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Press Release Archives

Members of the West Virginia Coalition of Retired Public Employees (CORPE) will gather at the state Capitol for a breakfast on Tuesday, Jan. 30, to remind legislators of the thousands of retired public employees who are struggling to get by.

“Our pensions are stagnant and it’s been many years since we’ve had a Cost of Living Increase, while PEIA is underfunded and health care costs continue to rise,” noted CORPE spokesman Ernest “Spud” Terry. “West Virginia’s public retirees have been neglected for far too long.”

CHARLESTON – Speaking on behalf of thousands of public employees, leaders from AFT-WV, WVEA, UMWA, CWA and the West Virginia AFL-CIO called on lawmakers to work on a long-term strategy to make salaries for state employees competitive with contiguous states.

“There’s a lot of unrest among public employees out there,” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “We have a crisis on our hands within public employment. There’s anger, there’s frustration, and as a result, a real organic movement around the state calling for change.” 

Union leaders credited Governor Jim Justice with starting the discussion this legislative session about pay raises for public employees -- including teachers, school service personnel, public safety and other state employees – but agree that the proposed 1 percent raise is not enough.   

CHARLESTON – Leaders from AFT-WV, WVEA, UMWA, CWA and the WV AFL-CIO, representing thousands of public employees, will hold a press conference 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at the state Culture Center to discuss employees’ growing concerns regarding low pay and rising insurance costs, and the steps lawmakers could take to address what has become a crisis situation.   

 “State leaders have begun discussing possible pay increases for public employees, but there is conflicting information being circulated, and not all voices are being heard,” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “This press conference will give public employee representatives – those who speak for teachers, school service personnel, public safety and other state employees -- a chance to lay all the issues on the table.”

The press conference is being held in conjunction with the West Virginia AFL-CIO’s annual Legislative Conference, which runs from Jan. 24 through Jan. 25, 2018. 

WHAT:      Public Employee Press Conference              
WHEN:      12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018 
WHERE:    West Virginia Culture Center, WV Capitol Complex 

United Food Operation, Inc. will kick off its annual drive to distribute over $50,000 in food during the next 12 weeks 10 a.m. Friday, January 12, 2018 at its distribution center in Institute. 

Each winter, United Food Operation distributes pallets of food, free-of-charge, to 12 independent food pantries around the Kanawha Valley. These distributions significantly augment the pantries' limited resources during the winter's peak demand for their services. 

CHARLESTON – More than 200 union members representing over 100 local union affiliates gathered in Charleston this week for the West Virginia AFL-CIO’s 29th Constitutional Convention to adopt policy and elect officers, selecting Josh Sword to a full four-year term as President of the organization.

“It is absolutely the highest professional honor of my life to be elected to serve in this capacity and to represent the wonderful people of the West Virginia AFL-CIO,” Sword said. “I look forward to leading the charge for the betterment of all West Virginia working families.”

WHERE’S THE TAXES?

Painters District Council 53 is holding a protest against Seminole Equipment and the WV Department of Highways on Thursday September 28, near 3222 Kanawha Turnpike, South Charleston (intersection of Hwy 60 & CR-12). The protest will be from 11:30 to 1:00pm.

Seminole Equipment from Tarpon Springs, Florida was recently awarded a $1.25 million bridge painting project in South Charleston.  

Painters District Council 53 was able to obtain copies of project payroll records and believe they show no state income taxes were withheld.

“Upon further review we believe Seminole Equipment has received 97 payments from the State of West Virginia since 2006. Those payments total almost $10.75 million,” said Painters District Council 53 Secretary-Treasurer Dan Poling. “We were able to obtain many of these payroll records and believe no state income taxes were withheld on any project during the past 11 years. We estimate the loss to WV taxpayers exceeds $250,000.”

Seminole has recently been awarded an $8.5 million project in Raleigh County and is the apparent low bidder for a project in Wetzel County in excess of $6 million.

“To make matters worse Seminole imports labor from out of the area,”  Poling said. “DOH has dropped the ball! We have alerted them to the problem but have heard little back. We want the State of West Virginia to make Seminole Equipment pay their taxes. It’s not fair to the West Virginia residents and businesses that do pay taxes.”

Painters District Council 53 Charleston, WV