BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. — With two months before Election Day, labor unions are looking to energize its members over Labor Day weekend.
The Marion County Labor Council of the state AFL-CIO will hold its annual holiday picnic Sunday at Mannington’s Hough Park, while LIUNA and Workers United 863 is holding its Labor Day event at the Valley View Country Club in White Sulphur Springs.
United Mine Workers of America District 17 is holding its annual Labor Day Celebration Monday at John Slack Memorial Park in the Boone County community of Racine.
District 17 includes southern West Virginia, southern Ohio, eastern Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina.
According to a release from the organization, UMWA International President Cecil Roberts as well as U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. are among this year’s speakers.
UMWA endorsed Manchin in March, as well as U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., in the 1st Congressional District race and state Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-Logan, in the 3rd Congressional District contest.
“There is no one in the entire Congress who fights harder day in and day out for working coal miners. Period,” Roberts said of Manchin. “He is fighting for their jobs, he is fighting for their health and safety on the job, he is fighting for their future, he is fighting for their families and he is fighting for their communities.”
The state’s three leading education unions — the West Virginia Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia and the West Virginia School Service Personnel Association — endorsed Manchin on Friday, praising his record as governor while attacking his Republican opponent, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
“As governor, Joe increased the pay of teachers and state employees by 3.5 percent. He filled in the annual step increments on the salary schedule and revised the pension plan to allow teachers and service personnel to move from the mandated defined contribution system to the defined benefit system,” the organizations said in a joint statement.
“Patrick Morrisey is no friend of public education. This year, Morrisey opposed every West Virginia educator seeking higher wages and secure benefits. When there was a bipartisan deal on the table, Morrisey showed his true colors and refused to stand with the education professionals of West Virginia.”
The West Virginia Coal Association and U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced their support for Morrisey last month.
“Since he took office, General Morrisey has been a tireless advocate for West Virginia’s coal industry. He fought for us against the Obama administration, which was using every tool available to try and end coal mining in the United States,” coal association president Bill Raney said.
“We know Patrick Morrisey will continue to fight for West Virginia coal as a member of the U.S. Senate, working in tandem with President Donald Trump.”
Manchin will also be in Marmet on Monday, where he will serve as the grand marshal of the city’s Labor Day Parade.