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KENT, Ohio (WKSU) — ‘Tis the season for holiday shopping as we choose just the right gifts for friends, family, and the service people who will be delivering our gifts this month and carting away the empty boxes next month. During the holiday season, there are a few do’s and don’t’s when it comes to… Read More
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. (OVR) — In the Ohio Valley, the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing labor shortage have encouraged workers to join what many say is a national and growing wave of labor actions. Workers across industries, in steel, health care, nonprofits and food service, have joined in calling for increased health… Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — In early September, President Biden announced he was taking steps to get more Americans vaccinated and turn the tide on COVID-19. On Thursday, the administration rolled out two of those steps — two different vaccine rules covering more than 100 million workers. Here are the details: Deadline is Jan. 4: The… Read More
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (NPR) — In the wee hours of a Saturday morning this past June, Mary Waters pulled into a grocery store parking lot in St. Louis. It was where she had been working for more than a year, stocking the freezer section. “I sat in the parking lot, and I tried to will… Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The bill would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work until 9pm on a school night. Current law says those teenagers have to stop working at 7pm when they have school the next day. Sen. Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester) said the bill, SB251, requires approval by parents. “They’re still not able… Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. (NewsHour) — The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union reached an agreement on a new film and TV contract this weekend, averting a strike that would have ground productions around the country to a halt. But it’s not the only showdown between workers and businesses, especially after over a year of risky and… Read More
Millions of women who lost their jobs in the pandemic have yet to return to work, even though the economy has improved. What’s keeping them back is a mix of factors that may not be resolved quickly.
Citing a severe shortage of workers, half of the nation’s governors have decided to end extra federal jobless benefits months early. But an economist says that will set back households and businesses.
In an evenly divided Senate, the moderate Democrat is key to passing President Biden’s massive infrastructure and jobs proposal. Now he’s facing pressure from unions back home to support the measure.
RALEIGH COUNTY, W.Va. (OVR) — Monday marks 11 years since the Upper Big Branch coal mine disaster in Raleigh County, West Virginia, where 29 miners were killed on April 5, 2010. Federal mine safety investigators determined that a buildup of methane gas and coal dust led to the explosion at the Massey Energy-owned mine. It… Read More
WHITESBURG, Ky. (OVR) — The Blackjewel bankruptcy case has been ongoing since the summer of 2019 when Blackjewel, LLC abruptly collapsed, leaving over 2,000 miners in Wyoming, Kentucky and West Virginia without their jobs, their benefits, or their final paychecks. In protest, Kentucky miners spent much of that summer camped on the railroad tracks to… Read More
MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — Major unions and one of their leading allies in the U.S. Senate are hailing tens of billions of dollars allocated for shoring up struggling union pension funds. The funding added to President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, dubbed the Butch-Lewis Act, would provide $86 billion to dozens of failing… Read More
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia state senator has renewed an attempt to punish teachers for striking in a state where work stoppages have occurred in two of the past three years. Senate Education Committee chairwoman Patricia Rucker introduced a bill Wednesday on the first day of the regular legislative session that would allow… Read More
‘There’s Going To Be Something Better for Him’: Former Blackjewel Miners Reflect on Changes in Coal Country
On a blistering August afternoon in Cumberland, Kentucky, David Pratt, Jr. stood in the middle of a two-lane highway, holding a sign that read “COAL MINERS AND TRUCKERS AGAINST CORPORATE AMERICA.” A few yards away, his father, David Pratt Sr., who is graying but still muscular, leaned back in a lawn chair perched precariously on… Read More
A record number of Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week as the coronavirus hammered the economy. It’s nearly five times the levels seen during the Great Recession.
For the second time since summer, eastern Kentucky coal miners are blockading a railroad track to protest unpaid wages. The new blockade, which was started Monday afternoon by Quest Energy miners, echoes the months-long blockade by Blackjewel coal miners over the summer and speaks to a growing discontent in Appalachian coal country. “It’s hard to go… Read More
The year: 2009. A Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama has just made history upon taking the presidential oath of office. The national economy is at a low point in the Great Recession. And the Pittsburgh Steelers are the first NFL team to win six Super Bowls. Ten years later, as 2019 gives way to… Read More
Employees at Microsoft Japan worked four days a week, enjoyed a three-day weekend — and got their normal, five-day paycheck. As part of the trial, the company also capped meetings at 30 minutes.
The recent bankruptcy of Ohio Valley coal giant Murray Energy has renewed fears about the already shaky financial foundations of the pension plan that tens of thousands of miners and their families depend upon. The seismic collapse of yet another coal employer has lawmakers from the region renewing their push to fix the United Mine Workers pension… Read More
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia county’s emergency responders have announced plans to unionize. The Huntington Herald-Dispatch reports dozens of Cabell County EMS employees showed their support for the initiative at a county commission meeting on Thursday. A United Mine Workers of America representative, Floyd Conley, asked commissioners to recognize his organization as their bargaining unit…. Read More
Democratic presidential candidates have divergent world views on whether automation or trade policy is to blame for lost jobs.
Bobby Bowman mined coal in West Virginia for 12 years before his employer shut down. “I don’t think that mine will ever open again,” he said. Bowman lives in Welch, in the south of the state, where he worked at the Pinnacle Mine, which shut down almost exactly one year ago, putting him and about… Read More
The nearly two-month blockade of a Kentucky railroad track is coming to an end as unpaid coal miners end their protest in order to take new jobs, start classes, or move away from their coal-dependent communities. When coal company Blackjewel abruptly declared bankruptcy in July, it left some 1100 Appalachian coal miners in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia without pay…. Read More
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly from July to August. State officials on Friday said the unemployment rate was 4.1% in August, compared with 4% the previous month. Ohio’s unemployment rate stood at 4.6% in August 2018. The national rate was 3.7% in August, unchanged from July, and down from… Read More
West Virginia employees of coal operator Blackjewel LLC have received their final paychecks more than two months after the company declared bankruptcy on July 1. In an agreement reached last week between the Department of Labor and the company, Blackjewel cut paper checks for all owed wages to a few dozen employees working at the… Read More