By William Thornton
September 3, 2021 - The United Mine Workers of America today announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with Peabody Energy that could reopen the company’s Shoal Creek mine.
The longwall mine, 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.
“We expect that if ratified, this agreement will allow the Shoal Creek mine to be reopened very soon,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “We will take this tentative contract to the membership at Shoal Creek for their final say. The explanation to the membership and ratification vote will take place next week.”
In a statement, Peabody Energy said it believes “the tentative agreement is beneficial to all stakeholders and positions the mine to be successful going forward. We look forward to the ratification vote and will provide information regarding future plans for mine operations as they become available.”
The agreement does not affect the ongoing strike by the UMWA against Warrior Met Coal, which has now entered its seventh month.