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CLUW members raise funds by holding yard-sale

10.11.15

AUGUST 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

CLUW members raise funds by holding yard-sale

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, August 1st- The Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Coalition of Union Women (CLUW) held their first fund raiser by conducting a yard sale on Saturday July 18th at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87, O’Neill Highway in Dunmore, building.

According to Theresa Lipko, who is the Treasurer of Northeastern Chapter of CLUW, approximately $400.00 was raised through the day-long yard sale. Also, Ms. Lipko added that around $300.00 was also added to the organizations funds by people paying their affiliation dues.CLUW is a organization within the labor movement that is sanctioned by the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC.

The organization was formed in 1974 and currently has more than 75 chapters throughout the nation and a membership of approximately 20,000 women and men.

CLUW’s primary goal is to be a resource to all union represented women to develop action programs within the framework of the labor community to deal with women objectives in the workplace.

The basic objective of CLUW is to promote affirmative action in the workplace, increase participation of women in their labor unions, organize the unrepresented, and engage women in the political and legislative process.

Melissa Matoushek, an Staff Representative for District Council 87, which represents AFSCME members throughout nine counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and who worked on getting enough people to commit of joining the organization, stated the organization now has enough funds to operate and they are currently planning for a member meeting to discuss what issues the group would like to pursue.

On Wednesday May 27th the organization met at the AFSCME building to select officers which included a President, Vice President, Treasurer and three Trustees.

On July 18th several members of the organization volunteered their time to participate in the yard-sale fund raiser. The group had met before-hand to tag prices for the donated items that were sold.

Anyone wanting to join the organization or needs more information can contact Ms. Matoushek at (570) 352-8006. Her e-mail address is: nepacluw@gmail.com.

NALC collects more than 71 million pounds of donated food

10.11.15

JULY 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

NALC collects more than 71 million pounds of donated food

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 26th- On Saturday May 9th the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Union in Washington DC held their annual National Food Drive and collected nearly 71 million pounds of food to help restock food banks, pantries and shelters around the country.

The NALC stated the amount of food collected was an impressive result made all the more necessary by the extreme weather experienced by much of the country, along with the economics struggles many American face.

The NALC represents mail carriers of the United States Postal Service (USPS), excluding rural delivery throughout the nation. As always, the NALC Branches in Northeastern Pennsylvania participated in the one day event in 2015. The newspaper will report on how much food was collected throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania in upcoming editions.

However, regionally union members affiliated with the Scranton Central Labor Union and the Greater Wilkes-Barre labor Council labor federation’s participated in the annual food drive, which is the largest one-day food collection in the nation.

The NALC has approximately 200,000 active members and began the food drive in 1991 and have conducted the event every year since 1993. There are around 1,500 NALC branches throughout the nation that participate in the food drive.

The United Way of America and Feeding America sponsored the food drive with several other organizations providing volunteers or financial support for the event.

While the NALC members collect the food items from their customers many other union member volunteers sort and deliver the collected food to area shelters and food banks.

This year was the twelfth consecutive year in which at least 70 million pounds of food was collected.

“This shows the value of the universal postal network, which goes to more than 150 million addresses six days a week. It also shows the strong connection between letter carriers and the communities they serve, a unique bond the serves the nation well,” stated NALC International President Fredric Rolando.

“Six and even seven days a week, letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities where we work,” added Mr. Rolando.

Northeastern Pennsylvania CLUW Chapter holds meeting

10.11.15

JUNE 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Northeastern Pennsylvania CLUW Chapter holds meeting

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 1st- On Wednesday May 27th the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Coalition of Union Women (CLUW) held their organizational meeting at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87, O’Neill Highway in Dunmore, building.

Approximately fourteen members of the organization attended which included active and retired union members of AFSCME and other labor organizations that represent workers in the region.

CLUW is a organization within the labor movement that is sanctioned by the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC.

The organization was formed in 1974 and currently has more than 75 chapters throughout the nation and a membership of approximately 20,000 women and men.

CLUW’s primary goal is to be a resource to all union represented women to develop action programs within the framework of the labor community to deal with women objectives in the workplace.

The basic objective of CLUW is to promote affirmative action in the workplace, increase participation of women in their labor unions, organize the unrepresented, and engage women in the political and legislative process.

At the May 27th meeting, the members that attended selected officers which included a President, Vice President, Treasurer and three Trustees.

