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August Guests Line-up for Democratic Talk Radio’s Thursday morning Lehigh Valley (PA) show


Here are the upcoming guests for August on our Lehigh Valley area, Pennsylvania show

August 7th- Sam Bennett. Sam is the 15th District Democratic Congressional candidate, Vice Chair of the Lehigh County Democratic Party and Chair of the Allentown City Democratic Party.

Joe Long- Chair of the Northampton County Democratic Party, Chair of the Northeast Pennsylvania Democratic Caucus and retired UAW organizer.

August 14th- Harry Gravell, President of the Delaware Building Trades Council and Executive Board member of the Delaware AFL-CIO.

Kim Green, Organizer for the Road Sprinkler Fitters Local 669 in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. Kim will probably have other leaders from the local joining him.

August 21st- Jim Dean, National Chair of Democracy For America (DFA) for the first half hour.

Amos B. McCluney, Jr.- Chair of the UAW Local 1183 Retiree Chapter and former Delaware State Representative will be discussing healthcare for the second half hour. He may have other healthcare advocates joining him.

August 28th- Jim Schlener, Chair of the Bethlehem City Democratic Party, UFCW Local 1776 and IAFF member, Vice Chair of the Lehigh Valley Central Labor Council will be in studio along with the previous Bethlehem City Democratic Chair Jack Burks.

All shows air and stream live on WGPA SUNNY 1100AM Thursday mornings from 8:05am until 9am Eastern. They are hosted by Stephen Crockett (Editor of Mid-Atlantic, NWU-UAW 1981 member, USW associate member, OPEIU 277 member and soon to be CWA member) and co-hosted by Dana Garrett (Delaware Watch blogger, labor activist and Progressive Voices talk show host).

Mailhandlers Union files charge against Postal Service


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

Mailhandlers Union files charge against Postal Service


LEHIGH VALLEY, July 11th- The National Postal Mailhandlers Union (NPMU) Lehigh Valley Branch in Bethlehem, filed a Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia against the United States Postal Service (USPS) Lehigh Valley facility, alleging the postal service violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

According to the charge, obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, the union on July 1st, 2008 filed with the NLRB alleging the NLRAct was violated at the employers mail processing plant located on Commerce Way in Bethlehem.

According to the complaint, between March 8th, 2008 through June 6th, 2008 and many dates in between, management attempted to direct the Union in its choice of Shop Stewards. The union alleges the USPS violated Section 8(a), subsections (1) and subsections 8(a)2, and 8(a)3 of the NLRAct.

The NPMHU alleges in the complaint management has discriminated against a Shop Steward by issuing excessive discipline and wrongful removel, the same Shop Steward that they had asked the Union not to use, the Unfair Labor Practice states.

“Management has refused to bargain in good faith. They have refused to allow interviews necessary to the investigation of this discipline. They have refused and/or delayed information needed for grievances. Management at several levels have met and conferred over discipline for this Shop Steward while maintaining that each was making their own independent evaluation of discipline,” states the 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 the charge, the agency will scheduled a hearing on the matter.

The employer representative named on the complaint is Neil Heller, identified as the Plant Manager of the United States Postal Service, Lehigh Valley facility. The union representative that filed the complaint is Pamela Baum, identified as the NPMU Contract Administrator Manager, Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

The complaint adds management has threatened discipline for another Mailhandler that wrote a witness statement regarding the Shop Steward.

The NPMHU represents approximately 450 workers employed at the USPS Lehigh Valley mail processing facility in Bethlehem.

The newspaper each month request under the Freedom of Information Act all Representation Elections petitions and Unfair Labor Practice charges filed by labor organizations or individuals at the NLRB Region Four office in Philadelphia which covers the Lehigh Valley.

IBEW Local 375 pursuing new members through organizing


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

IBEW Local 375 pursuing new members through organizing


REGION, July 15th- According to the President of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 375 in Allentown, the union is aggressively pursuing the expansion of their membership through union organizing.

David Reichard, President and Union Organizer of Local 375, told the newspaper his union was successful during 2007 is winning several Representation Elections in the Lehigh Valley.

Currently, the union is awaiting a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia Director on which employees of Bollinger Electric Inc. will be eligible to vote on whether they want to be union represented.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 375 filed on May 5th a petition with the NLRB requesting the agency conduct a election to determine if around 19 Bollinger Electric Inc. employees want to be represented by the union for the purpose of collective bargaining.

Local 375 represents workers employed within the electrical construction industry and employees of Service Electic Cable TV Company.

However, according to Mr. Reichard the union gained members employed by Upper Macungie Township and North Whitehall Township after the union won representation elections conducted by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) in Harrisburg in 2007.

On November, 2007 the PLRB certified the results of the tabulation of ballots of eleven eligible to vote workers employed by North Whitehall Township. Local 375 received 8 votes with 2 voting against being represented by the union for the purpose of collective bargaining.

On July 12th, 2007, the PLBR certified the results of the tabulation of ballots of sixteen eligible workers of Upper Macungie Township. The union received 10 votes while 6 workers voted against being represented by Local 375 in the secret ballot election.

