West Virginia’s Senate leadership’s union busting is an embarrassment to our state


JUNE 4, 2019

[CHARLESTON, W.VA.] United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today, after the passage of legislation by the West Virginia Senate that includes language that would prohibit strikes by teachers and school support personnel and subject them to being fired if they participate in a picket line:

“Once again, the Republican leadership in the West Virginia State Senate have demonstrated that they are mere tools of the radical out-of-state billionaires who pull their puppet strings. No one who actually cares about West Virginia schools, children and families would ever propose such meaningless nonsense, let alone codify it in legislation.

“Teachers and school support personnel already do not have the right to strike in West Virginia, but they ignored that and demonstrated the power of solidarity in each of the last two years. Their fight for better education for our kids remains an inspiration to education professionals across the nation, and the UMWA was proud to stand with them.

“From the Baldwin-Felts thugs at Paint Creek and Cabin Creek to Sherriff Chafin at Blair Mountain to Don Blankenship at Massey Energy, the UMWA has a long history of standing up to union-busting bullies in West Virginia. Mitch Carmicheal and his minions in the Senate are no different, and we will never back down to their kind.

“Let me make this very clear: If our state’s education workers believe they need to take to the streets once again, we will be there with them. And if someone comes to arrest them, they will have to go through us first.”​