Under the cloud of this pandemic, union leaders across West Virginia have been compelled to cancel or drastically alter annual time-honored Labor Day events, but they ask that all residents take a moment to recognize what the labor movement has meant to workers and their families in the quest for fair wages, good benefits and a safe workplace.
“This coronavirus has been very challenging, to say the least,” West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said. “But the labor movement has responded with passion and dedication, fighting nonstop for worker protections despite the failure of some in our state and federal governments.
“That’s what the labor movement does and will continue to do.”
WV AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Andy Walters noted that Labor Day holiday, a national tribute to those who have fought to achieve worker rights and equality and integrity in the workplace, itself was the result of struggle.
“Men and women who were fed up with being overworked and underpaid struck out in the streets in solidarity to protest poor and unsafe working conditions,” Walters said. “Unions have brought about workplace standards such as the 8-hour workday, paid vacation, healthcare benefits, overtime compensation, paid sick leave, pensions, maternity leave, and child labor laws.”
This week, Gallup reported that Americans' 65% approval of labor unions is once again the highest it has been since 2003.
“Americans know that unions force employers to offer higher wages and are dedicated to protecting workers’ rights, and they see through the attempts of big-money corporate interests to paint us in a negative light and buy political candidates who are willing to attack us,” Sword said. “Here in West Virginia, it is my hope that voters will take the opportunity this election to vote for candidates that support working families, so we can undo the harm that’s been inflicted on our workforce during the past several years.”
This weekend, the West Virginia AFL-CIO and its affiliates will take a moment to pause and celebrate the accomplishments of the labor movement, Walters said. “On Tuesday, they will work harder than ever to register, educate and assist West Virginia voters,” he added.
Below are some of the Labor Day events taking place this weekend:
* Ohio Valley Trades & Labor Assembly Honk n Waves in Wheeling on Labor Day, September 7th, from 12:00 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations:
Elm Grove: McDonald’s intersection
South Wheeling: 27th & Chapline St. intersection (between Lowe’s & Jebbia’s)
Woodsdale: Perkins & Sheetz intersection
Highlands: Sheetz intersection (Former Applebee’s lot)
* UMWA 82nd Annual West Virginia Labor Day Celebration – to be held online, 1 p.m. Monday, September 7
The Facebook Live broadcast will include several West Virginia political and labor leaders, just as the annual event in Racine always does. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin will appear, along with UMWA International President Cecil Roberts, International Secretary-Treasurer Levi Allen, West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword and many others -- @ https://www.facebook.com/UMWAunion/
* Marshall-Wetzel-Tyler Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and long-time participants of the Paden City Labor Day Parade will participate in a motorcade 1 p.m. Monday, September 7 (12:00 p.m. line up at the South End of Town).
There will be no handouts or candy but many decorated vehicles and floats to celebrate the weekend. For additional info contact BB Smith: (304) 545-7781.
* This Labor Day Weekend play a role in the American Rosie Movement!