Photo Credit: Chris Dorst Charleston Gazette Mail
The workers of West Virginia have a proud history of fighting for their rights. While unions have taken some frustrating hits with recent legislation like Right To Work laws, the union spirit is still alive and well in the Mountain State.
This was most prominently displayed recently in the 2018 Teachers Strike. Individual county unions started the conversation and got people talking, and once all 55 counties stood together in the strike, the nation and (perhaps more importantly) the governor and legislative leadership started listening.
Hidden in the windstorm West Virginia teachers sent across the nation is a renown that elevated this state to national prominence. The renown is but a stepping stone to the prominent heights that West Virginia could reach if legislators and the political bureaucracy would adopt the teachers’ courageous modus operandi that strongly declares that the status quo is unworkable, and we are the vanguard crying for change.
There is for all West Virginians –– also the nation –– a lesson to be learned, and the West Virginia teachers taught it: Unity.
The striking teachers had right with a capital R on their side, but in this era of union castrating and employee subjugation, that right has not been enough to carry the day. Unity –– all 55 counties –– is what carried the day. Hopefully unity will carry the day for every teachers’ union in the 50 states hoping to rectify low wages and dismal school budgets.
This state is strongest when we're united. Being united got our teachers and state workers the pay they deserve for the work they put in. Who knows what else we can accomplish through standing together.