Melissa Matoushek, a Staff Representative for District Council 87, which represents AFSCME members throughout nine counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and who worked on getting enough people to commit of joining the organization, stated that the first priority of the organization is to find a way to raise funds to operate. The group at the meeting decided how much affiliation dues will need to be paid for any person wanting to be a CLUW member.

Mrs. Matoushek told the newspaper that the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter was recognized by the International Board. Therefore, the members met to elect officers. No challenges were made to any of the nominated people selected therefore, those nominated have been elected and will begin serving.

Anyone wanting to join the organization or needs more information can contact Ms. Matoushek at (570) 352-8006. Her e-mail address is: nepacluw@gmail.com.

USW Local 2599 conducts annual ‘Ed O’Brien’ legislative dinner-dance

05.29.15

JUNE 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

USW Local 2599 conducts annual ‘Ed O’Brien’ legislative dinner-dance

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, May 16th- The United Steelworkers Union (USW) Local 2599, held their annual ‘Ed O’Brien Legislative Dinner/Dance’ on Friday evening, May 8th at the USW building on East Lehigh Street in Bethlehem. More than 110 attended the event which included USW officers and members, elected political officials, candidates for the May primary election and other union officials. The scheduled featured speaker was Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Mike Stack, however Mr. Stack cancelled the event just hours before because of a death in his family.

Local 2599 is one the largest labor organizations in the Lehigh Valley and once represented workers employed at Bethlehem Steel, just several blocks away from the union hall. The site of the former steel mill is now the location of the Sands Casino. The steel mill closed in 2000.

This years event was held on a Friday, normally it is held on a Saturday evening and the attendance increased from last year by more than 30 people.

Jerry Green, President of Local 2599, which was recently elected by the membership for a sixth consecutive three-year term as leader of the union, welcomed the guest of the dinner/dance. Mr. Green broke the record by winning a sixth term as President of Local 2599. The previous record was held by Louis Schrenko who served for five consecutive terms from 1964 to 1979 when the union represented thousands of workers at Bethlehem Steel. Following the steel mill closure several USW local unions’ were merged into Local 2599.

Mr. Green serves on the Pennsylvania State Workers Compensation Advisory Board, being appointed by former House of Representatives Speaker Keith McCall.

Retired USW official and former Democratic party candidate for the House of Representatives 15th Legislative District Ed O’Brien, for which the legislative dinner/dance is named, attended the event. Mr. O’Brien ran and received the Democratic nomination in 2001 and 2003 but was defeated by current Republican United States Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, also from the Lehigh Valley.

Mr. O’Brien first joined the USW in 1964 and serve in many positions within the USW, both in the Lehigh Valley and with the USW International Union. He resides in Coaldale with his wife Shirley.

Also attending the event was Allentown Democratic Mayor Edward Pawlowski, an candidate for Mr. Toomey’s Senate seat in 2016. Mr. Toomey will be seeking a second six-year term next year.

Mr. Pawlowski will likely receive the support of many of the affiliated unions of the building and construction trades. His relationship with the unions has been excellent because of his support for the hiring of the workers for building projects in the City of Allentown.

Also attending was Corey Lockard, Director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 86, and the Chairperson of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation (NEPA-ALF). Mr. Lockard attended the event for the first-time and stated he was “impressed” with the USW building and found the event to be “old-school” and very enjoyable.

Wilkes-Barre Labor Council donates books for children

05.26.15

MAY 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Wilkes-Barre Labor Council donates books for children

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, May 3rd - The Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council (GWBLC) Community Services Committee along with the United Way of the Wyoming Valley recently held their annual ‘book drive’ to help celebrate the “Week of the Young Child”, a program intended to bring focus of the value of reading among young children of the Wyoming Valley.

The event is sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The organization wants to bring public attention on the needsof young children and recognize early childhood programs that meet those needs.

According to Sandra Moosic, the United Way of the Wyoming Valley American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Community Services Labor Liaison, the go-between the labor community and the community based organization, union members of the Crestwood Education Association Union, the Wyoming Valley West Education Association Union, and the Hanover Area Education Association Union, which are all affiliated with the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) in Harrisburg and the National Education Association (NEA) Union in Washington DC; the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union Local 401; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 1944; the Wyoming Valley Nurses Association (WVNA/PASNAP) Union; the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1776; and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Union Local 2809, collected over 5,000 books for distribution to area preschool and school age children.

Northeastern Pennsylvania receives CLUW Chapter

05.26.15

MAY 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Northeastern Pennsylvania receives CLUW Chapter

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, May 3rd- Northeastern Pennsylvania officially has received their charter to become affiliated with the Coalition of Union Women (CLUW).

