Recent Press

Today, Teamster Local 175 members employed by Coca Cola Consolidated in Bluefield West Virginia voted unanimously to reject the company’s final offer for settlement of a new contract and authorize a strike. The contract expires on July 28, 2021. The company is proposing significant increases to the amount that employees pay for their health insurance plan despite the fact that major changes were made to their health insurance only one year ago. The company is also offering nearly 20 percent less in wage increases for their hourly employees compared to similarly situated employees at the company’s Charleston West Virginia branch. The company is also offering substantially less for their commission employees than they agreed to pay their employees in other locations in West Virginia. During negotiations, the company claimed that it has been negatively affected by COVID-19. The fact is, as evidence by the company’s own numbers, the company sold substantially more product and made substantially more money in 2020 than it had in the previous years. While the company is crying poor mouth when it comes time to give increases to their employees, the company’s CEO Frank Harrison III already exorbitant salary was increased over $688,000 in 2020. 

Members of the United Steelworkers and their allies will be rallying in front of the West Virginia Capitol Tuesday morning to urge Governor Justice and legislative leaders to take action to save 1,500 Viatris/Mylan jobs that are at risk.

They will be asking the governor to form a task force to explore how to prevent Viatris/Mylan -- one of the last manufacturers of generic prescription medicine in the United States – from closing the Morgantown facility.

WHAT:                      Rally for Viatris/Mylan jobs
WHEN:                      10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 8
WHERE:                   Steps on the river side of the State Capitol

A dozen organizations representing tens of thousands of public employees - including law enforcement officers and other first responders such as firefighters, as well as educators, state and municipal employees - have filed suit in order to block a new law that was passed with the sole purpose of retaliating against them.

“As is clearly stated in our circuit court filing, the so-called ‘Paycheck Protection’ Act discriminates against organized public employees who seek to ensure safe workplaces and fair treatment by their employers, and was passed by this legislative majority purely out of spite,” WV AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “House Bill 2009 selectively and discriminately prohibits paycheck deductions for public employees and their unions, a practice that has gone on for more than 50 years without a problem, while still allowing hundreds of other paycheck deductions to remain in place.

America’s labor movement honored Workers Memorial Day on Wednesday. It’s an annual day of remembrance when unions and allies from across the country come together to reflect on those who have lost their lives on the job from accidents and as a result of chronic illness and injuries sustained from dangerous working conditions.

In 2020, 17 West Virginians lost their lives while on the job. These workers were fathers, daughters, brothers and sisters. They were first responders, coal miners and service workers. They were our friends, and they should not have lost their lives.

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