CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Organized labor will pay tribute to retiring U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller Friday. The West Virginia AFL-CIO will present Rockefeller with a Lifetime Achievement award during a special convention to prepare for election season.

“We’ve been fortunate to have had friends like Senator Rockefeller,” said West Virginia AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue. “He’s given so much, not only to labor, but to the state of West Virginia we just want to say,’Thank-you.'”

The convention will take place at a downtown Charleston motel.

Rockefeller has long championed labor causes from his position including efforts to salvage the nation’s steel industry and fighting for black lung benefits for coal miners.

“Even if there are floor votes or committees, he’s always been willing to take the time to meet with us and listen to us. A lot of times that’s all we ask,” Perdue said. “He gives that and so much more.”

Rockefeller’s retirement from the Senate will complete a vast shift in consistency in West Virginia’s congressional delegation. Rockefeller and Sen. Robert C. Byrd prior to his death were among the longest tenured representatives of a state in the nation’s history. Perdue lamented never getting to honor Byrd for his service prior to his sudden death. He said they are happy they’ll get the chance to honor Rockefeller.

“Just to be able to sit next to him and talk to him and to be around what he’s seen and hear his encouragement and his frustration with what’s going on in this country,” he said. “I’ve been honored to be around him and to be present for so much of it.”

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  • DWL

    Communists honoring the Carpetbagger! The only thing he's championed is lining his own pockets with the workers' dues money. Counting the days 'til this racist loser is gone from the rockscape from wince he slithered. One less of the Gestapo's minions.

  • Hedgesville

    the day Rockefeller leaves office and the state, it once again will be ''A great day to be a Mountaineer."

  • Joke State

    This man is a joke. Glad to see him go. The sooner the better. He has done nothing for working people of WV. Not even from the state. Same goes for 80% of politicians in WV. This state is doomed. Last in everything. NOTHING will change that.

  • Gary Karstens

    A great advocate for the working poor. A great man! A statue at the state Capitol would be appropriate. And his stand on coal is the right one.

    • Randy

      I actually don't know, but I wonder what percent of Standard Oil's employees were union. You know, the ones who helped make Jay's family so rich. I bet even if it was 0.00017% and they were the equivalent of early oil boom sweat shop workers, you Gary would still pour on the accolades, because if blind stupidity is ever in need we can rely on you. I've been tempted to call you unique, but you're not. I've known a few people at your level. But you are a rarity.

    • Pickle Barrel

      Which stand on coal are you referring to? The pre-1976 stand where he hated it? The 1976-2013 stand where he loved it? Or the current stand where he hates it again?

      Rockefeller is nothing more than a weak, ineffective opportunistic flip-flopper of a politician.

  • anne

    He is a factor in the frustration that is going on in this country.

  • markj

    After reading these comments, it's no wonder this country is so messed up. People are sick and crazy. Luckily 99% are in the Republicon Party not the Democratic Party. Got to ask yourself... who says stuff like this. Obviously someone not playing with a full deck.

    • Wane

      markj, I don't know how old you are but I remember when Mr. Rockefeller came to WV. He was totally against coal mining but soon found out he couldn't get elected to anything with that opinion so he changed his story and with $11,000,000 got elected. He changed his story but not his mind as evidenced by his support of Obama on several issues that has really hurt coal mining.
      He also headed has been on several committees (even chaired) that was in charge of the VA. What was he doing there....nothing. This isn't a party issue. The man is a waste of good oxygen.

      • Pickle Barrel


    • Common Sense


  • Independent View

    Rocky, please just GO!!
    These back-patting and farewell salutes mean little to a senator elected to represent ALL of the people of WV when that senator has spent virtually his adult life with the elitists of DC.

  • Jim N Charleston

    Ridiculous & Dumb. No wonder Unions are dying.

    I'm Jim N FL

  • Russ

    Socialist Party celebration!!

  • dude

    Why in a Motel when the Marriott and Embassy Suites are available?

  • Pickle Barrel

    He's been an absolute disaster for West Virginia. Good riddance in January 2015.

    • Gary


  • Molon Labe

    Good thing the article ended when it did, because that last paragraph made me vomit.

  • Tim C

    He has done irreparable damage to the labor force with his support for the EPA and Obamacare just to name a few.......and they STILL don't get it! Union membership has steadily declined during his tenure in office and they think he has been wonderful. What he has helped to orchestrate is the unions pricing themselves completely out of a job.

  • David

    Unions and Rockefeller both doing nothing wastes of money ...

  • thornton

    Even "this too shall pass"...thankfully.

    The sycophants will always prostrate as the door swings shut on that which enables their agenda.
    Neither the side of the aisle nor the damage along the way matters.
    Same old, same old.