CLUW is a organization within the labor movement that is sanctioned by the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC.

The organization was formed in 1974 and currently has more than 75 chapters throughout the nation and a membership of approxiamtely 20,000 women and men.

CLUW’s primary goal is to be a resource to all union represented women to develop action programs within the framework of the labor community to deal with women objectives in the workplace.

The basic objective of CLUW is to promote affirmative action in the workplace, increase participation of women in their labor unions, organize the unrepresented, and engage women in the political and legislative process.

Melissa Matoushek, a Staff Representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87, O’Neill Highway in Dunmore, which represents AFSCME members throughout nine counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and who worked on getting enough people to commit of joining the organization, previously told the newspaper that the application to form a Chapter would be sent before the end of 2014.

She stated the application was received and a Chapter of CLUW has been isssued to the region with their first meeting being held on May 27th at 7:00 pm at the District Council 87’s building. At the meeting officers will be elected and the constitution and by-laws will be discussed.

The newspaper has published several news articles in previous editions on Ms. Matoushek attempt to form a local chapter of CLUW.

Ms. Matoushek told the newspaper that approximately 27 people have become members of CLUW, including several men. At least 24 of the people that have signed-up to join the organization are women, mostly members of labor organizations throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. Before a chapter could be awarded at least 25 people must become members of the organization.

Anyone wanting to join the organization or needs more information can contact Ms. Matoushek at (570) 352-8006. Her e-mail address is: nepacluw@gmail.com.

Union benefits that could save your home

03.17.15

By David Tindell, Marketing Assistant at Union Plus. Sign up for the FREE Union Plus E-News to find out about new and updated benefits for working families including scholarships, discounts and financial services.

One out of every 200 homes will be foreclosed according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. For a city the size of Washington, DC, that’s as much as 3,000 homes per year. And what does foreclosure look like?

According to the Homeownership Preservation Foundation:

–32% experienced a job loss.
–25% experienced a health crisis.
–85% have already missed one mortgage payment.
–Most have no savings, no available credit, and extended families have limited resources.
–Most have first-time loans, less than three years old.

These are scary situations, but not necessarily uncommon ones. Although foreclosures and delinquencies have dropped to pre-2007 levels, knowing what to do can be the difference that saves your home. If you are a union member, you have resources available when things go bad, and to help make sure things don’t get worse.

1. Union Plus Save My Home Hotline: This program is provided through the non-profit Money Management Institute (MMI), and is accredited to provide counseling for labor union members facing foreclosure. This program has the largest network of local offices, for those who don’t prefer counseling by phone.

2. Union Plus Mortgage Program:The Union Plus Mortgage program can help you purchase a home while also receiving special benefits by virtue of your union membership. Once you have a Union Plus mortgage for a year or more, you’re protected by a unique mortgage assistance program administered through the AFL-CIO Mutual Benefit Plan. The Union Plus Mortgage Assistance provides interest-free loans and grants to help make mortgage payments when you’re disabled, unemployed, locked out or on strike. The program has provided over $10.6 million in assistance to union members.

3. Foreclosure resources from the AFL-CIO: Knowledge is power when it comes to saving your home. The AFL-CIO’s website has a robust list of information regarding what to do in this situation, including:

–Rights during foreclosure
–Federally approved housing counselors
–Legal Assistance
–And information regarding negotiating a mortgage modification with your bank

4. AFL-CIO Community Services Network:The AFL-CIO Community Services Programs were established to improve the lives of workers and their families by connecting to their human and social services needs. Some of the services they provide include an emergency assistance fund, information and referral services, lay-off & strike preparation, and educational workshops.

Annual NALC National Food Drive to be held on May 9th

03.02.15

MARCH 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Annual NALC National Food Drive to be held on May 9th

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, February 22nd- The annual National Association of Letters Carriers (NALC) Union Food Drive will be held this May.

The NALC represents mail carriers, excluding rural delivery of the United States Postal Service (USPS) throughout the nation.

The 2015 ‘Letters Carriers Stamp out Hunger Food Drive’ will be held on Saturday May 9th in which postal service customers are requested to place non-perishable food items near their mail boxes to be pick-up by the NALC members. The food drive in 2014 was the tenth consecutive year in which at least 70 million pounds of food was collected.

Each year since 1991 the NALC members, with the support of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, conducts the food drive that helps feed the neady throughout the nation.

