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Labor community grateful for President Obama’s support

10.11.15

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

Labor community grateful for President Obama’s support

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, May 31st- While most within the labor community in the nation disagree with President Barack Obama’s support for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement (TPPTA), a measure meant to ease trade restrictions Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Brunie, Singapore, and Canada, they are grateful for support of the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules regarding representation election that took effect on April 14th.

Businesses throughout the nation have made it clear they are worried about the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule that will expedite representation elections through the agency.In the previous edition of the newspaper it was reported that the labor community applauded President Barack Obama’s veto of a Republican led resolution that would have overturned the NLRB rule that will expedite representation elections.

Mr. Obama’s veto was seen as a victory for the labor community, and the Democrats in the United States Congress. The resolution to overturn the new rules was passed by both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate in March. The anti-union legislation was supported and passed by mainly members of the Republican party.

The new rules, which was created by the five-member NLRB in Washington DC in December, is intended to streamline NLRB conducted Representation Elections. The labor community has complained for years that the current process favors companies, mainly larger employers, that have used the procedures of the old system to often delay, sometimes for months or years, of having the election conducted by the NLRB, which oversees the election. The tactic often is used to stall NLRB elections, especially when it appears the union would likely win.

Republicans were unable to override President Obama’s veto because there were not enough Senate Republicans in the chamber. There are 54 Republican seats in the Senate and under the chamber rules 67 is needed to override a presidential veto.

Under NLRB rules, at least 30 percent of a unit of workers must request the agency conduct an election. In the election at least 50 percent plus one of the eligible to participate employees must vote to be represented by a labor organization to become their bargaining representative for the purpose of collective bargaining.

Mr. Obama has made it clear he will sign TPPTA into law should if reach his desk. The legislation successful passed the Senate however, it is not yet known if the trade agreement will get enough votes for passage in the House of Representatives. There are 435 members of the House and the legislation will need to gain a majority of the representatives votes to successfully pass the chamber. It is expected the House will vote on TPPTA later in June, likely just before congress recesses for the summer.

Under the new NLRB election rules, employers will be required to post an “NLRB Notice of Election,” which contains information about the representation petition that was filed, and advises the two parties their rights and obligations. A “Statement of Position” form will need to be submitted by the employer to the NLRB within seven days after the petition receipt.

The document must include a list of eligible voters, their job classifications, their shift schedules, and work locations. However, the employer can not present any opinion or evidence on the issue of the representation election or request a delay in the vote. Employers can no longer challenge voter eligibility before the election, often used to delay elections, and must wait for the post-election hearing. Also, pre-election hearings will be limited to ‘Statement of Position’ the employer submitted not questioning the election merit.

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.

Anti-union businesses seeking help with new election rule

05.25.15

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

Anti-union businesses seeking help with new election rule

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, May 3rd- Businesses throughout the nation have made it clear they are worried about the new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rule that will expedite representation elections through the agency.

In the previous edition of the newspaper it was reported that the labor community applauded President Barack Obama’s veto of a Republican led resolution that would have overturned the NLRB rule that will expedite representation elections. The new rules and President Obama’s veto was clearly under reported by the main-stream media. However, this newspaper had several news articles regarding the new election rule.

Mr. Obama vetoed the Republican attempt to overturn the NLRB rule that took effect on April 14th. The veto was seen as a victory for the labor community, and the Democrats in the United States Congress. The resolution to overturn the new rules was passed by both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate in March. The legislation was supported and passed by mainly members of the Republican party.

The new rules, which was created by the five-member NLRB in Washington DC in December, is entended to streamline NLRB conducted Representation Elections. The labor community has complained for years that the current process favors companies, mainly larger employers, that have used the procedures of the old system to often delay, sometimes for months or years, of having the election conducted by the NLRB, which oversees the election. The tactic often is used to stall NLRB elections, especially when it appears the union would likely win.

Republicans were unable to override President O’Bama’s veto because there were not enough Senate Republicans in the chamber. There are 54 Republican seats in the Senate and under the chamber rules 67 is needed to override a presidential veto.

Under NLRB rules, at least 30 percent of a unit of workers must request the agency conduct an election. In the election at least 50 percent plus one of the eligible to participate employees must vote to be represented by a labor organization to become their bargaining representative for the purpose of collective bargaining.

Employers will be required to post an “NLRB Notice of Election,” which contains information about the representation petition that was filed, and advises the two parties their rights and obligations. A “Statement of Position” form will need to be submitted by the employer to the NLRB within seven days after the receipt of the petition.

The document must include a list of eligible voters, their job classifications, their shift schedules, and work locations. However, the employer can not present any opinion or evidence on the issue of the representation election or request a delay in the vote.

Under the rules, employers can not challenge voter eligibility before the election, often used to delay elections, and must wait for the post-election hearing. Also, pre-election hearings will be limited to ‘Statement of Position’ the employer submitted not questioning the election merit.

The eligible to participate employees list must be filed electronically two days after the election notice was filed and must include employees names, home addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses.

