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Change To Win: Statement of Anna Burger on Meeting with Senator Barack Obama

06.29.08

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2008

Statement of Anna Burger on Meeting with Senator Barack Obama

http://www.changetowin.org/for-the-media/press-releases-and-statements/statement-of-anna-burger-on-meeting-with-senator-barack-obama.html

CONTACT: Greg Denier
Noreen Nielsen
202-721-0660

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Change to Win leaders met with Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, today to discuss the economic concerns and needs of America’s working families. The following is a statement from Change to Win chair Anna Burger regarding today’s economic meeting.

“America’s workers believe the American Dream is at risk and they want positive government action on critical economic issues – from jobs, to health care, to retirement security. For working families, the Dream is not about great wealth, it’s about a good job, affordable health care, and the opportunity for a better future.

“Over the past seven years of the Bush administration, wages have fallen, the number of uninsured has risen, and more and more good jobs are being shipped overseas. America’s workers want change.

“One, workers should have a free choice to form unions in their workplaces. Workers with union representation earn better wages and are more likely to have health care and pension benefits. The freedom to form unions is the foundation of the American Dream.

“Two, workers want government action to guarantee quality, affordable health care. We need to make comprehensive, affordable, high-quality health care available for all Americans. National health care reform will provide security for our families, and make our economy and employers more competitive.

“Three, America needs a new trade framework that promotes global prosperity for workers, as well as profits for corporations. Trade agreements should focus on raising living standards and improving working conditions for all workers rather than allowing multi-national employers to sink wages and strip workers of their rights.

“The Change to Win economic policy prescription would restore the American Dream, create good jobs, and give hope to the next generation. Barack Obama is the candidate of the American Dream. He has inspired working families to get active and involved in politics. Barack Obama is building a movement that not only will win in November, but will transform our country. The six million members of Change to Win unions are proud to be in the forefront of that movement. On the key economic issues, Barack Obama stands with us.”

Change to Win, a partnership of seven unions representing six million workers, endorsed Sen. Obama for president on February 21, 2008. As the largest worker organization to endorse any candidate in the primary process, Change to Win members and volunteers made the difference in critical contests across the country, knocking on millions of doors, making millions of phone calls, and mobilizing coworkers at worksites from coast to coast. Change to Win and its affiliated unions have developed an unprecedented program of member-to-member contact, direct mail and phone banks to mobilize millions of working family voters in swing states across America to help elect Barack Obama in November.

** Note: Media representatives interested in scheduling an interview to discuss Change to Win’s plan for restoring the American Dream for working families in the 2008 election should contact Noreen Nielsen at Noreen.nielsen@changetowin.org. **

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About Change to Win

Change to Win is a six million member partnership of seven unions founded in 2005 to represent workers in the industries and occupations of the 21st century economy. Change to Win committed to restoring the American Dream for a new generation of workers – wages that can support a family, affordable health care, a secure retirement, and the opportunity for the future. The seven affiliated unions are: Service Employees International Union, UNITE HERE, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Laborers’ International Union of North America, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and United Farm Workers of America.

Obama trades ideas with labor leaders

06.29.08

Obama trades ideas with labor leaders

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/politics/blog/2008/06/printer-obama_trades_ideas_with_busine.html

by Michael Finnegan

PITTSBURGH## Barack Obama traded ideas on energy, healthcare and schools with business, labor and academic leaders on Thursday at a campaign forum in Pittsburgh.

The group included the chief executive officers of General Motors and United States Steel Corp., along with the presidents of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Service Employees International Union.

Also on the panel was retired Gen. James Jones, a former NATO Supreme Allied Commander who is close to Obama’s Republican rival John McCain but has been mentioned as a possible running mate for the likely Democratic presidential nominee.

Obama opened the forum at Carnegie Mellon University by laying out his energy, healthcare and education agenda, then asked each of 13 panelists to share their thoughts on those topics.

“If you were setting federal policy, what do you think would be the most effective approach to ensure these exciting innovations are moving rapidly?” Obama asked Vinod Khosla after the venture capitalist talked about a “radical revolution” in renewable energy technology.

Investment in university research, Khosla responded, along with stable policy and making people believe it can happen.

Steve Case, the former chairman and chief executive officer of America Online, reminded Obama that government-funded research spurred development of the Internet and then the private marketplace took over.

“I believe there’s some lessons that you learn from that approach,” Case said. (Introducing himself, Case said: “My real claim to fame is that I went to high school with Barack Obama in Hawaii.”)

Andy Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union, told Obama: “What we really need is just to change the old Washington ways where we can’t get anything done.”

“The old idea that business and labor can’t work together for the common good is outdated,” said Stern, whose union supports Obama.

G. Richard Wagoner, Jr., the chairman and CEO of General Motors, told Obama that the country should diversify its energy sources as quickly as possible, saying biofuels would be the quickest to develop.

After the event, Wagoner told reporters that Obama had recently “reflected a much more detailed understanding of what’s going on in the industry” than he did in a Detroit speech last year. Obama had faulted car makers in the speech for fighting tougher fuel efficiency standards, among other things.

But Wagoner was careful not to take sides between Obama and McCain.

“My sense is both candidates have a pretty good understanding that business and innovation is an important part of the success of the American economy,” Wagoner said.

Also on the panel were Lael Brainard, vice president of the Brookings Institution; Los Angeles real estate mogul and philanthropist Eli Broad; Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone; Susan Castillo, Superintendent of Public Instruction at the Oregon Department of Education; Susan Hockfield, the president of MIT; former Transportation Secretary Federico Peña; John P. Surma, the chairman and CEO of United States Steel Corp; and Harold Varmus, President of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Cherry-picking economics: Tax cut myths & realities

06.27.08

Cherry-picking economics: Tax cut myths & realities

Ron Ennis, Lehigh Valley Postal Workers
Editor, Lehigh Valley Labor Council

If a rooster crows in the morning and the sun comes up, did the rooster cause the sun to rise?

Of course not.

But that kind of economic thinking has gripped the minds of some in recent decades. Hand out tax cuts and if the stock market goes up, or the employment picture brightens, or the federal deficit shrinks, well then, it was the tax cuts that caused it.

In cherry-picking economics, facts are selectively juxtaposed and edited to infer a cause and effect relationship when, in reality, there is no supporting evidence for it.

Witness the chorus of “cherry-pickers” responding to Senator Barack Obama’s suggestion that he would raise taxes on capital gains income should he become president.

“Bill Clinton, in 1997, signed legislation that dropped the capital gains tax to 20 percent….And George Bush has taken it down to 15 percent. And in each instance, when the rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased; the government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected..”

Charles Gibson, ABC News moderator, to Sen.Barack Obama at the Philadelphia Democratic presidential debate, April 16, 2008.