The food drive is held in more than 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.

Last year almost 73 million pounds of food was collected in the one day event for people in need throughout the United States.

Regionally, union members affiliated with the Lehigh Valley Labor Council labor federation, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, will again participate in the annual event. Branch 274 represents most of the NALC members in the region.

Trucking companies who employees are represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) often volunteer their equipment to haul the collected food to area food banks, pantries and shelters.

The NALC has approximately 200,000 active members. They began the drive in 1991 and while it was not held in 1992 the NALC members have collected food items every year since. Around 1500 NALC Branches participate nationwide.

The United Way of America and Feeding America will again sponsor the food drive with other organizations providing volunteers or financial support for the event. Those organizations provide flyers, bags, and postcards.

While the NALC members collect the food items from their customers, many other union member volunteers sort and deliver the collected food to area shelters and food banks.

The NALC request that postal costumers not put food items with expired dates by their boxes because those will only be discarded.

Staples store boycott continues into sixth month

12.18.14

DECEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Staples store boycott continues into sixth month

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, December 5th- The national boycott by many labor organizations of Staples office supply stores is continuing.

In June the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), and the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, announced a boycott of all Staples Inc. stores throughout the nation.

The APWU is boycotting all Staples office supply stores in the United States, Staples.com and Staples Advantage. The boycott also covers all Staples branded proprietary products.

In 2013 the United States Postal Service (USPS) entered into an agreement with Staples to establish a ‘pilot program’ that placed knock-off ‘post offices’ in 82 Staples stores nationwide. The APWU stated the office supplier chain was utilizing nonunion, low-paid Staples employees instead of unionized, and well-trained USPS employees. The APWU represents mail processing employees of the USPS throughout the nation.

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO labor federation in Harrisburg supports the boycott and has called on for their affiliated labor organizations to not purchase office supplies from the retailer.

On July 21st, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, which approximately 800,000 union members from throughout the state are affiliated through their local labor organizations, endorsed the Staples boycott.

The labor unions’ want Staples to stop selling postage unless they hire APWU members.

Northeastern Chapter of the Coalition of Union Women application to be sent

12.18.14

DECEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Northeastern Chapter of the Coalition of Union Women application to be sent

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, December 5th- Melissa Matoushek, a Staff Representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87, O’Neill Highway in Dunmore, which represents AFSCME members throughout nine counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and who is working to form a regional Chapter of the Coalition of Union Women (CLUW), stated the application to the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation will be sent by the end of 2014.

The newspaper has exclusively published several news articles in previous editions on Ms. Matoushek attempt to form a local chapter of CLUW.

In the previous edition of the newspaper it was reported that enough people have signed-up to become members of CLUW, which is sanctioned by the AFL-CIO. Before a chapter could be awarded enough people must become members of the organization. The minimum amount needed before a chapter would be awarded is 25.

Ms. Matoushek told the newspaper that approximately 27 people have become members of CLUW, including several men. At least 24 of the people that have signed-up to join the organization are women, mostly members of labor organizations throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The first meeting of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter was held in August at the AFSCME District Council 87 building, 1258 O’Neill Highway in Dunmore, Lackawanna County.

CLUW is a organization within the labor movement that is sanctioned by the AFL-CIO. The organization was formed in 1974 and currently has more than 75 chapters throughout the nation and a membership of approxiamtely 20,000 women and men.

CLUW’s primary goal is to be a resource to all union represented women to develop action programs within the framework of the labor community to deal with women objectives in the workplace.

The basic objective of CLUW is to promote affirmative action in the workplace, increase participation of women in their labor unions, organize the unrepresented, and engage women in the political and legislative process.

Anyone wanting to join the organization or needs more information can contact Ms. Matoushek at (570) 352-8006. Her e-mail address is: nepacluw@gmail.com.

IBEW Local 375 celebrates 100th anniversity of their Unions’ Charter

12.03.14

DECEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

IBEW Local 375 celebrates 100th anniversary of their Unions’ Charter

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, November 14th- The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 375, Liberty Street in Allentown, in 2014 celebrated their 100th year of the charter of the union by the IBEW.

IBEW Local 375 represents workers employed within the construction industry within the Lehigh Valley and workers employed within several other industries in the region. Local 375 active membership is around 900.

Local 375 moved from their previous office in Whitehall Township to their current building at 1201 Liberty Street in Allentown on January 1st, 1999. The previous location was sold to the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local 36. Local 36 previously rented space in Bethlehem.

