By Maxim Baru – IWW.ORG, September 7, 2021
Workers fighting destruction of communities & environment by mountaintop removal mining in WV join expanding non-profit labor union
NAOMA, West Virginia — The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is excited to announce that workers at the Coal River Mountain Watch (CRMW) have organized with unanimous support under the banner of the IWW.
As of September 7, the IWW has asked for and received voluntary recognition from CRMW management.
Employees at CRMW join their colleagues at Holler Health Justice and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition in the widening slate of nonprofits unionized with the IWWs West Virginia Branch.
Coal River Mountain Watch is a grassroots organization created in 1998 in response to the fear and frustration of people living near or downstream from enormous mountaintop removal sites. From humble beginnings as a small group of volunteers working to organize Southern WV residents to fight for social, economic, and environmental justice, CRMW become a major force in opposition to mountaintop removal.
As an organization that stands for human rights in mountain communities and against community destruction by the coal industry – in recognizing their staff’s union – the CRMW can now proudly boast that their values align with their practice.
“I’m beyond proud to be in a union now, and I’m beyond proud to work for an organization that values my rights as a worker,” said Coal River Mountain Watch staff member Junior Walk, adding “Here’s to a brighter future for West Virginia and the brave souls who try to make it a better place to live.”
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is a labor union representing nearly 9,000 workers across North America. Established in 1905, the IWW is known for its high standards of democracy, transparency, multi-nationalism, and active use of the right to strike.