“There is strong evidence that the investment tax relief enacted in recent years – both the lower tax rates on capital gains and dividends – has played an important role in spurring economic growth. Any talk of raising these rates is, at best, irresponsible and, at worse, a serious threat to our country’s economy. NAM members believe it is critical that Congress make these investment tax cuts permanent.”
National Association of Manufacturers, March 13, 2008.

“…when the (capital gains) tax rate has risen over the past half century, capital gains realizations have fallen and along with them tax revenue.”
Wall Street Journal editorial April 18, 2008.

In each example, cutting taxes on investment income is seen as an elixir for all economic ills: a tax revenue booster, a stock market stimulant, or a recession vaccine. Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain has also embraced this notion. “I think it’s very important that we make the Bush tax cuts permanent,” he said earlier this year.

What has sparked the echo chamber against Obama is the fear that an economic era is coming to an end. The Illinois senator has signaled that, should he become president, he will reverse a near 30-year trend of deregulation and tax cuts aimed primarily at the wealthy.

Nowhere has the downward direction on tax rates been more pronounced than on stock ownership. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the rate on capital gains stood at 28 percent and dividends were taxed the same as wage income – up to 50 percent. Soon afterward, he dropped the capital gains rate to 20 percent.

As a Reaganomics disciple, George Bush promoted a tax bill in 2003 that further lowered levies on both capital gains and dividends to 15 percent. But the measure, the Jobs & Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (JGTRR), came under immediate criticism from Democrats and, curiously, in hindsight, Sen. McCain.

In joining the Democrats, McCain rightly pointed out that slashing taxes during war was unprecedented. Undeterred, Bush rolled over the GOP-controlled Congress to win passage of his bill as American troops stormed Baghdad. The following year, McCain said to Tim Russert on Meet the Press, “I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans. I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts in order to help address the deficit.”

The comments by the four-term Arizona senator took note that Congress omitted making Bush’s tax cut permanent and should the next Administration fail to act, a most likely scenario under Obama, the rates will rise in January 2011. Inexplicably, McCain now wants to reverse course and “make the Bush tax cuts permanent,” including those on investment income.

So, what are capital gains and dividends? And why such a fuss over a widely misunderstood part of the tax code? The answers could set the stage for a tax debate showdown between the party’s presidential nominees.

Tax brackets and rates for 2008

Single-filer Marginal* Capital gain/dividend
Income Tax rates Tax rates
$0 - $8,025 10% 0%
$8,026 - $32,550 15% 0%
$32,551 - $78,850 25% 15%
$78,851 - $164,550 28% 15%
$164,551 - $357,700 33% 15%
$357,701+ 35% 15%

Figure 1

* Wages, salaries, interest income, non-qualifying dividends, etc.

Capital gains relate to stocks, real estate and collectibles. If you purchase 100 shares of XYZ Inc. for $50 each and over a year later you sell the stock when it climbs to $60 per share, your one thousand dollar return is a capital gain. You must report that gain to the Internal Revenue Service.

In addition, if XYZ Inc. pays an annual dividend, say $1.50 for each share you own, you’ll receive $150 twelve months later. This, too, will have to be reported to the IRS.
In each case, the capital gain and dividend you collect will trigger a tax.

What’s at the center of this year’s tax controversy between Obama and McCain is that the tax rate on investment income is lower than wage income. Owning and trading stocks on Wall Street is not taxed as harshly as working for a living. (See Figure #1)

Obviously, affluent tax filers have larger taxable stock portfolios and, consequently, will report a higher share of their income as capital gains and dividends. Therefore, a substantial portion of their income will be taxed at a rate – 15 percent – that is as low, if not lower, than the levy applied to the wages of most Americans.

“When governments set tax rates, they are making decisions about who will prosper and by how much,” wrote David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize winner, in his book Perfectly Legal: the covert campaign to rig our tax system to benefit the super rich – and cheat everybody else. The declining tax trend on investment income over the last three decades starkly demonstrates Washington’s longstanding generosity to the nation’s wealthiest individuals.

Putting aside the questionable morality of a tax code that favors trading equities on a stock exchange over sweat equity in the workplace, there are sound economic arguments to debunk the myths supporting cherry-picking economics.

Myth #1: The reductions in dividend and capital gains taxes benefit all taxpayers, even those in the lowest income brackets as claimed by Gibson.

Fact: While it’s true that a majority of Americans own stock, they do so in an employer-sponsored or individual retirement account. In fact, Americans have squirreled away $6.2 trillion in 401(k) plans alone.

But IRAs and 401(k) plans are already tax-advantaged and would receive little, if any, gain from a cut in taxes on investment income. Any benefit from an investment tax cut an ordinary American would receive in a taxable account would be miniscule.

That’s because the average American holding stocks has just a handful of shares in a company or mutual fund. According to the IRS, of the 92 million tax returns for individuals earning less than $50,000 in 2003 – representing 70 percent of all returns – only 15 percent filed a return with dividend income. Their average tax cut was $14. Further-more, only eight percent filed a return with capital gain income and their average tax cut was $5.

Myth #2: Capital gains and dividend tax cuts lead to long-term economic growth.

Fact: President Bush, John McCain and other tax-cut proponents argue that cutting taxes on stock gains fuels economic growth. “But they have produced no evidence,” concluded the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities last month, “to support their leap from correlation –the tax cuts coincided with improvement in the economy – to causation – the claim that the tax cuts caused the improvements.”

In fact, all evidence appears to point in the opposite direction. The Tax Policy Center found that “capital gains tax rates display no contemporaneous correlation with real GDP growth during the past 50 years.” And the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), after it conducted a macroeconomic analysis of the JGTRR Act shortly after its enactment, concurred that any short-term benefit was “eventually likely to be outweighed by the reduction in national savings due to increasing Federal government deficits.”

Enacting tax cut legislation without paying for it would be more likely to reduce economic growth over the long term than to increase it. Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin argues that capital gain tax changes have little effect on business investments and that a bigger concern for the economy is the lack of a realistic plan for reducing the growing federal deficit. Without that, investors cannot have certainty in the market or the economy.

Myth #3: When the tax is cut on capital gains and dividends, the revenue from the tax to the IRS increases.

Fact: “You cut taxes and the tax revenues increase,” said President Bush in February 2006. But this is another distortion of facts. In testimony before the House Budget Committee in 2004, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said, “It is very rare and very few economists believe that you can cut taxes and you will get the same amount of revenues” to the IRS.

Just because a cut in the capital gains tax precedes a rise in capital gains revenues doesn’t mean the tax cut caused the gain in revenues. In reality, the tax cut stimulates, at best, a short-lived increase in tax receipts by inducing stockholders to sell their shares. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, recently stated that, “most of the apparent increase is likely due to timing: investors delay selling stock when they know a tax cut is imminent. After the cut takes effect,” they sell their holdings, “declare their gains and pay taxes at the lower rates.”

