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.

Members of the press and public are invited come to the Charleston Civic Center to see the best welders, pipefitters, sprinklerfitters and plumbers in the region compete during a free three-day event starting Tuesday, June 12.

“Apprentices in the Pipe Trades industry from West Virginia and surrounding states will be competing in five skill areas,” Brett Matthews, Director of Training, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 625 in Charleston, said. “The winners will advance to an international contest later this year.”

WILLIAMSTOWN – The West Virginia AFL-CIO will hold a ceremony Saturday, April 28, at the Williamstown Welcome Center to remember the 18 West Virginians who lost their lives on the job last year.

“The unions of the AFL-CIO throughout the country set aside this day to remember and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives on the job,” West Virginia AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Andy Walters said. “I am extremely saddened to report that we will be reading 18 names of West Virginians who left for work during 2017 -- whether at a stretch of  highway, a coal mine, a well pad, or an industrial plant -- and did not return home to their loved ones.”

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 Primary Election.

“We’re seeing a great field of pro-working family candidates in 2018, and are feeling very optimistic about this election,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “Our members are energized and excited about getting to work to help the candidates who want to lift up West Virginia working families by 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, and consider an incumbent’s recorded vote 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.

At the congressional level, the COPE Committee proudly endorsed current Senator Joe Manchin for the United States Senate seat, the sole statewide office on the 2018 ballot, and state Senator Richard Ojeda in the 3rd Congressional District primary race. 

The Committee took no action in the 1st and 2nd congressional districts, as well as in a number of legislative races. In instances of “no action,” the COPE Committee stands silent, and leaves it up to affiliates of the West Virginia AFL-CIO to determine which candidates to support in those primary races.

The COPE committee endorsed the following state legislative candidates:

House Minority Whip Mike Caputo today urged Governor Jim Justice to take action to help the more than 1,400 West Virginia Frontier striking employees in their effort to ensure job security and quality service.

“We are in the third week of this strike, and while these Communications Workers of America members have been bargaining in good faith, so far the company has refused to accept an agreement that would protect employees from layoffs and prevent the use of contractors and out-of-state people with questionable qualifications,” Caputo, D-Marion, said. “Governor Justice has the power to bring the parties together and try to find a resolution to this dispute.”

Caputo, who is United Mine Workers of America District 31 international vice president, noted this strike affects not only the 1,400 West Virginia workers, but also many thousands of customers, whose service is being compromised by Frontier’s job cuts and use of less qualified, out-of-state workers.

“This is about treating well-qualified West Virginia workers fairly so they can concentrate on maintaining and improving our state’s telecommunications network,” Caputo said. “Helping find a compromise that both sides can agree to should be Governor Justice’s top priority.”

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.”