Anti-union companies throughout the nation have been contacting law firms and consultant groups for strategic advice how to not have their employees vote to be unionized. They fear more workers may vote to become affiliated with a labor organization for the purpose of collective bargaining and have stated their “first amendment “ rights will be violated under the new rule.

It is expected that the new rule will increase the current average election time from 38 days after filing to 20 days.

USW Local 2599 to hold annual Ed O’Brien Dinner on May 8th

05.04.15

MAY 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

USW Local 2599 to hold annual Ed O’Brien Dinner on May 8th

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, April 24th- The United Steelworkers of America (USW) Union 2599, East Lehigh Street in Bethlehem, will hold their annual Ed O’Brien Legislative Dinner/Dance on Friday May 8th at the USW building.

The cost of a ticket to the event is $50.00, with cocktails starting at 5:30 pm and dinner at 6:30 pm. Beverages will be served throughout the event.

Local 2599 is one of the largest labor organizations in the Lehigh Valley and is the largest USW Union. Local 2599 has fifteen seperate bargaining units throughout the Lehigh Valley.

Jerry Green is President of Local 2599 and just recently the membership voted to give him a sixth consecutive three-year term, breaking the previous record held by Louis Schrenko of five terms. Mr. Schrenko served as President from 1964 to 1979.

Local 2599, along with several other USW local unions, once represented workers employed at Bethlehem Steel, just several blocks away from the union hall. The site of the steel mill is now the location of the Sands Casino. After Bethlehem Steel closed the mill in 2000 the USW merged the four unions that represented the workers into Local 2599.

During last years Ed O’Brien Legislative Dinner, former United States Navy 3-star Admiral and current candidate for the Democratic nomination for the 2016 United States Senatorial seat from Pennsylvania Joe Sestak addressed the events guest. Allentown Mayor Edward Pawlowski is also a candidate for the Democratic nomination. The seat is currently held by Lehigh Valley resident Republican Pat Toomey. Mr. Toomey represented the 15th Legislative District, which represents most of the Lehigh Valley in Washington DC, before defeating Mr. Sestak five years ago. Mr. Sestak is seeking a “rematch” against Mr. Toomey next year.

Mr. Green stated that this year Pennsylvania Democratic Lieutenant Governor Michael Stack will be the keynote speaker. Mr. Stack was previously a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate.

Mr. Green was the lead organizer when the USW was successful in organizing Registered Nurses and Social Workers employed at Gracedale Nursing Home in Northampton County in 2003.

Also, nearly eight years later headed-up the group that wanted to defeat Northampton County’s plan to sell the Gracedale Nursing Home in 2011. Mr. Green was very instrumental, along with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union, which also represents Gracedale workers, in helping to convince Northampton County voters to reject the plan to sell the nursing home.

The USW selected Mr. Green as their 15th congressional legislative district Rapid Response Co-ordinator and serves on the Pennsylvania State Workers Compensation Advisory Board, being appointed by former House Speaker Keith McCall.

“I am very honored that the membership has given me the opportunity to serve them for more than 15 years. I will continue to do my very best to lead this great union forward,” stated Mr. Green.

Bob Sheridan wants labor member support in election

04.18.15

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

Bob Sheridan wants labor member support in election

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, April 2nd- Bob Sheridan, Scranton School Board member and former police officer of the Scranton Police Department is requesting members of the labor community vote for him in the May primary election to become the Democratic party nominee for Lackawanna County Clerk of Judicial Records beginning in 2016.

The winner of the primary election will likley be successful gaining the seat because there were no Republicans filing. However, there are six Democratic candidates seeking the position.

Mr. Sheridan attended the March delegate assembly of the Scranton Central Labor Union (SCLU) labor federation held at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87 building in Dunmore.

Mr. Sheridan stated that he was always a supporter of the labor community and once was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Union Lodge Number 2, which represents the police officers of the Scranton Police Department. “Many of you know me. You know that I have always supported the labor community. While serving on the Scranton School Board, I many times spoke-up on behalf of the unions,” Mr. Sheridan told those attending the meeting.

In fact in 2013, Mr. Sheridan, while serving as the Vice-President of the Scranton School District, made a public issue of the hiring of non-union construction workers for a senior housing building project in Scranton after the developers requested tax breaks for the project. At the time Mr. Sheridan stated he was “disappointed that local union members were not hired” for the project.

Former Navy Vice Admiral Joe Sestak running for Senate

03.31.15

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

Former Navy Vice Admiral Joe Sestak running for Senate

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION- March 5th- Former Navy Vice Admiral and two term United States House of Representative Joe Sestak made it official that he will attempt a rematch against Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Pat Toomey in 2016. Mr. Sestak will seek to become the Democratic nominee in 2016 that will likely face Mr. Toomey, who has not yet stated he would seek a second six-year term.

