BECKLEY, W.Va. — Several DOH maintenance workers were part of an informational picket Thursday evening in Beckley. Members of UE Local 170 said they are being forced to work overtime in non-emergency situations.

The workers set up their picket line near the entrance of the DOH garage on Route 19. They claim there’s threat of disciplinary action for those workers who won’t work overtime.

DOH spokesman Brent Walker said overtime was mandatory earlier this year during the DOH’s pothole blitz but not now.

“We really aren’t making it mandatory that they work overtime,” he said. “It would certainly help our efforts from time to time to do some extra work.”

It takes up to 21 members to make a crew and Walker said at times only 7 workers volunteered for overtime.

“Some folks I think were a little bent out of shape over what they felt like was being made in a mandatory kind of way so they did what was certainly their prerogative and went to their union,” he said.

Walker said the DOH is now into its contract paving season and the overtime situation for the most part is over.

“We’re moving forward without this mandatory (overtime). It’s still in our policy but we’re not making any road repairs this summer mandatory,” he said.

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  • Robin

    I would think people would grab all they could get when they could get it.

  • william

    How to FIX this -
    Fire all of them!
    Lazy and whining out of shape cry babies!

    • Mark

      Fire them all. Give their jobs to the unemployed. It wouldn't take long to fill the positions!

      • Tracyo64

        Again, Iguess that's why we are 100% on our job openings. Most people on unemployment compensation are making more money sitting at home than what thety would make at DOH. Not to mention waiting 2-3 months bewtween the interview and the 1st paycheck.

      • Ut Oh

        You would have to force the people who are now on unemployment, they have got it cushy what with free phone, supplemented healthcare, food stamps ect ect

  • What the pothole is going on?

    21 people? I guess that includes drivers hauling 60 miles one way! Geez ! The bottom line is everytime we cash our paycheck we agree with the terms and conditions we work under. That's why I say privatize the DOH sheds. A private contractor is working to make a profit so production goes up! The state doesn't own the equipment so that could save some money. A wise man once told me " if you can't change the people then you need to change the people" it's not like their working in a sweatshop in China for $2 an hour! There are a lot if things that need changed when it comes to our roads & bridges. Mostly we need to change those who are responsible for the funding and allocation of these funds. But to allocate you have to have some funds so it's kind of a conundrum wouldn't you say.
    I say with some of the low bids we been seeing on DOH work the state ought to borrow some money and put out more jobs for bids. Bargain prices these days! More bang for your buck WVDOH.

    • WV Hillbilly

      "What the Pothole is going on..." privatization will only work if state code (and federal law for federal highway funded projects) is changed to eliminate the prevailing wage requirements. Private industry is not cheaper when a flagger is making big bucks! Check the wages they must pay as compared to some of the DOH workers making $10-11 per hour, while contractors are making 3-5 times that amount.

    • Wes

      I am in total agreement. I think it is time to really think about privatizing the DOH. I think we would get a much more bang for our buck. Plus cost savings to the State.

    • William

      What a great idea. Award it as a "performance type" contract with matrices that measure performance. Do it please!!

    • Throwing Money Down A Pothole!!!

      I Agree 100 % With you What The Pothole.

      21 People ??? I see it everyday in my travels.

      It all needs to be done by contractors competing for the work. In Addition, has anyone ever seen the WVDOH Paving to their own Specifications??

      Just this week they were paving on Rt. 219 in Randolph County, there was no tack coat applied ahead of the paving operations, There was no Quality Control Technician checking compaction of the new pavement !!!

      Again we find ourselves in a system that is do as I say, not as I do!!!!

    • Aaron


  • Frank W. Helvey

    For each hour worked overtime how much money can an employee normally expect to take home to help the family? fh

  • Michael

    Cut these guys and girls a break. You all are ridiculous. Some of them have been working many extra hours since late November due to the extreme winter conditions and spring repairs to the roads. Everyone needs a break. Sometimes even money isn't as important as a well deserved rest. If your companies and bosses were forcing you to work OT all the time and didn't give you a choice you would be the first to bitch and complain so lay off!!

    • JustaFan

      My husband works 60+ hours a week every week, all year and hasn't had a vacation since 2010. He doesn't get state holidays off either. Cry me a river.

      If you don't like your work conditions, go find another job. I know several people who would love to have yours.

      • Tracyo64

        Apparently they haven't bothered to fill out an application, because there are Way more openings than there are applicants.

  • Jason R.

    Maybe if they got some work done during their regular 40 hours they wouldn't need them for OT.

  • Matt

    Let me say this. These guys are married to that job in the winter months, away from their families during the holidays. What is wrong with letting them work just 40 hours during the months when they can. All you people fuss and complain about this and that with DOH all I can tell you is go apply for a job, and work a winter plowing snow in sub zero temps away from your family during the holidays. I give kudos to these people and the job they do especially knowing they do it for very little pay.

    • Aaron

      Yet the complain about money. Interesting.

  • whatamoroon

    The way you deal with that is to hire 100 laid off miners and see who wants to work and schedule accordingly.

    • Tracyo64

      Hard to do when no one even shows up for interviews.

    • Danny

      The state doesn't pay double time on Sundays, or triple time on your birthday, so I would guess it wouldn't be long before the miners would be complaining either.

  • Tony

    Refusing "free" overtime?? Don't come whining when Christmas time rolls around.

  • Todd

    Sure, it takes 21 members to make a crew - 20 to stand around and watch 1 guy work. Boohoo, cry me a river.

    • Wayne

      So true. I have watched these crews for 30 years. 15 - 20 on the job and only 5 or so actually working. I would take photos if Metronews would publish them.

  • The bookman

    I'll bookmark this story so that next year, when the DOH comes to the legislature claiming poverty level wages, we can remember their stance on work. When I was an employee, years ago, I begged for overtime, cause I needed it. No sympathy, none.

  • DWL

    Simple solution - FIRE THEM or change their job description to cleaning porta-jons by hand at all work sites on mid-night shift. Then you hire layoff miners on the stipulation they aren't allowed to unionize.

    • I'm honest at least

      You comment on every story....Get a hobby. I know fishing, fish don't care how much of a P.O.S you are.

      • DWL

        I have a hobby. It's pi--ing you liberal a-holes off. I take it you have first hand knowledge that the fish know you're a POS.

  • Work?What Work?

    One with a rake, two with a shovel, three with a screed and fifteen under a shade tree. I see it all the time.

  • Aaron

    I kind of agree with FDR on the view of public employee's and union representation.

  • thornton

    Work can be so inconvenient.....the paycheck, often less so.