Last year the Iron Workers Union sold the building after Local 36 was merged into Local 420 of Reading. Also, some of the jurisdiction of Local 36 was transferred to Iron Workers Local 489 of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Gary Martin is the Business Manager of Local 420 and Kevin McHugh is the Business Manager of Local 489.

The IBEW Local 375 Whitehall office had only 6,000 square feet while the Liberty Street building increased the space to more than 19,000 square feet. The Allentown location also includes a second floor which is used for training new members and continued training for current members.

The first floor of the building provides general office space, meeting rooms, and the memberships meeting hall.

The Liberty Street location was previously used as a factory and was vacant for several years before the Union purchased it.

William Newhard, IBEW Local 375 Business Manager in 1999, told the newspaper according to a story published in February 1999, that the additional space was needed because of the increase in membership due to organizing gains for several years. “Our membership continues to grow and we needed more space,” Mr. Newhard was quoted stating in the newspaper in February 1999 edition. Paul Anthony Jr. is the Business Manager of Local 375 currently serving his first four-year term.

“This is a very proud moment in Local 375’s history. We’re pround to play such an important role in building the Lehigh Valley, and I’m sure we’ll continue to do so for another 100 years,” stated Dave Reichard, President of Local 375.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for one of the oldest unions in the state, and I’m pround that they are a member of the Lehigh Valley Building and Construction Trades,” said Jim Reilley, Business Representative of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Union Local 542 and President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Lehigh Valley.

Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of CLUW on the way

12.03.14

NOVEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of CLUW on the way

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, November 4th- Melissa Matoushek, a Staff Representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 87 Union in Dunmore, which represents AFSCME members throughout nine counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and who has worked over the past several months getting individuals to join CLUW (Coalition of Union Women) so a regional chapter can be established, told the newspaper a application will be sent to Washington DC this month.

In the previous edition of the newspaper it was reported that Ms. Matoushek had gotten enough people to sign-up to become CLUW members so that a regional chapter can be created. Before a chapter could be awarded enough people must become members of the organization. The minimum amount needed before a chapter would be awarded is 25.

Ms. Matoushek told the newspaper that approximately 27 people have become members of CLUW, including several men. At least 24 of the people that have signed-up to join the organization are women, mostly members of labor organizations throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

CLUW is a organization within the labor movement that is sanctioned by the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC.

The organization was formed in 1974 and currently has more than 75 chapters throughout the nation and a membership of approxiamtely 20,000 women and men.

CLUW’s primary goal is to be a resource to all union represented women to develop action programs within the framework of the labor community to deal with women objectives in the workplace. The basic objective of CLUW is to promote affirmative action in the workplace, increase participation of women in their labor unions, organize the unrepresented, and engage women in the political and legislative process.

Ms. Matoushek stated everything is a “go” but she was released by AFSCME to help labor supported political candidates in November’s election, and she just did not have enough time to apply for the charter. However, now that the election season is over she will summit the application to Washington AFL-CIO for the establishment of a charter.

Enough signatures gained for Northeastern chapter of CLUW

12.02.14

OCTOBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Enough signatures gained for Northeastern chapter of CLUW

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 2nd- Enough people have signed-up to become members of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC sanctioned Coalition of Union Women (CLUW) for a regional chapter to be formed.

The newspaper has exclusively published several news articles in the past several editions regarding the attempt of a Northeastern Pennsylvania chapter of CLUW being formed. However, before a chapter could be awarded enough people must become members of the organization. The minimum amount needed before a chapter would be awarded is 25, according to Melissa Matoushek, a Staff Representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 87 Union in Dunmore, which represents AFSCME members throughout nine counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The first meeting of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter was held in August at the AFSCME District Council 87 building on the O’Neill Highway in Dunmore, Lackawanna County.

CLUW is a organization within the labor movement that is sanctioned by the AFL-CIO. The organization was formed in 1974 and currently has more than 75 chapters throughout the nation and a membership of approxiamtely 20,000 women and men.

CLUW’s primary goal is to be a resource to all union represented women to develop action programs within the framework of the labor community to deal with women objectives in the workplace. The basic objective of CLUW is to promote affirmative action in the workplace, increase participation of women in their labor unions, organize the unrepresented, and engage women in the political and legislative process.

Ms. Matoushek told the newspaper that approximately 27 people have become members of CLUW, including several men. At least 24 of the people that have signed-up to join the organization are women, mostly members of labor organizations throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. She will apply for a charter over the next several weeks, Ms. Matoushek told the newspaper.