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) wrote, in a letter to then-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Charles Grassley, “After examining the historical record, we cannot conclude that the unexplained increase (in gains realizations) is attributable to the change in the capital gains tax rates.”

If you lower the tax rate on capital gains without lowering the levies on ordinary wage income, you encourage people to express their income through capital gains. Many tax shelters are designed to do exactly this. Capital gains tax revenue may rise, temporarily, in part because people are shifting their income from a high-tax category into a low-tax one, resulting in a net revenue loss for the government.

According to the CBO, the JCT and even Bush’s own Office of Management and Budget, the revenue loss is substantial. All project that making the JGTRR provisions permanent would cost about $100 billion over the next ten years.

With Senators Obama and McCain on opposite sides of the tax issue, voters will do more than elect the next Oval Office occupant. They will also pronounce their verdict on the economic myths that have prevailed for the last 30 years.

Ritter seeks 187th seat: Teacher’s union president in tough race

06.27.08

Ritter seeks 187th seat: Teacher’s union president in tough race

Ron Ennis, Lehigh Valley Postal Workers
Editor, Lehigh Valley Labor Council

Teaching in the public schools has grown increasingly demanding since passage of the No Child Left Behind Act. John Ritter knows that as well as anyone. A teacher for 30 years, he has seen how the profession has changed.

But Ritter, a Parkland High School English teacher, is taking on a tougher challenge: he is the Democratic candidate for the 187th state legislative district, a district that has never voted for a Democrat since its creation in 1980 and has a large GOP voter registration margin.

In his statement to the PA AFL-CIO, the 57-year-old union president wrote, “I have devoted my life to teaching. Running for public office had never been an interest in the past.

“Nevertheless, as I personally saw the impact of government decisions on the lives of people close to me, I felt I had to get involved.

“For example, a family I’ve known for years has had to face the devastating effects of fighting a son’s life-threatening cancer without health insurance. Down the road from where I live, Wal-Mart is likely to build a supercenter on an already congested Route 309 against the wishes of most of the community.

“In addition, powerful forces are working to dismantle public education, which has always been and remains the gateway to pursuing the American Dream. Families, neighborhoods and entire communities in my district seem powerless against these forces.

“Government should be about ensuring life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; lately it seems more interested in power and greed. The only people I intend to be accountable to are my neighbors and the communities of the 187th district I hope to serve.”

Ritter’s opponent is Chris Day, a Republican from Heidelberg Township.

The 187th district includes part of Lehigh County (Lynn, Heidelberg, Lowhill, Weisenberg, North Whitehall town-ships, part of Upper Macungie township and the borough of Fogelsville) and part of Berks County (Richmond, Long-swamp and Maxatawny townships and the boroughs of Topton and Kutztown).

The age issue: Senators Obama, McCain and the 25-year age difference

06.27.08

The age issue: Senators Obama, McCain and the 25-year age difference

Gregg Potter, CWA #13500
President, Lehigh Valley Labor Council

“We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt

When John McCain showed up May 17 as a surprise guest on “Saturday Night Live,” he pitched himself this way: “I ask you, what should we be looking for in our next president? Certainly, someone who is very, very old…It’s about being able to look your children in the eye## or, in my case, my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, the youngest of whom are nearing retirement. I have the courage, the wisdom, the experience, and most importantly, the oldness necessary. The oldness it takes to protect America…”

What this glib statement really means is that the McCain people are deathly afraid of voters in November who will balk at electing the OLDEST president in American history. This is precisely why they booked Sen. McBush on a youth-oriented, hip show. The message shows that McBush is “young at heart”. In this fashion, he attempts to defuse the age issue by attacking it front and center.

Sen. McBush does in fact look very old on camera. With the popularity of high definition TV sets, it is more and more difficult to hide some of the facial flaws, no matter how miniscule they may be.

Both Senators Clinton and Obama have faced, perhaps, the most grueling primary in history, yet both of them look remarkably fresh and ready for battle. They will need to be, because the Republicans will be ready to throw everything at them in order to take the focus away from McCain’s weaknesses, both real and perceived.

Certainly, having the Republicans nominate a senior citizen is not new. Ronald Reagan was 69 when he was elected in 1980. And Sen. Bob Dole was 73, the oldest first-time presidential nominee in history, when he ran in 1996.

A recent poll by the non-partisan Pew Research Center brought out some startling results that are sure to reverberate in the Republican camp. 50 percent of registered voters say they’re less likely to support a candidate in his 70’s. That’s higher than the share of voters who would be less likely to support a Muslim (48%), or a gay (46%), or a Mormon (32%). Although this particular poll didn’t mention McCain by name, the Pew Research Center did so in a separate survey, which found that 19 percent of “Republicans deemed him too old for the job.”

In the end, McCain’s biological age in 2008 is far less important than his metaphorical age. That is the center of his challenge this fall. Reagan won a landslide re-election in 1984, despite concern about his age, because his “Morning in America” image was perceived as fresher than Walter Mondale’s old-school liberal politics. Conversely, Dole played “old” in 1996, not necessarily because he appeared grumpy and fell off of a stage in front of the cameras, but because his message seemed so stale in comparison to Bill Clinton and the incumbent’s talk of “building a bridge to the 21st century.”

Already, we are seeing the chess-like moves to frame a candidate’s message and to discount the political body punches received. Of note, former White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan published what could be a punishing book further exposing the Bush Administration, yet was somewhat bypassed by some of the “national dailies” in favor of covering the antics of ministers Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger. No less a political expert than Sen. Dole ripped into McClellan’s book. “McClellan possibly had some valid points in his new book charging that Bush made a phony case for the war with Iraq,” said Dole, but “if all these awful things were happening….(he) should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit (his) cushy high profile job.”

A true telling point of a candidate trying to distance himself from an unpopular incumbent was the behavior of Sen. McCain recently. On May 31, 2008 McCain traveled to his home state of Arizona for a much needed fund raising effort. Rather than be seen publicly with President Bush, the “maverick” Senator chose to have the event at the posh home of a supporter bereft of any reporters.

One other weak point that will be targeted by the media and political detractors will be McCain’s history of skin cancer, specifically Melanoma. You can bet that the American public will be inundated with a plethora of stage IV Melanoma survivors who can attest to Sen. McCain’s, otherwise supposed favorable health. Stay tuned!!

News Item: Some Corporate boards adopting new severance policy for executives.

Beleaguered Qwest Communications shareholders won greater control over some executive severance agreements recently. They also approved a slate of directors for the board and an independent auditor during the Qwest Communications Intl. annual board meeting. Retirees from Qwest have not received an increase in their pensions since 1996 and a request was sent to the board asking for one, which was denied.

Under the measure that did pass, shareholder approval will be required for severance agreements with a total value exceeding 2.99 times the sum of an executive’s base salary plus target bonus. The motion passed with an amazing 54% of the vote!