Mr. Sestak formally announced on March 4th in Philadelphia that would attempt to gain his party nomination next year and attempt to win the seat in next November’s general election. So far, no other Democrat has announced they would challenge Mr. Sestak for the nomination however, former U.S. House of Representative from Northeastern Pennsylvania Chris Carney has suggested he might run. Mr. Carney represented the 10th legislative district in Washington DC for two terms.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sestak since losing to Senator Toomey has attended labor events and appeared to be a political candidate. He defeated Incumbent Senator Alen Specter for the Democratic nomination in the spring of 2010 and nearly lost to Mr. Toomey that November.

After the primary election that year Mr. Sestak received the endorsement of the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO labor federation in Harrisburg. Also, most labor organizations that endorsed a candidate for the senatorial election that year supported Mr. Sestak.

Voter turnout will likley be higher in the Democratic party rich areas of Pennsylvania including the Philadelphia region in 2016 over 2010 because it will be a Presidential and U.S. Congressional election year.

Labor supported Rob McCord resigns State Treasurer post

02.21.15

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

Labor supported Rob McCord resigns State Treasurer post

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, February 2nd- The labor community likely dodged what could have been a very bad political situation in Harrisburg after Pennsylvania two-term Democratic Treasurer Rob McCord resigned after being charged with extortion. Mr. McCord received the majority of the labor organizations endorsements during last year’s gubernatorial Democratic primary race. The election has held on May 20th, 2014 and resulted in current Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf defeating Mr. McCord and two other Democratic candidates.

Mr. Wolf easily defeated his opponents and went on to become Pennsylvania Governor after defeating anti-union Republican Incumbent Governor Tom Corbett, who has seeking a second four-year term.

Some of the largest labor organizations in Pennsylvania endorsed Mr. McCord including: the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District 13; the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters (IBT); and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 1776.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives turned to the right after Republicans gained seats and now control the chamber, 119 to 84. Also, they gained three seats in the Senate and hold a 30 to 20 advantage.

Without Governor Tom Wolf to act as a “fire-wall” for anti-union legislation during at least the next two-years, many anti-union legislative issues important to the labor community would likely be made into law.

Should Mr. McCord have been successful in winning the nomination and faced-off against Mr. Corbett and the Republican party became aware of him being investigated, Mr. Corbett might have been re-elected.

NLRB overturns 2007 ruling regarding workers e-mail use

01.15.15

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

NLRB overturns 2007 ruling regarding workers e-mail use

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, January 5th- Often short of victories in the federal court system, a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington DC., will help the labor community in union organizing through employers e-mail system.

The NLRB ruled that workers with access to their employers internet e-mail system have the right to use it for a union organizing campaign and other communications regarding wages earned and working conditions. However, the workers can only use the e-mail system during nonworking time, not while being paid by the employer.

The labor community anticipated the ruling for several months and it reverses a 2007 ruling that stated employers had the right to restrict employees from using their internet e-mail system for union organizing campaigns.

However, since that ruling of 2007, the five-member counsel of the NLRB has changed under President Obama. All five members of the NLRB in Washington have been appointed by Mr. Obama. The NLRB General Counsel was also appointed by the President and has pushed for the reversal of the 2007 ruling, stating the rule was too restrictive because it was the way today that employees communicate with each other.

The NLRB is made-up of five members. Three from the party of the president, and two from the other, meaning there are currently three Democrats and two Republicans serving.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) which represents workers employed in the broadcast industry, print media and telecommunications industry, challenged the 2007 ruling after being unsuccessful in organizing workers in 2012 that provided services to deaf people and the e-mail rule interferred with the elections.

The company’s rule forbid workers from using their e-mail system for anything else but conducting company business, meaning since many of the workers were themselves deaf or hard of hearing, the CWA had little opportunity to communicate with them.

The CWA and other labor unions believe workplace e-mail is the modern-day way workers conduct workplace discussions and conversations. The latest NLRB ruling agreed with that conclusion.

Both Republican NLRB members dissented.

AFSCME leader states union members must mobilize against conservative agenda

01.02.15

JANUARY 2015, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

AFSCME leader states union members must mobilize against conservative agenda

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, December 23rd- David Fillman, Executive Director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 13 in Harrisburg, told the newspaper that the next Pennsylvania General Assembly of Pennsylvania will be more conservative and more likely be more anti-union than the previous legislative body. However, like Pennsylvania House of Representative Mike Carroll (Democrat-118th Legislative District) believes incoming Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will be the “fire-wall” in Harrisburg that will hopefully stop any anti-union legislation from becoming law. Mr. Wolf will be sworn-in as Pennsylvania Governor on January 20th. AFSCME represents more workers employed by the state than any other labor organization. There are eight statewide AFSCME District Council’s affiliated with Council 13.

With bigger Republican party majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, even more anti-union legislation is likely than the previous General Assembly. The Republicans raised their Senate majority from twenty-seven to thirty seats in 2015. The Democrats previously had twenty-three seats and will hold only twenty seats beginning in 2015.

Mr. Fillman told the newspaper that Council 13 has spend time and funds educating their members on why being politically involve and aware is so neccessary to preserve their jobs and livelihoods.

