Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James announced on Monday that he is in support of the United Mine Workers strike. The announcement was made at the United Mine Workers Local 1928 headquarters in Hueytown. The Mine Workers have endorsed James’ bid to be Alabama’s next governor.

“I want to thank Larry Spencer and the District 20 Coal Miners Political Action Committee for their endorsement today,” James told reporters and miners. “I love this culture - the mining culture.

“American energy is a fundamental economic and strategic foundation for this country, and we ... need to always be grateful to the people that help us pull these natural resources from the ground. You are not going to get me to go down into a tube that goes 2,000 feet into the ground. I just can’t do it. I don’t even like to ride in elevators.”

James said he is concerned about this strike that has been going on for over a year since it affects about 900 miners and their families that continue to be unnecessarily hurt by the strike. 

“I believe in free enterprise and fair collective bargaining, but the owner of the mines, Warrior Met Coal and their principal owner, Blackrock – the largest equity company in the world - obviously does not share my beliefs,” said James. “They are requiring that Alabama miners agree to be terminated if they miss four days for any reason. That’s right, get COVID or pneumonia and be out of work for four days and while at the same time the company is making record profits. This is unadulterated greed and bullying on a scale I have never seen."

James said the miners are out of work because they will not give into Warrior Met and Blackrock's unfair and offensive demands. He urged that the strike needs to end now and the miners be allowed to go back to work. 

James is a Greenville businessman and the son of former Gov. Fob James (R). James ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2002 and 2010 but failed to win the Republican nomination both times. He is challenging incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey in the Republican primary.

Lindy Blanchard, Lew Burdette, Stacy George, Ivey, James, Donald Trent Jones, Dean Odle, Dave Thomas, and Dean Young are all running for the Republican nomination for governor.

Yolanda Rochelle Flowers, Patricia Salter Jamieson, Arthur Kennedy, Chad “Chig” Martin, Malika Sanders Fortier and Doug “New Blue” Smith are all running for the nomination in the Democratic primary.

Both primaries are on May 24.

The winner of the Republican primary will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the general election on Nov. 8.

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