Last year, Verizon’s board of directors won a huge victory in tying executive pay directly to performance of stock prices. The defeat was huge for Verizon stockholders as this action set a precedent that reverberated throughout board rooms across the country.

Alcatel-Lucent is applying similar pressures to CEO Patricia Russo according to a list of resolutions posted on the group’s website. CEO Russo must ensure that the group meets “at least 90 percent of the performance target in respect of revenues of the group or 75 percent of the performance target in respect of operating profit.”

Perhaps the most important resolution passed mandates that for Russo to qualify fully for her severance benefits, totaling two years’ pay, bonuses and stock option rights, Russo would have to ensure Alcatel’s sales and profits reach a minimum level.

These are groundbreaking developments and hopefully more corporations will adopt these business practices as board members become more and more disenchanted with corporate excess.

Nurses Union, IBEW Give Support to Obama

06.27.08

Nurses Union, IBEW Give Support to Obama

by Seth Michaels, Jun 26, 2008

http://blog.aflcio.org/2008/06/26/nurses-union-ibew-endorse-obama

Two unions, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) and the Electrical Workers (IBEW), have endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.

The 725,000-member IBEW offered an endorsement today, and IBEW President Edwin Hill committed to “an all-out push” to get members involved in the election.

The issues are clear. We as a people face difficult choices on health care, energy policy and building jobs and opportunity in a world increasingly bound by economic and environmental issues. Barack Obama offers positive leadership to navigate our way into the future instead of continuing the failures of the past.

The 80,000 member CNA/NNOC offered its endorsement after a vote of its 35-member board. Melinda Markowitz, RN, says the endorsement is based on the “stark difference” between Obama and likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain on the issues of health care and workers’ rights.

From the shredding of our public safety net, to the transfer of critically needed domestic resources for an irresponsible war, to the abandonment of environmental and labor law safeguards over the past eight years, the need for change in Washington is paramount.

We have been impressed with Sen. Obama’s efforts to broaden, enrich, and revive our democracy by bringing more Americans into our political process and giving them a sense of hope and confidence for a more just, more humane America.

This morning, the AFL-CIO endorsed Obama and launched a new website, Meet Barack Obama, to educate and mobilize union members. This fall, the AFL-CIO is carrying out an unprecedented grassroots mobilization to elect a working family-friendly Congress and president.

Dealers win election ruling at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino

06.27.08

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - The National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) has confirmed an election victory at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and certified the UAW as the union chosen by a majority of full- and regular part-time dealers.

“I think it’s great,” said Trump Plaza Dealer Doug Migliore, of the board’s ruling. “We’ve been trying to get to the bargaining table for over a year. Now we can move forward to get a contract.”

The decision, said workers and union officials, will give an added boost to a major labor rally planned for Atlantic City on June 21, when trade unionists, community leaders, and supporters from throughout the tri-state area will demonstrate for a “Fair Deal for All Atlantic City Workers.”

“Management’s efforts to prevent workers from exercising their legal rights have failed,” said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. “It’s way past time for them to come to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith with the union.” Gettelfinger and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will be among those speaking at the June 21 event.

Information on the rally is available at http://www.June21ACRally.org.

“The NLRB ruling confirms what we already knew: This was a clean campaign and a clear victory for Trump Plaza dealers,” said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Bunn, who directs the union’s Technical, Office and Professional (TOP) Organizing Department.

Dealers at Trump Plaza voted 2-to-1 in favor of forming a union on March 31, 2007. But the company filed objections with the board claiming expressions of support by federal, state and local elected officials during the organizing drive had tainted the representation vote. The boards May 30 ruling upheld an earlier decision by Administrative Law Judge Robert Giannasi, who dismissed all of Trump Plaza’s objections to the election and found the vote to be valid and binding.

Joe Ashton, director of UAW Region 9, which includes New Jersey, said the board’s decision has further motivated Atlantic City dealers and other casino workers. “The dealers at Trump Plaza and throughout Atlantic City are geared up and moving ahead, and we’re looking forward to a terrific event on June 21.
“We’ve won six representation votes over the last year, every major board decision, and a first-ever smoking ban to protect the health of casino workers,” said Ashton. “Casino management needs to quit the stalling and give workers and families the respect they deserve.”

Since March 2007, a majority of casino dealers, dual-rate dealers and other workers at Caesars, Trump Plaza, Bally’s and Tropicana in Atlantic City have voted in favor of UAW representation. Bargaining is under way at Caesars and Tropicana; the union at Bally’s has just been certified by the NLRB.

The UAW, one of the nation’s largest and most diverse labor unions, represents more than 8,500 gaming employees in Detroit, Atlantic City, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Indiana.

http://www.uaw.org/news/newsarticle.cfm?ArtId=487

AFL-CIO Votes to Endorse Senator Barack Obama for President

06.27.08

EDITOR’S NOTE: I was visiting the Steelworkers Local 2599 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania yesterday. As I was leaving their office, the President Jerry Green caught me in the parking lot to give me the news. I was so interested and pleased that I drove off with my cell phone on the roof. The phone is totally lost. In November, McCain will be a total loss for the Republicans. I will miss the phone.
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AFL-CIO NEWS

For Immediate Release Contact: Steve Smith: 202-637-5018

AFL-CIO Votes to Endorse Senator Barack Obama for President

Endorsement Triggers Largest Ever Mobilization of Working Families

AFL-CIO Program to Reach Union Voters Nationwide, 13 Million in 24 Priority States

http://www.MeetObama08.org

(Washington, June 26) – Calling Sen. Barack Obama a champion for working families, the top leaders of AFL-CIO unions today voted without opposition to endorse him for president of the United States, thrusting the labor federation’s largest ever grassroots mobilization effort into high gear.

“In so many ways¯on jobs, health care, gas prices and the war in Iraq¯our country is headed in the wrong direction,” AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said. “Barack Obama has proven from his days as an organizer, to his time in the Senate and his historic run for the presidency, that he’s leading the fight to turn around America. He’s a champion for working families who knows what it’s going to take to create an economy that works for everyone, not just Big Oil, Big Pharma, the insurance companies, the giant mortgage lenders, speculators and the very wealthy. We’re proud to stand with Sen. Obama to help our nation chart a course that will improve life for generations of working people and our children.”

In its endorsement statement, the AFL-CIO General Board cited Obama’s strong support of working families on issues such as health care reform, fair trade that will lift up workers here and around the world, retirement security and the freedom to form unions and bargain for middle-class living standards. Obama has a 98 percent voting record on working families’ issues, compared to just 16 percent for Sen. John McCain.