“Whether we are talking about prevailing wage laws, the privatization of the state stores, right-to-work laws, or paycheck protection legislation, the membership must understand the neccessity of being involved and mobilized,” stated Mr. Fillman. “There is no question the next General Assembly will be more conservative than the previous one.”

Because of the majority gains of the Republicans, relationships with moderate members of the party will be very important for the labor community Mr. Fillman added. Should Mr. Wolf veto any anti-union legislation, which he has stated he would, a two-thirds majority vote by both sides of the legislature will be needed to over-ride his veto for the legislation to become law, making the pro-worker Republicans important. Those legislators and Mr. Wolf are the only way the labor community can defeat any anti-worker, anti-union legislation over at least the next two years, Mr. Fillman told the newspaper.

Mr. Wolf easily defeated incumbent anti-union Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett in the November election.

“Without him, labor will be in huge trouble,” said Mr. Carroll. He pointed out that Mr. Corbett was generally unsuccessful in getting most of the anti-union legislation through the Pennsylvania General Assembly the past four years because there were enough Democrats and pro-worker Republicans to stop most of it. Mr. Carroll, is the Chairman of the Northeast Pennsylvania Democratic delegation.

AFSCME represents both state and nonstate workers in Pennsylvania including those employed in nursing homes, the Pennsylvania Lottery system, corrections, and public services.

Right-to-work passage would have been likely in 2015 if not for Tom Wolf election

12.17.14

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

Right-to-work passage would have been likely in 2015 if not for Tom Wolf election

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, December 4th- Pennsylvania House of Representatives Mike Carroll (Democrat-118th Legislative District) believes the only thing standing it the way of Pennsylvania becoming the twenty-fifth state in the nation to be a right-to-work state is incoming Democratic Governor Tom Wolf. Mr. Wolf easily defeated incumbent anti-union Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett in the November election.

“Without him, labor will be in huge trouble,” said Mr. Carroll. He pointed out that Mr. Corbett was generally unsuccessful in getting most of the anti-union legislation through the Pennsylvania General Assembly the past four years because there were enough Democrats and pro-worker Republicans to stop most of it.

However, the Republican party were successful is gaining seats to their majority in November and come January 2015 they will have a ten seat majority in the State Senate.

Mr. Carroll, the Chairman of the Northeast Pennsylvania Democratic delegation, expressed to the newspaper that Mr. Wolf will be the only “fire-wall” the labor community will have over at least the next two years.

But, the labor community will have to work even harder to put the brakes on the anti-union bills that will surely by pushed by the pro-business legislature in Harrisburg the next two years, Mr. Carroll stated.

Labor community political candidates were generally successful in Northeastern Pennsylvania that faced an opponent for the November 4th election. However, one labor endorsed candidate seeking to replace retiring Pennsylvania House of Representative Phyllis Mundy (Democrat-120th Legislative District) was defeated. Eileen Cipriani, easily defeated her Democratic party challenger in the May Primary Election but was defeated by Republican Aaron Kaufer.

With other the losses across the state, the Democratic party will be outnumber in the State House beginning in January by more than 30 votes. Also, several labor supported political candidates running for state senate seats also loss and the Republican party, who have many members that are anti-union, will hold a 30 to 20 majority.

The issue of pushing legislation in Harrisburg to ban union security clauses in labor bargaining agreements was “front and center” during 2013 after billionaire Dick Yuengling Jr., leader of the D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. brewery, said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett should push for legislation banning union security clauses in labor contracts.

Mr. Carroll, who now represents citizens’ in Lackawanna and Monroe Counties because of re-districting due to the 2010 census, stated anti-union legislation will be on the Republican menu in 2015 but, Mr. Wolf will be there to at least slow it down or stop it.

Pro-labor Congressman Matt Cartwright wins second term

12.03.14

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

Pro-labor Congressman Matt Cartwright wins second term

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, November 5th- Labor community endorsed incumbent Democratic United States House of Representative Matt Cartwright of Lackawanna County, easily won a second two-year term in the massive territory area of the 17th Legislative District. The district includes Northeastern Pennsylvania cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Easton of the Lehigh Valley.

Mr. Cartwright defeated Republican party challenger David Moylan, which had several challengers from the Lehigh Valley in the spring primary election for the Republican nomination, on November 4th by more than 20,000 votes and captured a second term in Washington DC of representing the 17th legislative district.

The district includes all or parts of Lackawanna, Luzerene, Carbon, Schuylkill and Northampton Counties of Pennsylvania.

Congressman Cartwright defeated incumbent Democratic Representative Tim Holden two years ago. Mr. Holden was a “blue dog” Democrat, meaning his voting record indicated he did not always support Democratic party legislation.

Mr. Holden voted against progressive initiatives such as housing finance reform and the American auto company loans. He had served for 20 years in Washington before being defeated by Mr. Cartwright.

However, since taking office Mr. Cartwright has voted for all progressive legislation and has supported all labor endorsed initiatives. He is regularly seen with labor community leaders and members and often visits with labor leaders from his district.

