Press Release

Joint statement: Bargaining progressing at Appalachian Voices

August 23, 2023

Dan Radmacher, Media Specialist, (540) 798-6683,

Bargaining teams for Appalachian Voices’ management and the Appalachian Voices Workers Union, a unit of the Progressive Workers Union, have been making good progress in the development of the first Collective Bargaining Agreement for the organization.

Appalachian Voices employees voted in June 2021 to unionize, with management voluntarily recognizing the union shortly thereafter. Management and union representatives chose to engage in an interest-based bargaining process. The IBB process is a collaborative approach emphasizing problem-solving and allowing both sides to share their interests and perspectives in a given topic. This process helps both parties share in the vision for a thriving organization where all staff can feel heard and supported.

As the bargaining teams have worked through the various issues that will be addressed in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the process has focused on identifying common interests and mutually beneficial solutions based on shared values: sustainability of Appalachian Voices as an organization; a commitment to principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, and ensuring those principles are a foundation of the organizational culture; and a deep appreciation of the vital work the organization is undertaking for our region.

Statement by Tom Cormons, Executive Director of Appalachian Voices:
“It is clear that collective bargaining at Appalachian Voices is driven by shared values and informed by employees’ experience. I feel confident that the Collective Bargaining Agreement will take Appalachian Voices’ policies to the next level as our organization grows in size and impact. Together, we are investing the time and energy to have thoughtful and practical conversations about how best to ensure that everyone can thrive while working hard to advance the mission we care so much about.”

Statement by Maddy Koch, North Carolina Field Coordinator:
“Members of the union bargaining team have been pleased by the open communication with management as the Collective Bargaining Agreement is being developed. Management has felt like a true partner as we’ve worked together to find mutually beneficial solutions to many of the issues that have been identified. It has been clear that management understands and appreciates our perspective on these issues — and was actively working to improve working conditions for Appalachian Voices’ employees even before the bargaining process began. The process has made clear that we share a commitment to ensuring that employees and Appalachian Voices thrive as we continue to work to protect Central Appalachia’s land, air, water and communities, and to advance a just transition to a sustainable, equitable clean energy economy.”


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