Anyone wanting to join the organization or needs more information can contact Ms. Matoushek at (570) 352-8006. Her e-mail address is: nepacluw@gmail.com.

Black Friday Protest at South Philadelphia Wal-Mart, by John O. Mason

11.28.14

Members of Philadelphia’s Labor movement and its allies demonstrated in from of the Wal- Mart store on 1675 South Columbus Boulevard in South Philadelphia, on Friday, November 28, 2014.
The demonstrator included members of the National Writers Union, Democratic Socialists of America, Coalition of Labor Union women, and the American Postal Workers Union. The demonstrators handed patrons flyers demanding that Wal-Mart pay its employees a minimum of $15.00 an hour and benefits, an end to understaffing, allowance for full-time work, consistent schedules, and respect for pregnant felame employees.
The Reverend Michael Couch, from the Micah Leadership Council in Washington, DC and pastor of New Beginnings Church of Philadelphia, said he came to Philadelphia “to support the workers (in) raising the minimum wage from $9.00 to $15.00 an hour, to (show) corporate greed is not right, and that we need to be here to support our workers and the people who work for Wal-Mart, s o they can get a better wage so they can take care of their families.”

Northeastern chapter of CLUW likely to be formed

09.22.14

SEPTEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Northeastern chapter of CLUW likely to be formed

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, September 2nd- A regional chapter of the Coalition of Union Women (CLUW) will likely be formed with only several more people being needed to become members to reach the minimum amount necessary to qualify for the establishment of a chapter.

The first meeting of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter was held in August and a meeting was held on September 3rd at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 87 Union building, O’Neill Highway in Dunmore.

The newspaper have exclusively reported in the last several editions that AFSCME member Melissa Matoushek has began to form a local chapter of CLUW.

CLUW is a organization within the labor movement that is sanctioned by the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC. The organization was formed in 1974 and currently has more than 75 chapters throughout the nation and a membership of approxiamtely 20,000 women and men.

CLUW’s primary goal is to be a resource to all union represented women to develop action programs within the framework of the labor community to deal with women objectives in the workplace.

The basic objective of CLUW is to promote affirmative action in the workplace, increase participation of women in their labor unions, organize the unrepresented, and engage women in the political and legislative process.

According to Ms. Matoushek, approximately 20 female union members from throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania have so-far become members of CLUW and twenty-five are needed before a chapter can be given to the region.

“I’m very hopeful that we can get the necessary amount very soon,” Ms. Matoushek told the newspaper.

The local chapters of CLUW help educate members regarding the resources of support for women and also providing a network for women that are union represented. Also, CLUW local chapters help keep women and their families up-to-date on job related issues.

Anyone wanting to join the organization or needs more information can contact Ms. Matoushek at (570) 352-8006. Her e-mail address is: nepacluw@gmail.com.

Additional labor organizations announce support for Staples office supply store boycott

09.18.14

SEPTEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Additional labor organizations announce support for Staples office supply store boycott

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, September 3rd- More labor organizations have joined the boycott of Staples office supply stores throughout the nation as they attempt to get the retailer out of the postal business.

In June the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), and the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, announced a boycott of all Staples Inc. stores throughout the nation.

The APWU is boycotting all Staples office supply stores in the United States, Staples.com and Staples Advantage. The boycott also covers all Staples branded proprietary products.

In 2013 the United States Postal Service (USPS) entered into an agreement with Staples to establish a ‘pilot program’ that placed knock-off ‘post offices’ in 82 Staples stores nationwide. The APWU stated the office supplier chain was utilizing nonunion, low-paid Staples employees instead of unionized, and well-trained USPS employees.

The APWU has filed labor complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) because the USPS will not provide information about the contract with Staples.

The APWU, which represents mail processing employees of the USPS throughout the nation, began a campaign against Staples Inc. stores and held a ‘national day of action’ in May by protesting at the retailers stores throughout the nation and in Pennsylvania because some of the Staples stores of the chain now provides the postal services.

The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in Harrisburg announced several weeks ago that the labor federation endorsed the boycott of Staples office supply stores and requested their affiliated labor organizations stop purchasing office supplies at the retailer.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Union joined the boycott of Stamples stating that the USPS is adding more low-wage jobs to the American economy by outsourcing work to low-wage employer Staples and replacing USPS workers with their workers who average only $8.50 an hour.

