Members of the press and public are invited to the West Virginia AFL-CIO’s annual Workers Memorial Day this Sunday, April 28, at the Farmington No. 9 Mine Disaster Memorial to honor the 23 West Virginians who lost their lives on the job in 2018.

On April 28, the unions of the AFL-CIO throughout the country observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job, and to renew the fight for safe jobs,” said WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword. “Here in West Virginia, we pledge to stand united against the ongoing attacks on workers’ rights and protections, and demand that elected officials put workers’ well-being above corporate interests.”

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.”