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Union: Hospital Workers in Ky., W.Va. Ratify 3-Year Contract

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HARLAN, Ky. (AP) – A union says hospital workers in Kentucky and West Virginia have approved a three-year contract. WYMT-TV reports the United Steelworkers union announced the ratification of the contract with Appalachian Regional Healthcare. The contract covers 2,200 workers at nine nonprofit hospitals in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. The agreement reached last… Read More

This Amazon center is roughly the size of 28 football fields.

Automation For The People? Ohio Valley At High Risk For Job Losses

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Amazon employee Andre Woodson made his way among yellow bins traveling through a vast warehouse filled with boxes and envelopes to be packed, sorted and shipped. In Amazon-speak, this is a “fulfillment center.” “Our Jeffersonville, Indiana, fulfillment center is about 1.2 million square feet, which is equivalent to about 28 football fields,” Woodson explained. About… Read More

The West Virginia state capitol building

W.Va. House Passes Pay Raise Bill for Teachers, Others

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia House of Delegates has approved pay raises for teachers and school service workers a day after they returned to classrooms following a two-day strike. The bill that passed the House 89-8 on Friday also includes raises for state police. The governor last fall requested the raises, which still… Read More

Proposed Bill Would Do Away With Prevailing Wage Requirement

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Two Republican state representatives will unveil legislation tomorrow to change the state’s prevailing wage law. Actually, Ohio’s lawmakers have been trying to alter those laws for a while now. Since 1931, Ohio has had a law mandating trade workers on certain state and local projects be paid specific hourly wages and benefits. Two Republican lawmakers want to ban the mandate that local governments, universities and others pay the… Read More

Three Miners Dead In Eleven Days: Grim December Caps Year In Coal Mine Safety

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Just a few months ago, the U.S. coal mining industry was on track for its safest year in history. But in an eleven-day span in late December, three miners died after separate incidents, bringing the total number of fatalities in 2018 to 12, even as coal mining employment continued its decline. “It is a reminder… Read More

Workers at General Motors' Lordstown Assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio put the final touches on Chevy Cobalts.

Ohio’s Leaders React To News Of GM’s Decision To Close The Lordstown Auto Assembly Plant

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News that GM will be idling its Lordstown factory on March 1st is prompting Ohio’s leaders to issue angry statements in news releases and on social media. John Kasich said he’ll work with GM’s leaders to see if anything can be done to save the plant and if not. The estimated 2500 employees will be directed… Read More

State Worker Safety Plans: ‘The Good, The Bad And The Ugly’

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Fifteen minutes before his shift was to end on November 8, 2017, Lariat Rope, a thickset man of 55, tumbled into a pit of scalding water at Sapa Extrusions North America in Phoenix, an aluminum-products plant where he’d worked for more than 25 years. It took rescuers three hours to retrieve his body from the… Read More

How Kentucky Is Failing Its Workers

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While most of the Meade County public works crew finished their lunches, Pius “Gene” Hobbs was raking along the edge of the road, oblivious to the dump truck backing quickly towards him. Unbeknownst to the driver, Hobbs was knocked to the ground and crushed under the truck’s weight. When the truck accelerated forward, Hobbs’ coworker… Read More

Pensions At The Polls: Will Concern Over Shaky Plans Show Up On Election Day?

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Thousands of union coal miners and their families gathered this summer in Columbus, Ohio, wielding signs and wearing camouflage United Mine Workers of America shirts. UMWA President Cecil Roberts led the crowd in a call-and-response chant. “I want you to send a loud, clear signal that we are one! We are one!” But the miners… Read More

Miners Urge Congressional Action On Pensions, Black Lung Fund

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Retired coal miners and coal community activists are on Capitol Hill this week urging action on two important issues for miners: pensions and black lung benefits. Advocates say funds supporting both pensions for retired miners and the federal benefits for those sickened by black lung disease are at risk if Congress does not act. Pension… Read More

U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration David Zatezalo

Safer Direction? Top Mine Regulator Addresses Concerns About Dust And Deaths In Coal

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As President Trump attempts to revive the struggling coal industry, the administration’s top regulator for mine safety used a recent lecture at West Virginia University to lay out his priorities for the agency charged with keeping miners safe. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health David Zatezalo outlined the Trump administration’s priorities for… Read More

Teachers from across Kentucky gather inside the state Capitol to rally for increased funding for education, Friday, April 13, 2018, in Frankfort, Ky.

Teachers To Mount Insurgency At Kentucky’s Campaign Kickoff

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — As Republicans in Congress prepare for a possible backlash this fall against President Donald Trump, their counterparts in the Kentucky legislature are grappling with a similar threat from the state’s teachers and public workers. This spring, thousands marched on the state Capitol in a protest that shuttered more than 30 school… Read More

Pension Problems: Lawmakers Warn Of Economic Fallout From Failing Pensions

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United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts fired up a crowd of thousands of union workers in Columbus, Ohio, with a simple chant: “Fix it!” The rally last week came on the eve of a Congressional field hearing on problems plaguing multiemployer pension programs like the one retired miners depend upon. “When the people get to… Read More