Barney Oursler, Co-Director

Barney Oursler has worked as an organizer with the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee since its inception, serving as Coordinator and Co-Director. While earning a BA degree from Penn State University, he organized for student rights and anti-war issues. While pursuing graduate studies and working as a teaching assistant at the University of Buffalo, Barney coordinated a 3 year union organizing drive for State University graduate staff.

Employed at the U.S. Steel Irvin Works in West Mifflin from 1978 through 1984, Barney served on USWA Local 2227’s Civil Rights, Legislative, and Newsletter Committees. In 1982 he was elected Grievance Representative for his department. He co-founded a statewide organization uniting communities fighting hate groups like the KK and Neo-nazis.

Barney was a founder of the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee, at various times responsible for its new unemployed committee organizing work, state and national Issue Campaigns, and co-coordinator of MVUC since 1985.

Edward Ehrhardt, Chief Legal Officer

Ed Ehrhardt is an attorney licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. A 1980 graduate of Duquesne University Law School, Ed has represented clients in over 2000 unemployment compensation claims since 1997. In addition to attending hearings at various sites throughout western Pennsylvania, Ed has prepared and filed briefs with the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in unemployment compensation claims.

Prior to joining Mon Valley Unemployed Committee in July, 2013, Ed primarily represented employers in unemployment compensation claims. This experience is of great assistance to Ed in his representation of displaced workers, as he is fully aware of management tactics. Ed also has experience as a claimant for unemployment compensation benefits, and this experience has provided him with insight as to the pressures felt by displaced workers.