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- Workers Memorial Event | Wednesday, April 28th
- Statement from West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword on Sen. Joe Manchin’s Co-Sponsorship of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act
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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
“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.”
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.