AFL-CIO secretary retiring, replacement named - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

AFL-CIO secretary retiring, replacement named

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Longtime AFL-CIO West Virginia secretary-treasurer Larry Matheney is retiring effective Dec. 31, and the organization has announced his replacement.

Josh Sword, who has worked for the West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers for the past 13 years, was named as Matheney's replacement after a unanimous vote from the group's executive board. Sword will begin his tenure Jan. 1.

"I am honored to be selected by the West Virginia AFL-CIO Executive Board as the next secretary-treasurer," Sword said in a statement. "Representing the interests of West Virginia's working people is in my blood, and I am committed to working tirelessly on their behalf. While I am sad to depart AFT-WV, I am excited to have the opportunity to fight for all workers in West Virginia, both public and private sector employees."

While working with AFT-WV, Sword lobbied the Legislature on education, insurance and retirement issues. He also developed and coordinated political campaigns for local and statewide candidates, coordinated the activities of AFT-WV's political action committee and helped AFT-WV locals establish a political presence in their counties through the establishment of local committees on political education.

Matheney has served as AFL-CIO's secretary-treasurer since August 2004. Although AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue said the organization will miss Matheney, he is excited to have Sword on board.

"I wish Larry Matheney the very best in his retirement," AFL-CIO President Kenny Perdue said. "He has been a very strong and dedicated advocate for working people in his long career as a union leader. I am excited that the executive board chose Josh Sword as the new secretary-treasurer. His experience in the public sector, commitment to improving the lives of all workers and a fire in his belly makes him the right choice for the position."