“Senator Barack Obama has secured the nomination of his party in a campaign that has energized millions of Americans and spoken to the hopes and dreams of people from every corner of our nation,” read the AFL-CIO General Board’s statement to endorse Obama. “His leadership can re-engage disenfranchised Americans and bring our country together.” The General Board, which includes presidents of all 56 unions in the federation as well as Executive Council members and representatives of state and local federations, trade departments and constituency groups, votes by per capita membership.

“Senator Obama has advocated a change of direction for our nation that mirrors the priorities of the labor movement,” the statement continued.

The endorsement is not only a stamp of approval; it marks the beginning of a huge, united political mobilization among working class voters. The AFL-CIO will focus on mobilizing more than 13 million union voters¯including union members, families of members, retirees and members of the AFL-CIO community affiliate Working America¯in 24 priority states, working to elect U.S. senators and representatives, as well as state and local candidates.

“We’ll work our hearts out for Barack Obama,” said AFSCME President and AFL-CIO Political Committee Chair Gerald McEntee. “Our program is going to be worker to worker and neighbor to neighbor. We’re ready to mobilize. We’re ready to rock and roll. This country and our people are ready for change.”

Today, the AFL-CIO also launched a new website that provides extensive information on Obama’s background, record and positions (www.MeetObama08.com).

The endorsement is the latest phase in a massive grassroots program to mobilize union voters. In early March, the AFL-CIO launched its national “McCain Revealed” campaign, which focuses on educating union voters about John McCain’s anti-worker record and plans. Since the campaign began, AFL-CIO volunteers have knocked on more than 60,000 doors and delivered 1.5 million worksite flyers on McCain’s economic record. Nearly a half-million mailers on McCain’s economic positions have been sent to union swing voters in key battlegrounds.

“We want to engage our members and all working people on the need for action on the issues that make a difference in our daily lives,” said International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) President Ed Hill. “It is time to move beyond name calling and division so that our country can take positive action on the challenges we face.”

United Steelworkers President Leo W. Gerard said, “Senator Obama’s plan to revitalize American manufacturing and his commitment to make workers the top priority in any trade agreement give our members hope that his election will lead the country in a new direction that’s long overdue, and inspire us to work as never before to secure his victory.”

Elements of the AFL-CIO grassroots mobilization:

· The AFL-CIO top-tier states in 2008 are Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

· More than 250,000 volunteers will be activated and deployed.

· Through Labor Day, volunteers will go to 300,000 union voters’ homes, make more than 300,000 phone calls and distribute over 2 million fliers.

· In addition to the presidential election, the AFL-CIO is engaged in every viable Senate race and more than 60 House races. All told, the AFL-CIO will be engaged in more than 510 races nationwide, including state legislative elections.

· The unions of the AFL-CIO will collectively devote more than $200 million to the 2008 election.

· The 2008 grassroots mobilization is the most sophisticated program the AFL-CIO has ever run, employing cutting-edge voter communication techniques, including micro-targeting to ensure our members are receiving the information they want on the candidates and issues.

Working families are poised to play a pivotal role in this year’s elections. On Election Day, union household members will account for nearly one in four voters nationwide. The campaign in support of Sen. Obama will prove especially helpful among working class voters, which many have identified as the swing group in this election.

· In key battleground states such as Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, union household voters made up between 25 and 35 percent of the total vote in 2006.

· In 2004, turnout among registered AFL-CIO union voters was as much as 19 percentage points higher than turnout among nonunion voters in key battleground states.

· Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO, has expanded to 11 states and will have more than 2.5 million members nationwide by Labor Day. In Ohio alone, Working America has nearly 800,000 members.

· Union household voters across all demographics consistently cast votes for pro-working family candidates. For example, in the last presidential election among AFL-CIO members, 61 percent of white voters voted for John Kerry, while 37 percent voted for George Bush. By contrast, among nonunion voters, 41 percent of white voters cast ballots for Kerry while 58 percent voted for Bush

For interviews with AFL-CIO leaders and affiliated union presidents, please contact the AFL-CIO Media Outreach department at 202-637-5018.

Teamsters circulating petitions against Pennsylvania Turnpike proposal

06.27.08

July 2008, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Teamsters circulating petitions against Turnpike proposal

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

REGION, June 11th- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union wants union members to sign a petition requesting the Pennsylvania Legislature not support Governor Ed Rendell’s plan to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The IBT represent employees of the roadway and fears to sell or lease the turnpike would put their members jobs in peril.

The Teamsters represent around 2,500 maintenance, supervisory and professional workers and toll takers of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. There are three local unions around the state that represent those workers. The union has represented the workers since 1971.

IBT Local 77 is headquartered in Fort Washington and represents turnpike workers throughout southeastern and northeastern Pennsylvania. Local 250 represents workers in the western part of the state including the Pittsburgh area. IBT Local 30 represents around 100 assistant foremen, accountants, engineering technicians, surveying technicians and some supervisors. Local 77 represents more than half of the workers represented by the Teamsters.

Under the plan, the state will give control of the publicly owned highway to a company formed by the partnership of Citi Infrastructure Inverstors of New York and the Spanish company Albertis. The company will receive a 75-year lease for $12.8 billion, or $200 million per year.

The Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters is asking union members and their families to support the workers and sign a petition that will be presented to the leaders of the legislature to demonstate their opposition to the lease proposal.

The union is worried when costs start to rise and profits get squeezed, the companies could readily break existing labor contracts and pension agreements by firing older workers and replacing them with younger workers with cheaper wages and smaller benefit packages. Under Mr. Rendell’s proposal, the IBT contract would only be honored for four years.

“Lame-duck Governor Ed Rendell is attempting to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike for 75 years to a private foreign firm that will control the amounts charged for tolls and for food and fuel on the Turnpike,” states the petition.

USW/PACE Union files ULP charge against Hygrade Metal Moulding alleging company violated NLRAct

06.27.08

July 2008, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

USW/PACE Union files ULP charge against Hygrade Metal Moulding alleging company violated NLRAct

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

BETHLEHEM, June 4th- The United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, filed a Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia against Hygrade Metal Moulding Manufacturing Corporation.

Hydrade Metal Moulding Manufacturing operates a factory on Highland Avenue in Bethlehem. The Bethlehem facility manufactures window components.

According to the ULP, obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, the union alleges section 8 (a), subsection (1),(3) and (5) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct), was violated by the company. The complaint was filed by Donald Harper, USW/PACE SubDistrict Director in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

The union alleges “the employer has failed to reduce to writing the terms and conditions of the negotiated three year Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was effective January 1st, 2006. In addition, they have failed to sign the agreement which was negotiated,” states the Unfair Labor Practice charge.

Under NLRB rules, after receiving a charge the agency will conduct a investigation into whether there is merit in the complaint. Should, the NLRB find there is merit in a charge, the agency will scheduled a hearing on the matter.

According to the complaint, Attorney Craig Benson is the employer representative. Mr. Benson’s office is located on Third Avenue in New York.

