CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- At their annual convention, which ended Thursday, West Virginia AFL-CIO delegates re-elected Kenneth Perdue as president and elected Josh Sword as secretary-treasurer, both for four years.Perdue, a sheet metal worker, was elected to his third term. Sword, a former political director for the American Federation of Teachers in West Virginia, was appointed as secretary-treasurer earlier this year. Both were elected by acclamation."It is truly an honor and a privilege to have been elected to lead this great organization. We are the voice for workers in West Virginia," Perdue said in a news release. "Clearly, there are hurdles, but we must start rebuilding the middle class in this state and in this country. There is no better place to start than organized labor."Sword said, "Unfortunately, the middle class is shrinking. Our top priority will be to fight for good wages and good benefits, wages and benefits similar to those that are negotiated in union contracts. I am tired of watching the rich get richer and workers get the shaft."
Convention delegates also elected 14 vice presidents, who are members of the group's executive board: Bob Brown and Christine Campbell of the American Federation of Teachers; Mike Caputo and Joe Carter of the United Mine Workers of America; Dan Doyle of the American Federation of Government Employees; Dave Efaw of the West Virginia State Building and Construction Trades Council; Elaine Harris of the Communications Workers of America; Kathy McCormick of the Service Employees International Union; Chuck Miller of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union; Randy Moore and Vernon Swisher of the United Steelworkers; Tommy Plymale of the International Union of Operating Engineers; Danny Poling of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades; and Gary Tillis of the Laborers' International Union of North America.The West Virginia AFL-CIO has 570 affiliated local unions.