Coal miners bring solidarity
to Alabama Goodyear picket
(feature article)
GADSDEN, Alabama—“This was my first time on a picket line. It was a great experience!” said coal miner Johnny T. Keye, who said he was glad to show support for striking Goodyear workers.

Keye, a young worker from the Oak Grove mine near Birmingham, was one of dozens of members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) who joined the United Steelworkers picket line, November 22, at the Goodyear tire plant here.

The miners came in a car caravan that started in Brookwood, Alabama, and traveled two hours to Gadsden. They represented UMWA locals at Jim Walter Resources no. 4 and 7 mines as well as the Oak Grove mine.

The unionists brought canned goods and contributions from mine bathhouse collections and local union contributions as well as money collected by UMWA District 20—about $8,000 according to UMWA international vice president Darryl Dewberry.

After greetings from officials of the striking union at the Goodyear plant and remarks by Dewberry, the miners spent a couple of hours with the strikers. Also joining the picket line were Steelworkers from a Goodrich tire plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the Imerys marble quarry and processing plant in Sylacauga, Alabama.

Goodyear strikers said the company now has about 200 scabs working in the plant.

Many rubber workers told UMWA members how happy they were to see them join the picket line, and discussed the need for solidarity between unions. The miners’ contract expires December 31.

Clay Dennison is a member of UMWA Local 2133.

Related articles:
Texas janitors win their first union pact
After walkout, meatpackers press fight against firings
Machinists strike Arizona missile plant
On the Picket Line  
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