Recent Press

Less than 24 hours after breaking news about more than 800 West Virginians losing their jobs in the timber industry, and in the same week that 1,000 more at a northern West Virginia tin mill were told they’re being laid off, the Senate Finance Committee has passed two bills to take unemployment benefits away from them.

“This is quite possibly the most heartless act I’ve seen in my 25 years of representing working people at the Capitol,” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “To take earned benefits away from nearly 2,000 hard-working people who are losing their jobs through no fault of their own is unimaginably cruel and completely unnecessary.”

The West Virginia AFL-CIO is devastated after learning about the sudden passing of its former President Kenny Perdue, a life-long advocate for working people and dedicated family man who will be missed beyond measure. 

“Kenny was tireless in his efforts to protect and serve West Virginia working families, having spent four decades working in the labor movement and close to 20 years with the West Virginia AFL-CIO,” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “He was a mentor, who inspired me with his work ethic, integrity and kindness. Even more importantly, he was the shining light of his family, and our hearts go out to all his loved ones, his wife, Dusty, his daughters, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren. Our collective hearts are broken – we will miss our dear friend.”

The following is a statement from West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword regarding Senator Joe Manchin’s decision to not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate:

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As West Virginians enjoy spending time with family and friends this Labor Day weekend, the West Virginia AFL-CIO invites residents to attend one of the many parades and events honoring the achievements of America’s working people.

“This Labor Day weekend, as we celebrate the working families of our country, especially here in West Virginia, we are also thankful that unions continue to enjoy the support of the public,” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said.

CHARLESTON – To honor West Virginia workers who died on the job - 18 were lost in 2022 -  the West Virginia AFL-CIO, the United Mine Workers of America, and the Kanawha Valley Labor Council will hold an in-person event at noon, Friday, April 28, at the state Capitol commemorating the 35th annual Workers Memorial Day.

“As we do each year, we will read the names of West Virginia who lost their lives due to workplace injury and illness, take a moment to pay tribute to them, and vow to keep fighting for the promise of safe jobs for all workers,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “In 2022, 18 West Virginians lost their lives while on the job. They were first responders, coal miners, timber industry workers, those in the construction field, so many dedicated employees, and they should have returned home safely to their loved ones.”