AFGE stated that America needs more middle-class jobs, not poverty-wage ones. According to a new report from the National Employment Law Project, the bad economy has replaced good jobs with bad ones during the past four years. Low-wage industries like fast food and retail lost two million jobs during the recession but have added 3.8 million ones while higher-wage industries lost 3.6 million positions but have added only 2.6 million, the AFGE stated.

On July 21st, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, which approximately 800,000 union members from throughout the state are affiliated through their local labor organizations, endorsed the Staples boycott.

“We are asking our members, friends, family members and colleagues to take their business elsewhere,” stated Richard Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

The USPS Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe suggested that the partnership between the postal service and Staples will not result in job losses at the USPS, but will grow the business. However, the APWU is finding that hard to believe.

According the the APWU International Union office, the USPS and Staples are attempting to incorporate postal revenues into Staples Inc. stores, not expand the business.

The AFL-CIO stated the labor federation along with the APWU will work together in developing methods to convince Staples to withdraw from the partnership with the USPS.

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO stated that since the deal with Staples was announced, the USPS has reduced the hours of service in more than two dozen San Francisco area post offices, all of which are near a Staples store with a postal counter.

“It is apparent that more cuts in postal services are planned, along with the eventual closing of U.S. Post Offices,” added Mr. Bloomingdale.

Steelworkers to hold annual parade on Labor Day weekend

08.29.14

SEPTEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Steelworkers to hold annual parade on Labor Day weekend

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, August 25th- The United Steelworkers of America (USW) Union Local 2599, East Lehigh Street in Bethlehem, which overlooks the stacks of the former Bethlehem Steel mill, that is now the site of the Sands Casino, will conduct their annual weekend “Labor Day Parade” and picnic on August 31st.

“It will be a good time. The parade will be an opportunity for the labor community to come together,” stated Jerry Green, long-time President of Local 2599, which is one of the largest labor organizations in the Lehigh Valley.

Local 2599 along with several other USW affiliated local unions, once represented the employees of the steel mill that employed thousands of workers from throughout the Lehigh Valley.

The former site of the steel mill houses the Sands Casino and the blast furances and the stacks are now a museum.

Mr. Green told the newspaper the labor parade will start at 11:00 am from Main and Spring Streets in Bethlehem. They will march to Broad Street to Church Street and then back to Main and Spring Streets.

“We are asking for any union member to participate and bring their banners and show their colors,” Mr. Green added.

Following the parade, the Steelworkers will hold a labor picnic at the USW building. The event is free of charge and there will be live music.

Mr. Green stated that hot dogs and beverages will be part of the picnic and “it will not cost anyone to have something to eat”.

“The labor community in the Lehigh Valley needs more of this. A opportunity to come together and share some laughs and just have a good time together,” Mr. Green stated.

This year several new changes have been made by the City of Bethlehem regarding public events such as the USW parade. Such as, the city would like to know in advance the approximate number of participants.

First local chapter CLUW meeting held on August 7th

08.28.14

AUGUST 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

First local chapter CLUW meeting held on August 7th

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, August 1st- The first meeting of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Coalition of Union Women (CLUW) was held on Thursday August 7th at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 87 Union building, O’Neill Highway in Dunmore. The meeting was scheduled for 7pm. in the main meeting hall in the AFSCME building.

In the previous edition of the newspaper it was reported that AFSCME member Melissa Matoushek has began to form a local chapter of CLUW.

CLUW is a organization within the labor movement that is sanctioned by the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC. The organization was formed in 1974 and currently has more than 75 chapters throughout the nation and a membership of approxiamtely 20,000 women and men.

CLUW’s primary goal is to be a resource to all union represented women to develop action programs within the framework of the labor community to deal with women objectives in the workplace.

The basic objective of CLUW is to promote affirmative action in the workplace, increase participation of women in their labor unions, organize the unrepresented, and engage women in the political and legislative process.

The local chapters of CLUW help educate members regarding the resources of support for women and also providing a network for women that are union represented. Also, CLUW local chapters help keep women and their families up-to-date on job related issues.

According to Ms. Matoushek, the founding convention of CLUW was held in Chicago, Illinous and the four basic goals of action were: to promote affirmative action in the workplace; to strengthen the role of women in unions; to organize the unorganized women; and to increase the involvement of women in the political and legislative process.

The goals continue to be the cornerstone of CLUW’s activities as members speak out for equal pay, child and elder care benefits, job security, safe workplaces, affordable health care, contraceptive equity, and protection from sexual harassment and violence at work.