Labor supported Tom Wolf easily defeats anti-union Governor Tom Corbett

12.03.14

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

Labor supported Tom Wolf easily defeats anti-union Governor Tom Corbett

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, November 6th- Labor community political candidates were generally successful in Northeastern Pennsylvania that faced an opponent for the November 4th election. However, one labor endorsed candidate seeking to replace retiring Pennsylvania House of Representative Phyllis Mundy (Democrat-120th Legislative District) was defeated.

Eileen Cipriani, easily defeated her Democratic party challenger in the May Primary Election but was defeated by Republican Aaron Kaufer. Mrs. Cipriani worked for more than twenty-four years as a Medical Technologist at Nesbitt Hospital and Wilkes-Barre General Hospital in Luzerne County. With the lose of the 120th legislative district the Democratic party will be outnumber beginning in January by more than 30 votes. Also, several labor supported political candidates running for state senate seats also loss and the Republican party, who have many members that are anti-union, will hold a 30 to 20 majority.

However, the largest prize of the November election was the Pennsylvania Governor’s face, in which the labor supported Democratic candidate Tom Wolf easily defeated the anti-union incumbent Republican Governor Tom Corbett.

The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg and affiliated members of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council in Harrisburg along with non-affiliated labor organizations, such as the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) Union, attempting to energize their members leading-up to the election. The labor community put a high priority on defeating Mr. Corbett.

The labor community mostly endorsed Mr. Wolf, an York businessman. Mr. Wolf defeated three other Democrats that were seeking their party’s nomination for Pennsylvania Governor that wanted the chance to deny Mr. Corbett a second four-year term as Pennsylvania’s governor.

There were several labor organizations that did endorsed Mr. Corbett, including the Laborers’ District Council of Western Pennsylvania and the Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers Union Local 154.

In Northeastern Pennsylvania, Marty Flynn (Democrat-113th Legislative District; Sid Michaels Kavulich (Democrat-114th Legislative District); Eddie Day Pashinski (Democrat-121st Legislative District) and State Senator John Blake (Democrat-22nd Senatorial District) all were endorsed by the labor community and defeated their opponents.

The remaining legislators in the region were unopposed including Mike Carroll (Democrat-118th Legislative District) and the Chairman of the Northeast Pennsylvania Democratic delegation. Mr. Carroll told the newspaper after the election that the labor community’s only “fire-wall” against anti-union legislation beginning in 2015 is Mr. Wolf and his pro-worker agenda.

“Without him, labor will be in huge trouble,” said Mr. Carroll. He pointed out that Mr. Corbett was generally unsuccessful in getting most of the anti-union legislation through the Pennsylvania General Assembly the past four years because there were enough Democrats and pro-worker Republicans to stop most of it.

However, the labor community will have to work even harder to put the brakes on the anti-union bills that will surely by pushed by the pro-business legislature in Harrisburg the next two years, Mr. Carroll stated.

State AFL-CIO fearful of complacency in election

12.02.14

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

State AFL-CIO fearful of complacency in election

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 4th- While most the labor community has endorsed Pennsylvania Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, including the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg, the federation is fearful that union members and their families will see the huge lead he currently has in the polls and not vote in the November election.

Mr. Wolf currently hold nearly a 20 percent lead in most polls over incumbent anti-union Republican Governor Tom Corbett. The labor community has put a high prioity on defeating Mr. Corbett on November 4th and denying him of a second four-year term.

However, Richard Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is concerned that union members and their leaders will read the polls and not participate in the political campaign leading-up to the November election or worse yet stay at home on election day and not vote.

Should many union families not participate in the November 4th election believing Mr. Wolf is far ahead and will not need their vote to win, the down-ballot elections could be affected.

The Pennsylvania State Senate is considered to be up for grabs with the Republican party currently holding a 27 to 23 advantage, with at least four GOP senators often voting to support labor initiatives blocking Mr. Corbett and his supporters from getting anti-union legislation passed in the General Assembly.

“Regardless of what polls say, Tom Wolf will not win if his supporters get complacent and stay home on Election Day. We must make sure that all of our voices are heard,” stated Mr. Bloomingdale.

Labor community requesting their members participate in election mobilization

10.13.14

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

Labor community requesting their members participate in election mobilization

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 3rd- Activity by the labor community members during this political campaign with the biggest prize being who will be the Governor of Pennsylvania for the next four years, has so-far been lite.

The labor community is attempting to mobilized their members for the November 4th political campaign to hopefully defeat anti-union Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett and deny him of a second four-year term.

The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg and affiliated members of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council in Harrisburg along with non-affiliated labor organizations, such as the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) Union, have began to prepare to energize their members leading-up to the election. The labor community has put a high priority on defeating Mr. Corbett in 2014.

However, with just weeks ahead of the election, the labor community is finding it difficult energizing their members, most likely because independent polls show Pennsylvania gubernatorial Democratic candidate Tom Wolf ahead by a large margin.

The labor community have mostly endorsed Mr.Wolf, an York businessman. Mr. Wolf defeated three other Democrats that were seeking their party’s nomination for Pennsylvania Governor that wanted the chance to deny Mr. Corbett a second four-year term as Pennsylvania’s governor. There has been several labor organizations that have endorsed Mr. Corbett for the fall election.

