Press Release Archives

While Governor Jim Justice is loosening restrictions on bars, restaurants and retail facilities in the state, the West Virginia Legislature continues to operate under a cloak of darkness, locking out the public without offering even an online opportunity for participation. 

“As representatives of working families throughout West Virginia, the West Virginia AFL-CIO and its affiliates cannot sit idly by and let the legislative majority trample the rights of West Virginia citizens,” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “We understand the critical need to observe social distancing requirements in order to keep everyone safe, but the legislative majority is using these personal contact limits to shut down interaction with the public altogether.

Teamsters at AHF voted by more than 92% to ratify the Company’s offer today, ending an approximately year long dispute.  The last offer was rejected by a vote of 93% on February 23. 2020.  The new offer includes a total raise of $2.05 over the life of the contract, including retroactive pay back to February 2020 when the offer was rejected.  Additionally, the new contract keeps employee health insurance premiums at low increases.  The new agreement term is four years, which includes the prior year of 2020.

Under the cloud of this pandemic, union leaders across West Virginia have been compelled to cancel or drastically alter annual time-honored Labor Day events, but they ask that all residents take a moment to recognize what the labor movement has meant to workers and their families in the quest for fair wages, good benefits and a safe workplace.

“This coronavirus has been very challenging, to say the least,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “But the labor movement has responded with passion and dedication, fighting nonstop for worker protections despite the failure of some in our state and federal governments.

“That’s what the labor movement does and will continue to do.”

Representatives of correctional officers at the state and federal levels joined together during this  36th annual National Correctional Officers and Employees Week to honor the professionalism, dedication and courage exhibited daily by the men and women working in West Virginia correctional facilities.

“Correctional officers and employees face grave danger daily, but the current pandemic has brought unexpected and unprecedented risks that they are handling bravely, with professionalism,” said Dan Doyle, National Vice President of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Elaine Harris, international representative for the Communications Workers of America, which represents officers and employees within the state correctional system, noted, “In addition to working to preserve public safety in the traditional sense, these officers must also be concerned with carrying COVID-19 home to their loved ones and communities. It’s a lot to ask.”

We are inviting the press and public to join us via Facebook Live at noon on Tuesday, April 28, as we honor the 22 workers lost on the job in 2019. 

“While we can’t gather in person as we have in the past, the West Virginia AFL-CIO will hold the 32nd annual Workers Memorial ceremony live on our Facebook page,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “This pandemic has shone a much-needed spotlight on the tremendous risk those in essential professions are facing and the need for stronger worker protections. But the sad truth is so many in the workforce have always faced life-threatening situations.”

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:                      32nd Annual Workers Memorial Ceremony   

WHEN:                      Noon, Tuesday, April 28, 2020

WHERE:                   Facebook.com/westvirginia.aflcio

The West Virginia AFL-CIO has rescinded its endorsement of Justice John Hutchison for a seat on the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Following the release of the state Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the so-called “Right to Work” law, which was created solely to undermine and weaken unions, and Justice Hutchison’s concurring opinion, the WV AFL-CIO Executive Board and its Committee on Political Education’s executive committee held meetings today and unanimously voted to withdraw the endorsement.

“Justice Hutchison approached our organization and met with many members, seeking our endorsement of his candidacy and our support,” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword noted. “Despite his statements both to us and in his concurring opinion that he values the work of unions, his vote to concur with the politically motivated decision in support of the state’s ‘Right to Work’ law made clear to us that he has put the interests of out-of-state corporations over the interests of West Virginia working families.

“The leaders of the West Virginia AFL-CIO and its affiliates can in no way support such a candidate.”