Anyone wanting to join the organization or needs more information can contact Ms. Matoushek at (570) 352-8006. Her e-mail address is: nepacluw@gmail.com.

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO joins national federation and APWU on boycott of Staples stores

08.23.14

AUGUST 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO joins national federation and APWU on boycott of Staples stores

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, August 1st- The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in Harrisburg announced the labor federation has endorsed the boycott of Staples office supply stores.

In June the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, announced a boycott of all Staples Inc. stores throughout the nation.

The APWU is boycotting all Staples office supply stores in the United States, Staples.com and Staples Advantage. The boycott also covers all Staples branded proprietary products.

In 2013 the United States Postal Service (USPS) entered into an agreement with Staples to establish a ‘pilot program’ that placed knock-off ‘post offices’ in 82 Staples stores nationwide. The APWU stated the office supplier chain was utilizing nonunion, low-paid Staples employees instead of unionized, and well-trained USPS employees.

The APWU has filed labor complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) because the USPS will not provide information about the contract with Staples.

The APWU, which represents mail processing employees of the USPS throughout the nation, began a campaign against Staples Inc. stores and held a ‘national day of action’ in May by protesting at the retailers stores throughout the nation and in Pennsylvania because some of the Staples stores of the chain now provides the postal services.

The action was conducted in 27 states including a store in Easton, which was protested by members of Local 268, which represents APWU members throughout the Lehigh Valley. The Easton location is the nearest Staples store that the newspaper is aware of that currently provides postal service work. According to Local 268 President Bernie Ogozalek, the pilot program with the USPS will hurt his members by providing postal services that are now done by APWU members.

On July 21st, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, which approximately 800,000 union members from throughout the state are affiliated through their local labor organizations, endorsed the Staples boycott.

“We are asking our members, friends, family members and colleagues to take their business elsewhere,” stated Richard Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

The USPS Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe suggested that the partnership between the postal service and Staples will not result in job losses at the USPS, but will grow the business. However, the APWU is finding that hard to believe.

According the the APWU International Union office, the USPS and Staples are attempting to incorporate postal revenues into Staples Inc. stores, not expand the business.

The APWU fears that if the new pilot agreement between the USPS and Staples is considered successful it may be expanded to the retailers other 1,600 stores and other retailers may follow, resulting in job losses for their members, therefore the reason for the boycott.

The AFL-CIO stated the labor federation along with the APWU will work together in developing methods to convince Staples to withdraw from the partnership with the USPS.

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO stated that since the deal with Staples was announced, the USPS has reduced the hours of service in more than two dozen San Francisco area post offices, all of which are near a Staples store with a postal counter.

“It is apparent that more cuts in postal services are planned, along with the eventual closing of U.S. Post Offices,” added Mr. Bloomingdale.

Meanwhile, the APWU wonders why the USPS would enter into an agreement with a company like Staples that announced in March it would close fifteen percent fo their stores this year, putting the health of the retailer in question.

“Staples itself is experiencing a decline in sales and has plans to close at least 225 stores by the end of 2015. we are concerned that in pursuing its arrangement with Staples, the USPS will leave many customers without access to any nearby Post Office,” added Mr. Bloomingdale.

The APWU and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Union represents the majority of the USPS workers. The two labor organizations have a combined membership of around 390,000 workers.

Nearly 73 million pounds collected by NALC Union members

07.15.14

JULY 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Nearly 73 million pounds collected by NALC Union members

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 29th- This years annual food drive by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Union, which represents the letter carriers of the United States Postal Service (USPS) excluding rural delivery throughout the nation, collected almost 73 million pounds of food on May 10th. The food collected was used to restock food banks, pantries and shelters around the country including in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Last year, the NALC food drive, which is the world’s largest one-day food drive and is held on the second Saturday each year since 1992, collected 74.5 million pounds of nonperishable food items.

This year marked the eleventh consecutive year at least 70 million pounds were collected.

The NALC effort is supported by the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, which the NALC is affiliated.

The food drive is held in over 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands and Guam.

“This demonstrates the value of the unique postal network, which goes to 151 million addresses six days a week. It also shows the strong connection between letter carriers and the communities they serve, a bond that serves the nation well,” stated Fredric Rolando, International President of the NALC.

According to Thomas Gavin, President of Branch 17, which represents NALC members throughout Lackawanna County, his members are proud to participate in the event.

“Letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities where we work, and we’re honored to be able to help people in need,” Mr. Rolando added.