Frank Sirianni, President of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council in Harrisburg, a statewide federation of construction trade unions’, stated the labor federation unanimously voted to endorse Mr. Wolf.

“Tom Wolf is a voice of welcoming reason who knows, first and foremost, that strengthening our communities, assuring a family sustaning wage for working families, focusing on access to health care for all Pennsylvanians, rationally protecting our resources, fairly securing our economy and enhancing the quality of education for our children are the keys to the return of fairness and progress in our society,” Mr. Sirianni said.

“Our members, who are employed in virtually every community of Pennsylvania by more than 3,500 construction contractors and subcontractors, have spoken and they have told us with a forceful clarity that Tom Wolf represents a shining voice in the battle to make our Commonwealth’s government responsiveto the hopes, needs and aspirations of working people in Pennsylvania,” added Mr. Sirianni.

“We will be deploying our activists and volunteers to reach the worksites and households of workers in every region of the state on behalf of our endorsed candidates,” stated Frank Snyder, Secretary/Treasurer of the PA AFL-CIO. “This election will be won or lost on voter turnout and we are determined to educate and motivate through Election Day,” continued Mr. Snyder.

However, in Northeastern Pennsylvania union represented volunteers so-far during the fall political season have been hard to come by. The volunteers are being utilized to participate in door-to-door member labor walks, which includes knocking on the doors of fellow union members homes. Also, conducting phone banks, which involves calling union members at home on the phone, and speaking to them about how important it is to get out and vote on November 4th and support Mr. Wolf and the other labor endorsed candidates.

Mr. Wolf has made it clear if elected he would support issues important to the labor community if elected in November.

State Representative candidate Cipriani labor endorsed

10.13.14

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

State Representative candidate Cipriani labor endorsed

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 3rd- Pennsylvania State Representative 120th Legislative District Democratic candidate Eileen Cipriani is being supported by the labor community throughout Luzerne County and was endorsed to replace retiring Representative Phyllis Mundy by the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in Harrisburg.

In the Primary Election held on May 20th, Mrs. Cipriani easily defeated her Democratic party challenger to gain her party’s nomination to face-off against Republican Aaron Kaufer.

Mr. Kaufer challenged Ms. Mundy in 2012 and received fourty-four percent of the vote.

Phyllis Mundy announced in early 2014 she would not seek a thirteenth two-year term representing the 120th Legislative District in Harrisburg, which is made-up of part of Luzerne County including Exeter, Jackson and Kingston Townships. Also, the district includes the boroughs of Forty-Fort, Kingston, Pringle, Swoyersville, West Wyoming and Luzerne.

Because of re-districting, the 120th will include the Borough of Edwardsville in 2015.

Mrs. Cipriani worked for more than twenty-four years as a Medical Technologist at Nesbitt Hospital and the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, but was not part of the bargaining unit at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

She told the newspaper if elected she would support the labor community and is thankful for the endorsement of organized labor.

Delaware State AFL-CIO Endorses Candidates for 2014 General Election

09.30.14

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release Contact: Samuel E. Lathem
September 27, 2014 (302) 283-1330 or 740-5151

Delaware State AFL-CIO Endorses Candidates
2014 General Election

The Delaware State AFL-CIO concluded a Special Endorsement Convention where delegates unanimously cast their ballots for candidates in federal, state, and county races to be held this November.

Samuel E. Lathem, President of the Delaware State AFL-CIO and Vice-President James Maravelias, presided over the convention representing the 30,000 members of this state’s largest organized labor organization.

The convention was the culmination of a lengthy and scrutinizing selection process that began in December, 2013. The Delaware State AFL-CIO’s Political Education Committee chaired by Michael Harrington, IATSE #284, conducted a long and arduous review of the qualifications of candidates. According to Harrington, “The candidates selected are the ones who have deserve our support and loyalty.”

AFL-CIO President Lathem enthusiastically echoes Harrington: “We feel the candidates chosen at this time; will represent the sincere interest of the working families’ throughout the state and in our local communities. We are proud to stand together as a unified labor movement with these endorsements and pledge our loyalty to their campaigns.” President Lathem emphasizes that “because these candidates support not only labor causes but the health and welfare of all our citizens, they have earned the support of our members and all Delawareans.”

With 40 (forty) days remaining in this campaign season, these endorsements will enable each candidate to mobilize our resources and integrate Organized Labor into their respective campaign strategies.

