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July 26, 2021 7 min

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Over 1000 coal miners in Alabama have been on strike since April 1st over cuts in pay, loss in paid holidays and time off, and spiking health insurance costs. But nearly 4 months into the strike, the mainstream media channels have stayed silent. This week, Brie spoke to Kim Kelly, an independent journalist who has been covering the strike on the ground, and Phil Smith, Director of Communications and Governmental Affairs United Mine Workers of America. The pair offered context for the strike, including violent acts of intimidation by the company, and went on to offer a nuanced assessment of whether the miners could see a left populist movement as a political solution to the labor conflict at hand. How does a "Bernie style" message go over in Alabama? Is it possible to pitch the Green New Deal to coal country? Is a distain for big government an insurmountable bias for Democrats, or is the real issue that government so far has failed to address ongoing problems like high healthcare costs and the opioid epidemic? Can a left populist movement turn Alabama blue?

UMWA Strike Fund:

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Produced by Ben Dalton (@wbend).

Theme by Nick Thorburn (@nickfromislands).

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