Source: Fox 11 News
BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) — The 80th annual UMWA Labor Day celebration kicked off Monday in Boone County with union workers and politicians out in full force for the event.
“Re-elect people who vote for you,” UMWA President, Cecil E. Roberts shouted.
The United Mine Workers of America was a political powerhouse for the 80th UMWA Labor Day rally.
Roberts said the purpose of the rally is to back Senator Joe Manchin (D) and other democratic candidates in the area. He said it’s important to recognize the contributions of working class people throughout the state of West Virginia.
“We’ve been at a long fight here for healthcare which we’ve partially won and the pensions that we’re going to win. These have been some of the best junior members in the whole United States of America,” Roberts said.
With two months before Election Day, miners their families and retirees want their voices heard.
“It’s important for our way of life I think to keep our voices in the mix,” retired union worker Lonnie Payne told Eyewitness News.
With the big fight this year to preserve union workers pensions.
“If we’re held back and they do stuff to us, to unions, to retired people, to veterans somebody’s got to stand up for us and that’s what i’m here to support and i think we need keep it going and keep it going strong,”
A tradition that will continue for years to come as many celebrate the success of organized labor in the United States.
“This land is your land and more importantly this land is our land and we have to protect it and we have to continue to exercise our rights in our democratic society.”
Written by: RAVEN BROWN