DELAWARE STATE AFL-CIO SPECIAL ENDORSEMENT CONVENTION
September 27, 2014

Recommendation Office Party Name
Endorse United States Senator D Christopher A. Coons
Endorse Representative in Congress D John C. Carney, Jr.
Endorse Attorney General D Matthew Denn
Endorse State Treasurer D Sean Barney
Endorse Auditor of Accounts D Brenda R. Mayrack
Endorse Senate District 2 D Margaret Rose Henry
Endorse Senate District 3 D Robert I. Marshall
Endorse Senate District 4 D Sarah L. Buttner
Endorse Senate District 6 D R. Claire Snyder-Hall
Endorse Senate District 10 D Bethany Hall-Long
Endorse Senate District 11 D Bryan Townsend
Endorse Representative District 2 D Stephanie T. Bolden
Endorse Representative District 3 D Helene M. Keeley
Endorse Representative District 4 D Gerald L. Brady
Endorse Representative District 6 D Debra Heffernan
Endorse Representative District 8 D S. Quinton Johnson
Endorse Representative District 9 D Jason Horitz
Endorse Representative District 10 D Sean Matthews
Endorse Representative District 11 D Lynne W. Newlin
Endorse Representative District 12 D Jeffrey Porter
Endorse Representative District 13 D John L. Mitchell, Jr.
Endorse Representative District 15 D Valerie Longhurst
Endorse Representative District 16 D James Johnson
Endorse Representative District 17 D Michael Mulrooney
Endorse Representative District 18 D Michael Barbieri
Endorse Representative District 19 D Kimberly Williams
Endorse Representative District 21 R Michael Ramone
Endorse Representative District 24 D Edward S. Osienski
Endorse Representative District 27 D Earl Jaques
Endorse Representative District 29 D William Charles Paradee, III
Endorse Representative District 30 D Jonathan E. Gallo
Endorse Representative District 31 D Sean M. Lynn
Endorse Representative District 32 D Andria Leigh Bennett
Endorse Representative District 33 D John Kevin Robbins
Endorse Representative District 37 D Paulette Ann Rappa
Endorse NCCo Recorder of Deeds D Michael E. Kozikowski
Endorse NCCo Council District 1 D Joseph M. Reda
Endorse NCCo Council District 3 R Janet Kilpatrick
Endorse NCCo Sheriff D Trinidad Navarro

Labor community requesting their members support Tom Wolf for Governor

09.30.14

OCTOBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Labor community requesting their members support Tom Wolf for Governor

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, September 15th- The laber community has began to mobilized themselves for the fall political campaign to hopefully defeat anti-union Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett and deny him of a second four-year term.

The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg and affiliated members of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council in Harrisburg along with non-affiliated labor organizations, such as the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) Union, have began to prepare to energize their members leading-up to the general election, November 4th. The labor community has put a high priority on defeating Mr. Corbett in 2014.

The labor community have mostly endorsed Democratic nominee York businessman Tom Wolf. Mr. Wolf defeated three other Democrats that were seeking their party’s nomination for Pennsylvania Governor that wanted the chance to deny Mr. Corbett a second four-year term as Pennsylvania’s governor. There has been several labor organizations that have endorsed Mr. Corbett for the fall election.

Frank Sirianni, President of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council in Harrisburg, a statewide federation of construction trade unions’, stated the labor federation unanimously voted to endorse Mr. Wolf.

“Our members, who are employed in virtually every community of Pennsylvania by more than 3,500 construction contractors and subcontractors, have spoken and they have told us with a forceful clarity that Tom Wolf represents a shining voice in the battle to make our Commonwealth’s government responsive to the hopes, needs and aspirations of working people in Pennsylvania.

Tom Wolf is a voice of welcoming reason who knows, first and foremost, that strengthening our communities, assuring a family sustaning wage for working families, focusing on access to health care for all Pennsylvanians, rationally protecting our resources, fairly securing our economy and enhancing the quality of education for our children are the keys to the return of fairness and progress in our society,” Mr. Sirianni said.

Most of Pennsylvania’s largest labor organizations have endorsed Mr. Wolf, including: the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA); the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union Council 13; the Pennsylvania International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union in Harrisburg; the United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Union Local 1776; and the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters in Philadelphia. Mr. Wolf has also gained the support of the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg.

“We will be deploying our activists and volunteers to reach the worksites and households of workers in every region of the state on behalf of our endorsed candidates,” stated Frank Snyder, Secretary/Treasurer of the PA AFL-CIO. “This election will be won or lost on voter turnout and we are determined to educate and motivate through Election Day,” continued Mr. Snyder.

Mr. Wolf has made it clear if elected he would support issues important to the labor community including: improving oversight of charter and cyber charter schools; protect the right of workers to unionize and collectively bargain; veto any legislation that restricts the rights of workers, including repealing the agency fee, doing away with union dues deduction, eliminating the right of school employees to strike; and any change to the prevailing wage law.

Labor community requesting there members support Tom Wolf for State Governor

09.22.14

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

Labor community requesting there members support Tom Wolf for State Governor

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, September 3rd- The laber community has began to mobilized themselves for the fall political campaign to hopefully defeat anti-union Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett and deny him of a second four-year term.

The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg and affiliated members of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council in Harrisburg along with non-affiliated labor organizations, such as the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) Union, have began to prepare to energize their members leading-up to the general election, November 4th.

The labor community has put a high priority on defeating Mr. Corbett in 2014.

