Unions Host Labor Day Celebrations Across West Virginia

Nadia Ramlagan

Across the Mountain State today, unions are hosting Labor Day celebrations – in Baden City, Charleston, Mannington, Marmet, and Racine. Public support for labor unions continues to grow.

According to a Gallup poll released this week, 67% of Americans approve of of them.

West Virginia AFL-CIO President Josh Sword said regardless of the industry, unions advocate for fair wages, good benefits and a safe workplace.

“Eighty-eight percent of workers 30 and under have a favorable view of unions and the labor movement,” said Sword. “So it tells me, the workforce of tomorrow believes in the value of what unions do.”

But many West Virginia lawmakers have argued that unions hinder economic growth, and in 2016 passed so-called “right-to-work” legislation – allowing non-union workers to receive the full benefits of union contracts without being required to pay dues.

After public school teachers and staff went on strike in 2018, state lawmakers also passed a bill outlawing strikes by public employees.

Sword said they’ll host parades and picnics throughout the state today. People can find out online about the events near them at ‘’

“It’s a great time, an opportunity to fellowship with workers throughout the state,” said Sword, “and just to pay homage and respect to what labor has done for this country.”

A national AFL-CIO poll from this year found that, among registered voters of all parties, seven in ten approve of labor unions.

And three in four Americans said they support workers going on strike, regardless of party affiliation.