The union charged the company with interfering, restraining and coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the NLRAct.

The union was successful in organizing around 30 employees of Hygrade Metal and negotiating a first-time labor agreement in 2007, however the company has failed to sign the contract but the employees are working under the terms and conditions of the negotiated pact.

Krysta Hankee scholarship recipient named by Teen Works

06.26.08

July 2008, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Krysta Hankee scholarship recipient named by Teen Works

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

REGION, June 11th- The first scholarship named after the daughter of union member and Board of Director of the labor supported Teen Works Program Christine Hankee, was awarded to Ashley Dymond of Germansville.

The $2,500 scholarship was created in November 2007 in memory of Krysta Hankee, who passed away suddenly last fall. Krysta Hankee was a Teen Works Youth Board of Director for several years while she was attending high school.

Teen Works is sponsored by approximately 35 local unions and labor federations from the Lehigh Valley.
Unions from throughout the Lehigh Valley contribute funds that is donated to area teens that are involved with a project to help the region. The program is a agency of the Greater Lehigh Valley United Way. All funds donated by the labor community is used to provide grants to the teens under the program.

According to Ron Achey, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Greater Lehigh Valley United Way labor liaison, the go-between the labor community and the agency and co-ordinator for the program, Krysta Hankee enjoyed serving as a Teen Works Board of Director and brought her enthusiasm to the organization.

Christine Hankee is a union member of the Pennsylvania State Educational Association (PSEA).
Ms. Dymond told the newspaper she will be attending Cedar Crest College in the fall, majoring in nursing. She recently graduated from Northwestern Lehigh High School.

Ms. Dymond attended the June 10th Teen Works Board of Directors meeting with her father Steve Dymond which was held in Allentown where the announcement was made she received the scholarship award.

While attending highschool she was involved with SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), the Science Club, the National Honor Society, President of the Senior High Youth Group, Friend 4 Life and was a EMT volunteer for the Northwestern Ambulance Corportation.

Iron Workers Endorse Obama

06.26.08

Iron Workers Endorse Obama

by Seth Michaels, Jun 25, 2008

http://blog.aflcio.org/2008/06/25/iron-workers-endorse-obama

The Iron Workers union has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.

Iron Workers President Joe Hunt said Obama would be a leader who pays attention to working families and would fight for job creation, health care and the freedom to form unions.

Barack Obama is a strong friend of labor. He can unite the country. With his extraordinary vision of how great this country can be, he has created a firestorm of excitement that has been embraced by all segments of our society. He will make a great Commander in Chief.

Obama also has been endorsed by AFGE, the Boilermakers (IBB), the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), The Communications Workers of America (CWA), the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA), the Postal Workers (APWU), the UAN, the UAW and the Utility Workers (UWUA).

Three unions that initially endorsed former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)—the Mine Workers (UMWA), Transport Workers (TWU) and United Steelworkers (USW)—also have given their endorsements to Obama.

Two unions that initially supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) have endorsed Obama as well: AFSCME and the Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT).

Eleven other AFL-CIO affiliate unions endorsed Clinton: AFT, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Bricklayers (BAC), Letter Carriers (NALC), Machinists (IAM), Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU), Plasterers and Cement Masons (OP&CMIA), Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA), TCU/IAM, Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the United Transportation Union (UTU). The IAM and IUPAT endorsements of Clinton in the Democratic primaries were accompanied by endorsements of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Republican primaries.

The Fire Fighters (IAFF) union, which endorsed Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), has not announced a new endorsement.

In August 2007, the AFL-CIO Executive Council said it would not make an endorsement at that time for a 2008 presidential candidate, freeing AFL-CIO unions to endorse candidates for the caucuses and primaries. The AFL-CIO will continue the Working Families Vote 2008 campaign to help elect a worker-friendly Congress and president.

The Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) union has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.

06.24.08

http://blog.aflcio.org/2008/06/20/iupat-endorses-obama /

The Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) union has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.

by Seth Michaels, June 20, 2008

The 140,000-member union announced its endorsement yesterday.

IUPAT President James Williams says Obama would protect workers’ rights and fight for an economy that works for everyone:

Barack Obama is a champion for working Americans, and his economic plan has the vision and strength to secure American prosperity for the future. The IUPAT and our members are proud to stand with Sen. Obama for real change.

IUPAT endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) during the primaries. Clinton suspended her campaign and offered her support to Obama earlier this month. AFSCME, which initially endorsed Clinton, also offered Obama its support yesterday.

Obama also has been endorsed by AFGE, the Boilermakers (IBB), the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA), the Postal Workers (APWU), the UAN, the UAW and the Utility Workers (UWUA).

Three unions that initially endorsed former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)—the Mine Workers (UMWA), Transport Workers (TWU) and United Steelworkers (USW)—also have given their endorsements to Obama.

Eleven other AFL-CIO affiliate unions endorsed Clinton: AFT, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Bricklayers (BAC), Letter Carriers (NALC), Machinists (IAM), Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU), Plasterers and Cement Masons (OP&CMIA), Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA), TCU/IAM, Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the United Transportation Union (UTU). The IAM and IUPAT endorsements of Clinton in the Democratic primaries were accompanied by endorsements of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Republican primaries.

The Fire Fighters (IAFF) union, which endorsed Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), has not announced a new endorsement.

In August 2007, the AFL-CIO Executive Council said it would not make an endorsement at that time for a 2008 presidential candidate, freeing AFL-CIO unions to endorse candidates for the caucuses and primaries. The AFL-CIO will continue the Working Families Vote 2008 campaign to help elect a worker-friendly Congress and president.

UAW organizes workers in Cherryville and Northampton

06.24.08

July 2008, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

UAW organizes workers in Cherryville and Northampton
By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

REGION, June 4th- The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Amalgamated Union Local 677 in Allentown won the right to bargain for 111 employees of First Student Inc. after winning a representation election conducted by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) in Harrisburg. Employees at First Student Inc. facilities in Cherryville and Northampton voted 76 for to 27 against to join Local 677 for the purpose of collective bargaining. The company provides bus services to the Northampton Area School District.

According to Edward Balukus, President of Local 677, the union will soon begin bargaining for mechanics and drivers of the company. Local 677 has 1,680 active members which includes representing four units of workers employed at Mack Trucks Inc. and employees of AmeriCold Logistics and workers of Lower Saucon Township. There are 235 Local 677 members employed at those two units.

The First Student Inc. unit members must first hold elections for their bargaining committee before contract negotiations can begin. “We will see who wants to serve on the committee, and then we will go from there,” added Mr. Balukas.

Mr. Balukas has been President of Local 677 since July, 2007, replacing long-time serving president Carl Breininger who retired.

“The workers reached-out to us. The company ran a fair campaign, nothing anti-union,” said Mr. Balukus. He told the newspaper other workers have shown an interest in wanting to be organized by the union.