The labor community, including those that supported other Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania’s primary election in May, have mostly endorsed Democratic nominee York businessman Tom Wolf. Mr. Wolf defeated three other Democrats that were seeking their party’s nomination for Pennsylvania Governor that wanted the chance to deny Mr. Corbett a second four-year term as Pennsylvania’s governor. There has been several labor organizations that have endorsed Mr. Corbett for the fall election.

Frank Sirianni, President of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council in Harrisburg, a statewide federation of construction trade unions’, stated the labor federation unanimously voted to endorse Mr. Wolf.

“Our members, who are employed in virtually every community of Pennsylvania by more than 3,500 construction contractors and subcontractors, have spoken and they have told us with a forceful clarity that Tom Wolf represents a shining voice in the battle to make our Commonwealth’s government responsive to the hopes, needs and aspirations of working people in Pennsylvania.

Tom Wolf is a voice of welcoming reason who knows, first and foremost, that strengthening our communities, assuring a family sustaning wage for working families, focusing on access to health care for all Pennsylvanians, rationally protecting our resources, fairly securing our economy and enhancing the quality of education for our children are the keys to the return of fairness and progress in our society,” Mr. Sirianni said.

Most of Pennsylvania’s largest labor organizations have endorsed Mr. Wolf, including: the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA); the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union Council 13; the Pennsylvania International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union in Harrisburg; the United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Union Local 1776; and the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters in Philadelphia.

Mr. Wolf has also gained the support of the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg.

“We will be deploying our activists and volunteers to reach the worksites and households of workers in every region of the state on behalf of our endorsed candidates,” stated Frank Snyder, Secretary/Treasurer of the PA AFL-CIO.

“This election will be won or lost on voter turnout and we are determined to educate and motivate through Election Day. It’s time to stop playing defense and go on offense and that will only happen if we all vote in November,” continued Mr. Snyder.

Labor endorsements for gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf piling-up

08.28.14

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

Labor endorsements for gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf piling-up

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, August 3rd- More labor organizations from throughout Pennsylvania have endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf for the November election.

The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg and affiliated members of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council in Harrisburg along with non-affiliated labor organizations, such as the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) Union, are beginning to prepare to energize their members in a attempt to defeat Incumbent Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett in the November election.

The labor community has put a high priority on defeating Mr. Corbett in 2014.

The labor community, including those that supported other Democratic candidates in Pennsylvania’s primary election in May, have been endorsing Democratic nominee York businessman Tom Wolf. Mr. Wolf defeated three other Democrats that were seeking their party’s nomination for Pennsylvania Governor that wanted the chance to deny Mr. Corbett a second four-year term as Pennsylvania’s governor.

Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council, a statewide federation of construction trade unions’, recently announced the federation has endorsed Mr. Wolf, however, not all building trade unions are supporting the Democratic nominee.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) District Council of Western Pennsylvania and the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 154 have endorsed Mr. Corbett despite being considered to be one of or the most anti-union governors in Pennsylvania’s history.

Frank Sirianni, President of the Pennsylvania State Building and Construction Trades Council, stated the organization unanimously voted to endorse Mr. Wolf on June 30th.

“Our members, who are employed in virtually every community of Pennsylvania by more than 3,500 construction contractors and subcontractors, have spoken and they have told us with a forceful clarity that Tom Wolf represents a shining voice in the battle to make our Commonwealth’s government responsive to the hopes, needs and aspirations of working people in Pennsylvania.

Tom Wolf is a voice of welcoming reason who knows, first and foremost, that strengthening our communities, assuring a family sustaning wage for working families, focusing on access to health care for all Pennsylvanians, rationally protecting our resources, fairly securing our economy and enhancing the quality of education for our children are the keys to the return of fairness and progress in our society,” Mr. Sirianni said.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union Council 13 voted to endorse Mr. Wolf only days after the primary election.

On July 31st, the Pennsylvania International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union in Harrisburg, a federation of IBT Local Union’s from throughout Pennsylvania, announced they have endorsed Mr. Wolf. The endorsement announcement was jointly made with the International Brotherhood of Carpenters Union in Philadelphia.

“I am proud to endorse Tom Wolf for Governor today. We need new leadership for Pennsylvania,” stated Edward Coryell Sr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters in Philadelphia.

“We all saw what Covernor Corbett’s failed policies have done to Pennsylvania. It’s time for positive change and Tom Wolf is the right man for the job,” stated William Hamilton, President of the Pennsylvania Conference of the IBT and Principal Officer of IBT Local 107 in Philadelphia.

DELAWARE STATE AFL-CIO SPECIAL ENDORSEMENT CONVENTION

08.04.14

DELAWARE STATE AFL-CIO SPECIAL ENDORSEMENT CONVENTION

Office Party Name

State Treasurer D Chip Flowers, Jr.
Senate District 3 D Robert I. Marshall
Representative District 10 D Dennis E. Williams
Representative District 15 D Valerie Longhurst
Representative District 18 D Michael Barbieri
Representative District 19 D Kimberly Williams
Representative District 31 D Ralph Leroy Taylor, Jr.
New Castle County Council District 3 R Janet Kilpatrick

These are the endorsed candidates.