UE Local 170 rank-and-file members from around the state descended on the West Virginia Legislature on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to begin lobbying their legislators in support of the local's legislative priorities for the 2015 legislative session. UE members from all of the local's chapters participated in the day-long lobbying effort, meeting with dozens of legislators throughout the day.

The local wanted to get an early start on its lobbying efforts this year due to the change in control of both bodies of the WV Legislature from Democrats to Republicans and the large number of new legislators. Prior to heading over to the Capitol, members met at the local's union hall to receive a briefing on the local's legislative priorities, which include better pay and benefits for state workers, strengthening WV OSHA, and seniority rights for state workers.

Donna Morgan, UE Local 170 president, was happy with the number of members who participated in the lobby day. "I'm very happy with the number of our members who gave up their holiday to come to Charleston to lobby their legislators," said Morgan. "But this is just the start. We have to continue to write, call, and meet with our legislators to let them know what our legislative priorities are for 2015. Most legislators don't have clue about how poorly paid West Virginia state workers are, or what state workers' workloads are like due to hiring freezes and budget cuts."

UE Local 170 members who couldn't attend the MLK Day event should still contact their legislators to let them know what the local's 2015 legislative priorities are and to let the legislators know what your wages and working conditions are like. You can find your legislators' contact info here You can download the local's 2015 legislative priorities survey form here.

The next rank-and-file members' lobby day will take place on February 16 - Presidents' Day. For more info contact Chris Wolford, UE Local 170 vice president, at 304- 629-9248.