BROOKWOOD, Ala. — There is light at the end of the tunnel for more than 100 coal miners who are getting ready to head back to work.
“She said do you want to go back to work, I said, I've been waiting on this call for 7 months,” John Knight, a former Jim Walter Resources employee, said.
More than 1,000 people lost their jobs with the former Jim Walter Resources, in Brookwood, last year.
“It’s what I love doing so I'm just glad I got the phone call,” Knight said.
Knight is one of several miners who got the call this week to return to the job they've known for decades.
"You're unemployment runs out and the bills don't stop coming in and then you have to start dipping in your savings. I'm just glad the union came through for us and got us our jobs, we're still going to be able to work and make a living for our families,” he said.
Coal Acquisitions purchased Walter Energy Inc. after they filed for bankruptcy, returning employees now work for Warrior Met Coal, the former Jim Walter Resources. The United Mine Workers of America said with market conditions on the rise, employees in mine #4 are getting the chance to return to work.
"They're preparing the mine and I understand they're going to start production there early next week so that's a good sign if everything is safe and ready to start running," said Daryl Dewberry, International Vice President for the United Mine Workers of America District 20
The goal is to have around 150 miners working in #4 and the UMWA hopes that number only continues to grow as production increases.
“Hopefully the market will stay stable and we can keep coal miners working here in Alabama,” said Dewberry.
Dewberry told ABC 33/40 they hope to start producing coal by mid-September.