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AFGE West Virginia Locals Hosted “Standing Up For Working Families” Rally

AFGE Locals in West Virginia sponsored the “Standing Up for Working Families” rally on Sunday, March 20th that was attended by Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates Rick Thompson, Majority Whip of the West Virginia House of Delegates Mike Caputo and West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.  Our brothers and sisters in WV are working tirelessly with other union members across the country to stand up for the rights of working families.  The rally was covered by the local media.


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Please see the news report below.


Clarksburg Hosts Rally for Union Members

Written by Ashton Marra Sunday, 20 March 2011
WDTV.com 5 News

“I have never seen this labor movement more unified than I have in the past few weeks.”

Delegate Mike Caputo was just one of several speakers at Saturday’s labor rally in Clarksburg. Dozens gathered to show support for union workers in Wisconsin, whose fight for collective bargaining rights has sparked rallies, like Saturday’s, across the country.

“If it wasn’t for the Wisconsin public workers standing up and fighting, the rest of us probably would not have stood up and started fighting with them,” said U.E. Local 170 member Teresa Conley.

West Virginians began that fight more than a week ago at a rally for union rights at the state capital, just a day after the House of Delegates passed a resolution showing support for Wisconsin workers.

“We need to stand up here for those workers because an attack on those workers is an attack on our workers,” said West Virginia Speaker of the House Rick Thompson.

West Virginia workers don’t have collective bargaining rights, but politicians and workers alike say its still important to stand up for workers’ rights. State leaders say even without the right to collectively bargain, unions are protected by state statutes, but many worry that isn’t enough.

“What I’m worried about is an erosion of our public rights. We have a right to petition for our grievances to be addressed, and I believe that specifically translates into what workers try to do in forming unions so when you take that right away, I think you’ve taken away a crucial Constitutional right,” said President of the A.F.G.E. Local 1995 Dan Doyle.

Saturday’s rally was also meant to send a message of solidarity between union workers, united by what they say is the idea of fair and just compensation for their hard work.

“We deserve the recognition and the appreciation and the pay that we work hard to get in taking care of the state of West Virginia, from the judges all the way down to our DOH workers,” said Conley.

And it’s a message state leaders say they hear loud and clear.

“We’ll stand with those workers and help them so that they can earn enough living to support their family, and we respect those workers for what they do,” said Thompson.

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