In an encouraging sign of unity within the West Virginia labor movement, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 175 made a unanimous decision this past Saturday to affiliate with the West Virginia AFL-CIO.

“West Virginia working families have been under attack by the legislative leadership for the past five years, and the Teamsters and the West Virginia AFL-CIO have worked side by side to combat that effort,” said Teamsters Local 175 President Ken Hall, who is also General Secretary-Treasurer of the Teamsters international. “I look forward to working with WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword, Secretary-Treasurer Andy Walters and their team, including all the affiliates and the network of 13 regional Central Labor Councils across the state, to spread our message and build even more support. 

CHARLESTON -- West Virginia working families won a major victory today, when Kanawha Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey struck down the so-called “Right to Work” law aimed at attacking unions. 

“Judge Bailey was right-on with her ruling,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “She made it very clear that this bill violates the West Virginia Constitutional rights of unions and individuals with regard to association, property and liberty.

A coalition of education groups representing county superintendents, school administrators, teachers and service professionals will hold a joint press conference at the Capitol on Monday, January 28, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. in the Governor’s Cabinet and Conference Room on the main floor of the capitol building adjacent to the Secretary of State’s office. 

The purpose of the press conference is to discuss concerns with the Omnibus Education Bill originating in the Senate Education Committee. 

WHAT:  Joint Press Conference 

WHEN: Monday, January 28, 2019 | 11:00 A.M. 

WHERE:  Governor’s Cabinet and Conference Room 

(adjacent to the Secretary of State’s office)

United Food Operation, Inc. will kick off its 38th annual drive to collect food during the next 12 weeks for area food pantries with an event 12 p.m. Friday, January 11, 2019 at its distribution center in Institute. 

“Because the federal government shutdown is affecting food stamp distribution, West Virginia families, including children and the elderly, who are dependent on that assistance will need food pantries more than ever,” UFO Chair Elaine Harris said. “And that makes our mission even more urgent.” 

The federal charges issued against Republican state Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry today -- and the continued failure of the Republican leadership to take action to remove him from office -- points to an ongoing culture of corruption among those in control of the Legislature, West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. 

“Just like Justice Loughry, these Republican leaders don’t think the rules apply to them, and every day we are learning of another corruption scandal as a result,” Sword said. “In just the past few months, we’ve seen a Republican delegate be forced to resign to avoid jail time and the mishandling of $150 million meant to go to flood victims.

“Hard-working West Virginia taxpayers deserve better.”

When fellow union member and Kanawha County delegate Mike Pushkin called for the Legislature to initiate Loughry’s impeachment during the legislative session, Senate President Mitch Carmichael told reporters it “may be the single dumbest most ridiculous political stunt that I’ve seen in my time at the Legislature.” He stated calling for Loughry’s resignation and impeachment had the feel of “a political vendetta.”

CHARLESTON – Members of the West Virginia AFL-CIO’s Committee on Political Education met on Saturday and selected congressional and legislative candidates for endorsement in the 2018 General Election.

“Nearly all of the candidates we endorsed in the primary won their races -- including Republican Bill Hamilton who with the help of strong labor support defeated the most vocal enemy of working people, Senator Robert Karnes – and we’re excited about the prospects for all endorsed our candidates in the General Election,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword noted. “Our members are energized more than ever, and eager to get out and support these candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, who are dedicated to advocating for fair wages, good benefits and a safe workplace.”

An endorsement by the West Virginia AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education follows recommendations from 13 AFL-CIO Central Labor Councils located around the state. The Central Labor Councils interviewed legislative candidates who complete a questionnaire on time, and consider an incumbent’s position on working family issues. To garner an endorsement by the West Virginia AFL-CIO, a candidate must receive a 2/3 majority of votes cast by the 75 members of State COPE.