Recent Press

United Mine Workers of America, District 31 will be holding the 50th annual memorial service for the victims of the Farmington #9 Disaster on Sunday, November 18, 2018.  The service will be held at the #9 Memorial site in Mannington, West Virginia beginning at 1:00 PM.

UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts will be the keynote speaker.

“On the 50th Anniversary of the Explosion, as we honor the 78 miners who perished in the Farmington #9 Disaster, we must understand that fifty years does not wash away the pain of losing a husband or fill the void left at the passing of a father or family member.  There is no  amount of time that can heal such deep wounds.  But we do need to take some solace in the fact that these brave miners did not die in vain.  Because of their sacrifice and the determination of their families, thousands of miners and their families have been spared a similar fate.  We owe much to these martyrs and their families. May God Bless each of them.”  

– Cecil E. Roberts                                                                            

UMWA International Secretary-Treasurer Levi Allen will offer remarks

UMWA International District 31 Vice President Mike Caputo will emcee the event.

Family, Friends and the community are all invited to attend.  Because of the anticipated crowd at the service this year, parking at the site will be limited.  Parking will be available at First Exchange Bank and Miller Hardware in Mannington.  Shuttle service to and from the Memorial will be provided.  UMWA staff will be available to assist individuals at the parking locations.  Please follow the parking signs to access these locations.  

What:              50th Farmington #9 Memorial Service

When:             Beginning at 1:00 PM, Sunday November 18, 2018

Where:            #9 Memorial Site, Mannington, West Virginia

Governor Justice must think West Virginians are stupid. While dismissing as “rah-rah” a historic strike here that led to educators across the country standing up for fair wages and benefits, the governor held a press conference one month before the election making promises about things he says he’ll do months from now. Give us a break – everyone knows Mitch Carmichael and Bray Cary can’t be trusted.

Cleary Jim Justice doesn’t understand the scope and scale of PEIA if he thinks that one-time money is going to lead to a long-term fix for the fund. But what’s truly alarming is his mention of possible privatization. That would just be giving his fat cat CEO pals a pay raise at the expense of plan participants because we all know that when privatization happens, plan participants lose tens of millions of dollars in benefits in exchange for multi-million-dollar CEO salaries and golden parachutes. 

Today was nothing short of a blatant diversion attempt to take attention away from all the chaos going on at the State Capitol. Jim Justice foolishly thinks he can mention just the possibility of pay raise in the future and everyone will forget the real reason educators and other public employees got any pay raise and a PEIA task force to start with: the brave souls who stood up and said, “Enough is enough.”  West Virginia voters will not fall for it.

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.