Mtn: Talk: Working in the Mountains: Two Strikes Rock Huntington
“One day longer, one day stronger.”
In the Ohio Valley, the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing labor shortage have encouraged workers to join what many say is a national and growing wave of labor actions.
In Huntington, WV, 450 steelworkers at Warren Buffett-owned Special Metals, and 1,000 hospital workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital went on strike this fall, citing the need for better benefits and safety protections. Reporter Katie Myers traveled to Huntington to hear why they took action, and what’s at stake for them, in their own words.
First, we visit the United Steelworkers Local 40 union hall to talk with the “Men and Women of Steel” over a chili lunch. Then, we drive not ten minutes down the road to the SEIU Local 1199 strike tent by the hospital, to talk about the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and the risks of walking off the job.
Music is the Coal Creek March, and is sourced from the Blair Pathways Project.
Katie Myers produced this story as part of the America Amplified initiative using community engagement to inform and strengthen local, regional and national journalism. America Amplified is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.