Press Release Archives

Teamster Local 175 members employed by Coca Cola Consolidated in Bluefield West Virginia voted by 95% to accept the company’s latest offer for settlement of a new contract. The contract expired on July 28, 2021. The companies latest offer resulted in additional wage increases as well as a drastic reduction in the amounts of money that the company had previously demanded that employees contribute to their health insurance.

West Virginia AFL-CIO leaders, West Virginia union members and friends will rally outside the Charleston and Martinsburg offices of Senator Shelley Moore Capito on Thursday, July 22, beginning at 11:30 am, to urge Senator Capito to support the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. 

During the rally, labor leaders will briefly discuss how the PRO Act, a labor rights bill, will reform inadequate labor laws and empower workers to exercise their freedom to organize and bargain. West Virginia workers will call upon Senator Capito to join Senator Joe Manchin and co-sponsor the PRO Act, legislation essential to making America’s economy work for working people. 

At the same time, the Eastern Panhandle Central Labor Council will rally outside of Senator Capito’s Martinsburg office.

WHAT: Rally outside the offices of Senator Shelley Moore Capito

WHEN: 11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 22

WHERE: 500 Virginia Street East, Charleston; 300 Foxcroft Avenue, Martinsburg

A dozen organizations representing tens of thousands of public employees - including law enforcement officers and other first responders such as firefighters, as well as educators, state and municipal employees - have filed suit in order to block a new law that was passed with the sole purpose of retaliating against them.

“As is clearly stated in our circuit court filing, the so-called ‘Paycheck Protection’ Act discriminates against organized public employees who seek to ensure safe workplaces and fair treatment by their employers, and was passed by this legislative majority purely out of spite,” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “House Bill 2009 selectively and discriminately prohibits paycheck deductions for public employees and their unions, a practice that has gone on for more than 50 years without a problem, while still allowing hundreds of other paycheck deductions to remain in place.

The West Virginia AFL-CIO is inviting the press and public to view a Facebook Live event at noon Wednesday, April 28, to honor the 17 West Virginians lost on the job in 2020. During the 33rd annual Workers Memorial ceremony, union leaders will read the names of West Virginia victims of workplace injury and illness, and vow to keep fighting for the promise of safe jobs for all workers.

“For the second time during this pandemic, the West Virginia AFL-CIO’s annual Workers Memorial ceremony will be held virtually to ensure all participants’ safety.” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to highlight the direct link between workplace safety and the health of our communities. Now, more than ever, we should be reminded of the tremendous risk those in essential professions are facing and the need for stronger worker protections.”

On April 28, unions of the AFL-CIO throughout the country will observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job, and to call for action to make workplaces safe.

“We will continue to work tirelessly in hopes that one day no one is risking their life to make a living,” Sword said. “And until every workplace is 100 percent safe, we should take time to honor and remember those who were injured or lost.”

WHAT:                      33nd Annual Workers Memorial Ceremony   

WHEN:                      Noon, Wednesday, April 28, 2021

WHERE:                   Facebook.com/westvirginia.aflcio

“The West Virginia AFL-CIO thanks Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) for signing on as a co-sponsor for H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. 

In the words of Sen. Manchin, ‘this bill will level the playing field’ for union workers. It is no coincidence that 60 percent of our country would join a union today if given the opportunity, but just ten percent of America’s workers belong to one. For nearly a century, the odds have been stacked against our working people. And in that time, inequality has skyrocketed. Wages have fallen. And corporations have gotten away with countless instances of illegal union busting and workplace harassment.

The PRO Act is how we build a better future for West Virginia's working people. We will continue to advocate for this monumental legislation, now with Sen. Manchin’s support behind us. Thank you, Sen. Manchin, again for your support.” 

West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword congratulates West Virginia’s Gayle Manchin on being selected by President Biden to co-chair the Appalachian Regional Commission:

“From her early years as an educator to her past decades leading a variety of organizations -- including those focused on 21st century job creation, children and families, and healthy lifestyles -- Gayle has dedicated her career to helping West Virginians succeed, and would bring tremendous insight to the Appalachian Regional Commission,” Sword said. “Most recently, I have witnessed first-hand her tireless work as a founder of Reconnecting McDowell, a public-private partnership to help revive McDowell County, which has struggled since the strong downturn of the coal industry. She understands the challenges the residents of Appalachia face, and will address them head-on. 

“I am extremely hopeful the Senate will quickly confirm her nomination.”