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Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren urge BlackRock CEO Larry Fink to intervene in coal strike


Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders(R), Democratic presidential hopefuls, chat before the tenth Democratic Primary Debate of 2020 Presidential Campaign Season, cohosted by CBS News, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, at the Gaillard Center, Charleston, South Carolina on February 25, 2020.

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Sens. Bernie SandersTammy Baldwin, Elizabeth Warren, and Larry Fink from BlackRock pressed Larry Fink to let his company’s large financial stake go in the direction of BlackRock. Warrior Met CoalTo force the management of the company to negotiate a deal for its striking coal miners.

They said that miners at the Alabama-based coal mine are working hard to get better benefits and pay for a job that puts them in dangerous conditions.

We hope that you are able to understand that Alabama’s mines operate 24 hours a day. CNBC obtained a Thursday letter from Sanders, Warren, and Baldwin that stated workers can be fired if they miss more than 4 days. Given BlackRock’s ownership of the company, and the position you hold within BlackRock we ask that you do the right things.

Some BlackRock’sMost popular are index funds. They allow investors to access a portfolio that matches a particular financial market index.

Such products allow investors an easy and cheap way to put money in a fund that will offer performance almost identical to a popular market index, such as the S&P 500. BlackRock index funds held equity in Warrior Met Coal for more than twelve at the end 2021.

Each fund controls a small fraction of the coal-company. BlackRock, with all of its funds combined, owned approximately 13% Warrior Met Coal stock as of year end. This makes it the biggest stakeholder in Warrior Met Coal, according FactSet analysis.

Sanders: “Mr. Fink, Our request is very simple.” WarrenBaldwin agreed. BlackRock’s Board needs to publicly call for Warrior Met’s cooperation in negotiating a reasonable contract, which treats employees with dignity and respect.

BlackRock’s quarterly earnings report is due to be published Friday morning so the timing of the letter seemed deliberate. CNBC did not receive a response from BlackRock to our request for comment.

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The strike has seen approximately 1000 workers from the United Mine Workers of America go on at Warrior Met Coal’s coal mine since April 2021. However, the origins of the strike can be traced back in 2016 when Warrior Met acquired the mines bankrupt Walter Energy.

According to Sanders, I-VT. Warren, D-Mass. and Baldwin, D-Wis., coal miners were required to accept a six-hour pay cut as part of corporate restructuring.

Sanders stated to CNBC that workers in the company have not received their promised compensation since its recovery from bankruptcy and return back to profitability.

Sanders stated Thursday that instead of offering the wages and benefits workers deserve, Sanders was offering a completely unsatisfactory deal. We’re asking Mr. Fink to do the right moral thing. We’re asking Mr. Fink to do the morally right thing. Tell the executives of the company to negotiate a fair union contract.

Warren and Sanders have used Wall Street giants before to help workers in major investments.

Sanders sent a letter similar to Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren BuffettLast year asking him to intervene on behalf of striking steelworkersSpecial Metals is based out of West Virginia. Special Metals is owned by Precision Castparts. This subsidiary of Buffett’s conglomerate.

Fink is a common name for people who seek to change the corporate environment.

BlackRock is the biggest money manager worldwide, managing more than $9 trillion. Fink’s enormous capital base makes him one of the world’s most influential investors. This gives him the ability to wage serious legal campaigns against managers and directors of companies who don’t comply with his demands.

Fink, unlike many money managers, is not afraid to make clients uncomfortable. He has made climate change his main political issue over the past years. For years, he has supported corporate executives in reducing carbon emissions as well as minimizing their environmental footprints.

Fink went one step further with his 2021 campaign. He called for all businesses to “declare a plan on how their business model can be compatible in a net zero economy.” At the same time, Fink stated that his company would alter its investment process. Non-passive funds may be allowed to dispose of holdings which don’t comply with climate goals.