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AFT- WV members rally in support of UMWA members

AFT-WV members from all over the state traveled to Charleston on April 1st to attend a rally in support of the United Mine Workers of America battle to save health care benefits for  their retirees.


Over ten thousand people packed the Charleston Civic Center to hear UMWA president Cecil Roberts declare that the UMWA would do whatever it took to protect their pensioners and widows and the benefits they are due.

(Right: Landon Wood, 9, of Charleston, chose the rally over soccer camp during his break because "it was the right thing to do." )

Govenor Tomblin, Sen. Rockefeller, Sen. Joe Manchin, Congressman Nick Rahall, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and national AFL-CIO president Rich Trumka all spoke and pledged their support for the union and its fight to protect health care benefits for its members.

AFT-WV members, many who traveled from several hours away, sacrificed a day of their spring break to support their union brothers and sisters.

Christy Gill, president of the Fayette County Federation of Teachers and state AFT executive board member, came to the rally with a group of other teachers from her county.

Gill’s father-in-law was a miner and her mother-in-law now survives on his pension.

“I don’t know what our family would do without his pension and health care,” she said. “So I stand with these miners in hopes that ... their plea for their benefits will be heard.”

Right: AFT-WV staff reps. John Estep and Brandon Tinney march through Charleston with UMWA members and supporters.

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