District 17, a bastion of labor activism, is dedicated to representing UMWA members in a vast and historically significant part of the United States. Encompassing southern West Virginia, southern Ohio, eastern Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina, District 17 covers a sprawling region with a rich heritage of militant labor history. This district has played a pivotal role in advocating for workers’ rights in the workplace and bringing an end to the outdated and exploitative “company town” system that once dominated these areas. Today, District 17 continues its unwavering commitment to representing a diverse membership, including miners, both in the coal and gravel industries, as well as healthcare workers and county employees.
District 17’s roots are deeply intertwined with the struggle for workers’ rights and social justice. The district’s long and storied history is marked by the fierce determination of its members to bring about positive change in their workplaces and communities. From the early battles against oppressive coal operators to the fight for safer and fairer conditions, District 17 has been at the forefront of these critical issues. The district’s legacy serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for labor movements across the nation.
Spanning a broad and geographically diverse area, District 17 is unique in its coverage. The Southern Appalachian region is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, cultural diversity, and a rich tapestry of communities. From the rugged coalfields of West Virginia and eastern Kentucky to the rolling hills of southern Ohio and the picturesque vistas of Virginia and North Carolina, our district reflects the diversity of the Southern Appalachians.
District 17’s membership is as diverse as the region it represents. In addition to coal miners, the lifeblood of our district, we also stand in solidarity with those who work in the gravel industry. But District 17’s commitment to workers’ rights extends far beyond the mines. We proudly represent healthcare workers who provide essential services to our communities, and county employees who keep local government operations running smoothly. This broad coalition embodies the spirit of unity that has been at the heart of the UMWA’s mission for generations.
As District 17 marches forward, it remains dedicated to upholding the principles of justice, fairness, and workers’ rights. We understand the ever-evolving nature of our industries and the challenges faced by our members. Whether it’s adapting to changes in the coal and gravel sectors, advocating for improved healthcare standards, or fighting for the rights of county employees, District 17 is resolute in its commitment to improving the lives of all its members and their communities.
With our rich labor heritage as our foundation and a commitment to a brighter future, District 17 stands as a steadfast advocate for the hardworking men and women of the Southern Appalachian region. Together, we forge ahead in our pursuit of a more just and equitable workplace for all.
Officers and District Representatives:
Brian Lacy – International District 17 Vice President
William Chapman – District 17 Representative
Josh West – District 17 Representative
District 17 Offices
1300 Kanawha Blvd., E.
Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 346-0353 (fax)
2306 S. Fayette St.
Beckley, WV 25801
(304) 252-0615 (fax)
Castlewood Office (SD-28)
P.O. BOX 28, 114 Miner's Drive, Alt. 58
Castlewood, VA 24224
(276) 762-0460 (fax)
P.O. BOX 369, 127 Tomblin Drive
Chapmanville, WV 25508
(304) 855-2286 (fax)