Recent Press

The West Virginia AFL-CIO has a rich history of supporting candidates for public office who stand for fair wages, good benefits and a safe workplace, regardless of party affiliation.

After last year’s gubernatorial primary, the WV AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education endorsed Jim Justice because he committed to support our position on issues that are important to West Virginia working families, not because of his party affiliation.

As a sign of that commitment, Governor Justice recently vetoed multiple bills that were part of the Republican legislative leadership’s damaging agenda aimed at hurting working families to the benefit of wealthy corporate interests. 

Governor Justice’s decision to switch political parties is unnerving. But given his vow to only pursue legislation that helps working families succeed, we are hopeful that he will use his position as the most powerful Republican state official to steer the Republican legislative leadership away from its current War on Working Families. 

We will be requesting a meeting with Governor Justice ASAP to confirm that he still stands by his commitment to support working families.

Until that confirmation, we defer making any further statements on this matter.

WHAT: 2017 Expose Walmart Tour – Press Conference

WHEN: Tuesday, May 23rd 2017, 4:00 PM

WHERE: West Virginia State Capitol (front steps), 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East

WHO: Making Change at Walmart along with local unions, workers, taxpayers, community groups, and the following speakers:

Josh Sword – President of West Virginia AFL-CIO

Ginny Moles – President of Alliance for Retired Americans

WHY: Walmart’s excessive police calls in the city of Charleston is a major drain on the community’s taxpayer-funded resources and public safety needs. It is shame that the Charleston police and taxpaying community have to cover the security costs of a company that profited $13.6 billion last year.

The Daily Mail Opinion page editorial from May 9 (“Would governor’s jobs program put West Virginians to work?”) caught our eye because it raised some excellent questions regarding Gov. Jim Justice’s proposed jobs and infrastructure plan.

It is refreshing to see the Daily Mail Opinion page emphasize the needs of West Virginia working families by raising the following issues:

WHEELING – The West Virginia AFL-CIO will hold a ceremony Friday at the Wheeling Artisan Center to remember the 24 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 President Josh Sword said. “It is deeply troubling that this year, we will be reading 24 names of West Virginians who left for work during 2016 and did not return home to their loved ones.”

Local and state union representatives will be on hand for the ceremony, which will begin at noon at the Wheeling Artisan Center/River City Restaurant, 1400 Main Street, Wheeling. The program will include a reading of the names of the 23 men and 1 woman who lost their lives in 2016 due to a workplace hazard, as well as words from Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott, music by local songwriter Tom Breiding and the laying of a wreath.

“Despite significant progress over the years in making workplaces safer and protecting workers, an average of 13 workers die on the job in this country each day as a result of workplace injuries,” Sword said. “On this day, we renew our pledge to fight for safe and secure jobs, and ask all West Virginians to join us in honoring those families that have suffered the ultimate loss.” 

* Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living *

WHAT: West Virginia Workers Memorial Day

WHEN: noon, Friday, April 28, 2017

WHERE: Wheeling Artisan Center/River City Restaurant, 1400 Main St., Wheeling

Members of the West Virginia Coalition of Retired Public Employees (CORPE) will gather at the state Capitol Thursday, March 2, to remind legislators of the benefits owed to the thousands of retired public employees who are struggling to get by.

“Public retirees are hurting more than ever,” noted CORPE spokesman Ernest “Spud” Terry. “Our pensions are stagnant and it’s been many years since we’ve had a Cost of Living Increase – now there are draconian cuts to PEIA.”

The coalition includes the West Virginia Association of Retired School Employees, West Virginia Public Retirement System Association and West Virginia chapters of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees; Communication Workers of America; National Active & Retired Federal Employees; American Federation of Teachers, and National Education Association.