There are currently 377 UAW members laid-off at Mack Trucks because of the economic slowdown. “We have really been hit hard because of the high fuel prices. It has hurt the industry, big-time.”

The United Auto Workers contract with Mack Trucks Inc., which is owned by Volvo of Sweden, expired on October 1st, 2007. Volvo purchased Mack in 2000. The two sides mutually agreed to several extensions of the pact, meaning they are working under the terms and conditions of the previous agreement, while they continue to negotiate for a new contract.

The union represents production workers at the truck manufacturing plant in Macungie Township, workers at the company headquarters office in Allentown and the employees of Mack Trucks engineering department.

Mr. Balukas told the newspaper although the contract expired in October 2007 his members are receiving a cost-of-living wage increase every three months under the terms and conditions of the previous contract. “The language provides a COLA increase every quarter,” said Mr. Balukas.

There are 377 Local 677 members currently laid-off which includes voluntary separation workers.
Mr. Balukas also stated four buses of Local 677 members participated in a labor rally on June 21st in Atlantic City, New Jersey to support workers that voted to be represented by the United Auto Workers but have not yet been able to gain a contract.

Around 850 casino dealers in Atlantic City voted to be unionized on March 2007. However, the union has been unsuccessful to reaching a agreement with the casino.

Labor supported Teen Works conducts meeting and votes to provide funds for projects

06.24.08

July 2008, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Labor supported Teen Works conducts meeting and votes to provide funds for projects

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

REGION, June 10th- The Teen Works Board of Directors held a meeting at the United Auto Workers of America (UAW) Union Local 677 building on Mack Boulevard in Allentown. At the meeting, the organization voted to help fund four community projects being conducted by area teens or school groups from throughout the Lehigh Valley.

Unions and labor organizations in the Lehigh Valley contribute funds that is donated to area teens through grants that are involved with a project to help the region. The program is a agency of the Greater Lehigh Valley United Way. All funds donated by the labor organizations are used to support the Teen Works program.

School students ask the Teen Works Board of Directors for financial help to conduct a community project in the Lehigh Valley. Under the program teen(s) must first complete an application for the financial help. The maximum grant the teens can receive from the organization is $1,000.

Boy Scout Troop 362 member David Harrington of Bethlehem received $1,000.00 from the organization to repair the playground at Wesley United Methodist Church in Bethlehem. The youth will repair and paint a fence at the playground and place mulch around the area.

Boy Scout Troop 431 member Patrick McTish of Macungie received a grant of $400.00 from the organization for his project at the Poole Wildlife Sanctuary in Emmaus.

His project is to renovate and restore a garden that has deteriorated at the wildlife sanctuary. The goal is to improve the garden by performing general cleanup of weeds and invasive plants, hanging up birdhouses and creating more seating space at the garden.

Boy Scout Troop 29 member Levi Matyus of Easton received a grant of $1,000 for his community project.

The project is to clean-up and improve the parking area at the Lions Park on Bushkill Drive in Forks Township. The youth also will add guard-rails to define the parking lot and have new gravel added in the area.

The final community project to receive funding was to help the Visual Impairment and Blindness Services (VIABL) of Bethlehem to help pay for the printing of holiday cards that will be sold to the public to raise funds to help the visual impaired.

VIABL received $1,000 from Teen Works.

Social workers and human resource manager jobs in demand

06.24.08

July 2008, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Social workers and human resource manager jobs in demand

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

REGION, June 11th- According to a study released by Jobfox (www.jobfox.com), a free online job opportunity service headquartered in McLean, Virginia, social workers and counselors are now among some of the nation’s most in-demand jobs. Jobfox released their top 25 most wanted job rankings on June 11th and suggested the reason for the demand for social workers and counselors was because of the economic problems for many Americans.

“For about a year now, there’s been a steady increase in the demand for social workers and counselors. With increases in gas and food prices, we are seeing more stress and more demand for outreach services, especially among low-income families. Money and job pressures are often the triggers to higher levels of anxiety and emotional problems,” stated Debbie Sikes, the clinical director for the National Counseling Group Inc., a private group of therapists and counselors in Virginia.

“We’re certainly seeing more demand for metal health services. Agencies like ours that primarily serve the indigent and disadvantaged find that our clients having a tougher time than ever coping with rising costs for essentials such as food and shelter,” said Richard Jennings, the director of human resources for Momentum for Metal Health.

Social workers and their services are needed now more than ever. The acuity of patients, coupled with demands of society, contribute to a very compressed time frame to assess and meet patients’ needs. Medical social workers have the skills and capabilities to alleviate the stress that patients and their families often,” added Deborah Brackens, director of case management at Inova Alexandria Hospital in Virginia.

The Jobfox “Top 25 Most Wanted United States Jobs” were derived from a stratified random sample of more than 4,000 job openings from the Jobfox database during a 120-day period ending on March 24th, 2008.

In total, the organization identified more than 150 distinct professions for which employers were seeking candidates during the period. Also, captured in the rankings are the professions most desired by candidates, based on a stratified random of more than 100,000 Jobfox candidate profiles.

The other top most wanted professions in the rankings include Software Design/Development, Sales Representative/Business Development, Accounting/Finance Executive, Accounting and Nursing.

The Jobfox rankings also indicate increased hiring for human resource executives. The organization believes the increase demand for human resource executives perhaps show more signs of what’s well, what’s not so well and what remains a challenge for United States businesses in the current economic climate.

“There will be layoffs, but most companies are depending on human resource managers to keep talent losses to a minimum. And many companies continue to aggressively seek new sources of talent from their recruiters,” stated Rob McGovern, CEO of Jobfox.

NLRB receives petition requesting election at RR Donnelley

06.24.08

July 2008, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

NLRB receives petition requesting election at RR Donnelley

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

REGION, June 19th- The International Chemical Workers Council of the United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Union, petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four, to conduct a election to determine if workers employed by RR Donnelley Corporation want to be represented by the union for the purpose of collective bargaining.

According to the petition, obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, the union filed with the National Labor Relations Board office in Philadelphia on May 20th, 2008 requesting the agency conduct an Representation Election at the company’s Nestle Way in Breiningsville facility.

The petition states there are 31 employees presently employed by RR Donnelley in the unit that will participate in the election.

The union wants all full time and regular part time employees of RR Donnelly in the print center (printing, binding) to participate in the election at their Breiningsville facility. The union request all warehouse workers, clerical and supervisory employees be excluded from participating in the union election.

The newspaper made several attempts to contact Gerald Setley, who is idenified on the petition as the unions’ Vice-President/Regional Director, but he did not return phone messages left on his cell phone. The International Chemical Workers Union address given on the petition is 1799 Akron Peninsula Road, Akron Ohio 44313.

Under National Labor Relations Board rules, a labor organization needs at least 30 percent of the employees to support the union filing the petition.

