Recent Press

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, working people in every corner of the United States have good reason to be proud, but especially here in West Virginia -- the birthplace of a teachers movement for fair wages and benefits that has spread across the country,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “And as we celebrate the people who form the bedrock of our state and country, and the unions that fight for them, we’re also preparing for the important fights ahead.” 

Immediately after the Labor Day celebrations, the West Virginia AFL-CIO will be kicking off  its largest and most strategic political program to date. 

“We’ll be crisscrossing the state, talking to working people about the issues that matter most: higher wages, better benefits, time off, a secure retirement and a fair return on our labor,” Sword said. “Working people are mobilizing and making our communities better for everyone, not just the wealthy few.

“When we support candidates who fight for the rights of working people, we build an America that works for all of us.”

The federal charges issued against Republican state Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry today -- and the continued failure of the Republican leadership to take action to remove him from office -- points to an ongoing culture of corruption among those in control of the Legislature, West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. 

“Just like Justice Loughry, these Republican leaders don’t think the rules apply to them, and every day we are learning of another corruption scandal as a result,” Sword said. “In just the past few months, we’ve seen a Republican delegate be forced to resign to avoid jail time and the mishandling of $150 million meant to go to flood victims.

“Hard-working West Virginia taxpayers deserve better.”

When fellow union member and Kanawha County delegate Mike Pushkin called for the Legislature to initiate Loughry’s impeachment during the legislative session, Senate President Mitch Carmichael told reporters it “may be the single dumbest most ridiculous political stunt that I’ve seen in my time at the Legislature.” He stated calling for Loughry’s resignation and impeachment had the feel of “a political vendetta.”

CHARLESTON – Members of the West Virginia AFL-CIO’s Committee on Political Education met on Saturday and selected congressional and legislative candidates for endorsement in the 2018 General Election.

“Nearly all of the candidates we endorsed in the primary won their races -- including Republican Bill Hamilton who with the help of strong labor support defeated the most vocal enemy of working people, Senator Robert Karnes – and we’re excited about the prospects for all endorsed our candidates in the General Election,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword noted. “Our members are energized more than ever, and eager to get out and support these candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, who are dedicated to advocating for fair wages, good benefits and a safe workplace.”

An endorsement by the West Virginia AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education follows recommendations from 13 AFL-CIO Central Labor Councils located around the state. The Central Labor Councils interviewed legislative candidates who complete a questionnaire on time, and consider an incumbent’s position on working family issues. To garner an endorsement by the West Virginia AFL-CIO, a candidate must receive a 2/3 majority of votes cast by the 75 members of State COPE.

Members of the press and public are invited come to the Charleston Civic Center to see the best welders, pipefitters, sprinklerfitters and plumbers in the region compete during a free three-day event starting Tuesday, June 12.

“Apprentices in the Pipe Trades industry from West Virginia and surrounding states will be competing in five skill areas,” Brett Matthews, Director of Training, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 625 in Charleston, said. “The winners will advance to an international contest later this year.”

WILLIAMSTOWN – The West Virginia AFL-CIO will hold a ceremony Saturday, April 28, at the Williamstown Welcome Center to remember the 18 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 Secretary-Treasurer Andy Walters said. “I am extremely saddened to report that we will be reading 18 names of West Virginians who left for work during 2017 -- whether at a stretch of  highway, a coal mine, a well pad, or an industrial plant -- and did not return home to their loved ones.”