In a NLRB election a labor organization must receive fifty percent plus one of the eligible voting employees to become the bargaining representative of the workers.

RR Donnelley operates a printing plant at the Breiningsville facility. The company’s principal product or service is identified as printing materials which includes the printing of phone books.

According to the Lehigh Valley phone directory RR Donnelley business office is located on 12th Street in Allentown

The NLRB ask on the petition if the union requested recognition as the employees bargaining representative and the union stated the request was made to company officials on May 16th, 2008, but there was no reply.

According to the NLRB, a hearing was held between the agency, the union and company representatives, to determine which employees will be eligible to vote in the election. They are awaiting the NLRB’s decision on the issue. The agency will then schedule an election.

CWA Endorses Obama for President

06.24.08

CWA Endorses Obama for President

http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/Tda31_F1JuRX/

by Seth Michaels, Jun 23, 2008

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.

More than 2,000 delegates to the national CWA convention voted this morning by acclamation to give the endorsement to Obama.

CWA President Larry Cohen says the union will mobilize its members across the country, especially those in key battleground states, by educating them about Obama’s stances on issues that matter to working families:

In these states, we will unite working families and take our message to members in the workplace like never before. With President Obama, we can reform health care, we can win the Employee Free Choice Act and bring about real, positive change for working families in our country.

Obama also has been endorsed by AFGE, the Boilermakers (IBB), the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA), the Postal Workers (APWU), the UAN, the UAW and the Utility Workers (UWUA

Three unions that initially endorsed former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)—the Mine Workers (UMWA), Transport Workers (TWU) and United Steelworkers (USW)—also have given their endorsements to Obama.

Two unions that initially supported Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) have also given their endorsement to Obama: AFSCME and the Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT).

Eleven other AFL-CIO affiliate unions endorsed Clinton: AFT, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Bricklayers (BAC), Letter Carriers (NALC), Machinists (IAM), Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU), Plasterers and Cement Masons (OP&CMIA), Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA), TCU/IAM, Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the United Transportation Union (UTU). The IAM and IUPAT endorsements of Clinton in the Democratic primaries were accompanied by endorsements of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Republican primaries.

The Fire Fighters (IAFF) union, which endorsed Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), has not announced a new endorsement.

In August 2007, the AFL-CIO Executive Council said it would not make an endorsement at that time for a 2008 presidential candidate, freeing AFL-CIO unions to endorse candidates for the caucuses and primaries. The AFL-CIO will continue the Working Families Vote 2008 campaign to help elect a worker-friendly Congress and president.

Building and Construction Trades Department Endorses Obama

06.20.08

Building and Construction Trades Department Endorses Obama

http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/7pa31_F1-qQA/

by Seth Michaels, Jun 19, 2008

The Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), a coalition of 13 unions, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.

The BCTD’s Governing Board voted unanimously to endorse Obama yesterday, pledging to mobilize the unions’ 2.5 million members to elect Obama as the next president.

BCTD President Mark Ayres says the unions would educate their members about Obama’s pro-working family agenda and the need for change.

Our endorsement today of Sen. Obama marks the beginning of the fight to return the reins of power to a presidential administration that places high value on the interests of America’s working families. We have pledged to Sen. Obama our determination to engage our members in detailed conversations concerning the stark differences between his view of America and that of Sen. John McCain—whose candidacy, in our minds, is simply a warmed-over version of the anti-worker, anti-union tenure of George W. Bush.

Obama also has been endorsed by AFGE, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the Boilermakers (IBB), International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA), Postal Workers (APWU), the UAN, the UAW and the Utility Workers (UWUA).

Three unions that initially endorsed former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)—the Mine Workers (UMWA), Transport Workers (TWU) and United Steelworkers (USW)—also have given their endorsements to Obama.

Thirteen unions endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who suspended her campaign earlier this month: AFSCME, AFT, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Bricklayers (BAC), Letter Carriers (NALC), Machinists (IAM), Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU), Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), Plasterers and Cement Masons (OP&CMIA), Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA), TCU/IAM, Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the United Transportation Union (UTU). The IAM and IUPAT endorsements of Clinton in the Democratic primaries were accompanied by endorsements of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Republican primaries.

The Fire Fighters (IAFF) union, which endorsed Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), has not announced a new endorsement.

In August 2007, the AFL-CIO Executive Council said it would not make an endorsement at that time for a 2008 presidential candidate, freeing AFL-CIO unions to endorse candidates for the caucuses and primaries. The AFL-CIO will continue the Working Families Vote 2008 campaign to help elect a worker-friendly Congress and president.

AFSCME Endorses Obama

06.20.08

AFSCME Endorses Obama

http://www.unionvoice.org/ct/77a31_F1-qQ_/

by Seth Michaels, Jun 19, 2008

AFSCME has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president, following a unanimous vote today by the union’s International Executive Board in favor of the endorsement.

AFSCME President Gerald McEntee said the 1.4 million-member union would mobilize enthusiastically to elect Obama.

Barack Obama has mobilized a historic movement to reclaim the greatness of America. With his leadership, our nation will rise up to rebuild the middle class at home and restore America’s reputation in the world. AFSCME will mobilize more members and invest more resources than ever before to help Senator Obama win the White House. We will turn out an army of 40,000 AFSCME activists to knock on doors, make phone calls and talk with their co-workers and neighbors to produce an unprecedented turnout in the 2008 election.

Barack Obama is a proven fighter on the issues our members care about most, such as ending privatization, providing state and local fiscal relief, fully funding and supporting public services and the workers who provide them and guaranteeing that everyone in our country has access to quality, affordable health care they can count on.

In October, AFSCME endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) for president. Clinton suspended her campaign earlier this month and endorsed Obama.

Obama also has been endorsed by AFGE, the Boilermakers (IBB), the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA), the Postal Workers (APWU), the UAN, the UAW and the Utility Workers (UWUA).

Three unions that initially endorsed former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)—the Mine Workers (UMWA), Transport Workers (TWU) and United Steelworkers (USW)—also have given their endorsements to Obama.

Twelve other AFL-CIO affiliate unions endorsed Clinton: AFT, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Bricklayers (BAC), Letter Carriers (NALC), Machinists (IAM), Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU), Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), Plasterers and Cement Masons (OP&CMIA), Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA), TCU/IAM, Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the United Transportation Union (UTU). The IAM and IUPAT endorsements of Clinton in the Democratic primaries were accompanied by endorsements of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Republican primaries.

The Fire Fighters (IAFF) union, which endorsed Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), has not announced a new endorsement.

In August 2007, the AFL-CIO Executive Council said it would not make an endorsement at that time for a 2008 presidential candidate, freeing AFL-CIO unions to endorse candidates for the caucuses and primaries. The AFL-CIO will continue the Working Families Vote 2008 campaign to help elect a worker-friendly Congress and president.