On November 16th, 2007, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued the results of ballots cast by employees of PHI Operating Services Company. The union received 16 votes while 8 workers voted against being members of Local 375.

Union wanting to represent RR Donnelley employees withdraws petition


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

Union wanting to represent RR Donnelley employees withdraws petition


REGION, July 15th- The newspaper has learned the International Chemical Workers Council of the United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Union have withdrawn their petition filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

In the previous edition of the newspaper it was exclusively reported the union requested the agency conduct a Representation Election to determine if workers employed by RR Donnelley Corporation wanted to be represented by the union.

According to the petition, obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, the union filed on May 20th, 2008 requesting the agency conduct an election at the company’s Nestle Way in Breiningsville facility.

The petition stated the union wanted 31 employees of RR Donnelley to participate in the election.
The union wanted all full time and regular part time employees of RR Donnelly in the print center (printing, binding) to participate in the election. The union requested all warehouse workers, clerical and supervisory employees be excluded from participating in the union election.

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.

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 secret ballot election. The agency ruled on July 11th there was 120 employees eligible to vote in the election.

The NLRB ruled workers employed in the warehouse must be included in any union election. However, the union was not attempting to organize those workers and withdrew their petition.

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.

Pennsylvania’s Labor 2008 Program in Full Swing


Pennsylvania’s Labor 2008 Program in Full Swing

by Seth Michaels, Jul 29, 2008

U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO has kicked its political program into high gear. Last week, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO General Board affirmed its commitment to get out the union vote to elect Sen. Barack Obama and a working family-friendly Congress.

The presidential contest in Pennsylvania was decided by a few percentage points in 2000 and 2004, and it’s a crucial state this year as well. Every vote will count, and a strong, energized union movement will make the difference.

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO’s Labor 2008 political program already is mobilizing union members across the state through worksite leafleting, door-to-door walks and more. Volunteers around the state are educating union members about Obama’s record and his vision for the country.

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President William George says Obama is a candidate who’s on the side of working families, not corporate special interests.

Barack Obama comes from a working-class family, with working-class values. He fought for equal pay, minimum wage, prevailing wage improvements, card check, responsible bidder and unemployment for locked-out workers. He stands up for working people and he will turn our economy around so that all Americans will benefit from fair trade, affordable health care, pension protections and the right to form a union.

George also announced the state federation’s endorsements in all 19 of the state’s U.S. House districts, as well as for the state House, Senate, auditor and treasurer.

These candidates have proven themselves to be the friends and supporters of working families. They understand that workers are struggling in this economy with stagnant wages, soaring prices for health care, gas and food. They advocate and support an agenda that mirrors the priorities of the labor movement. We are confident that they will put this country back on track toward prosperity and opportunity for all, not the few.

U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire, from western Pennsylvania’s 4th District, is one of the four new members of Congress elected in 2006, and he understands the union vote was crucial in sending him and other pro-worker candidates to Congress from Pennsylvania that year.

The reason we had the change that we saw in November of 2006 was because of the work of organized labor and of working families getting involved in the political process, talking about health care, talking about education costs and fuel costs, Social Security and pensions. We need to continue moving forward, talking about those issues, and we’re going to continue this fight through November.

Altmire is a supporter of the Employee Free Choice Act, which he calls “very necessary” to ensure workers’ freedom to form unions and fight for their rights in the workplace.

In addition to Altmire, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO has endorsed three other new members running for their critical first re-election: Reps. Joe Sestak (7th District), Patrick Murphy (8th District) and Chris Carney (10th District).

For a full list of federal endorsements, check out the Pennsylvania page at Working Families Vote 2008 .


9,400 Philadelphia Workers Settle New Contract and More Bargaining News


9,400 Philadelphia Workers Settle New Contract and More Bargaining News

by May Silverstein, Jul 28, 2008

Thousands of Philadelphia workers and Southwest Airlines attendants settle contracts, and more news from the “Bargaining Digest Weekly.” The AFL-CIO Collective Bargaining Department delivers daily, bargaining-related news and research resources to more than 900 subscribers. Union leaders can register for this service through our website, Bargaining@Work.

AFSCME, Philadelphia: Some 9,400 blue-collar workers and members of Philadelphia’s largest union, AFSCME District Council 33, agreed to a one-year contract that includes no raises but holds the line on health care costs.

AFA-CWA, Atlantic Southeast Airlines: More than 1,000 flight attendants at Atlantic Southeast Airlines, a wholly owned subsidiary of SkyWest, represented by the Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), reached a new three-year contract with the carrier. Details have not been released.

USW, Latrobe Specialty Steel: In Pennsylvania, steelworkers at Latrobe Specialty Steel, represented by the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1537, voted to end their 81-day work stoppage by approving a five-year labor agreement. The contract gives each steelworker a $6,000 lump sum payment this year and a $5,000 lump sum payment in 2009, plus a 50-cent-an-hour raise in the third year.

USW, MeadWestvaco: Members of USW Local 8-490 at MeadWestvaco in Low Moor, Va., ratified a four-year agreement that includes a $2,000 lump sum payment, a 2 percent immediate wage increase and additional 2.25 percent wage increases effective Aug. 31, 2009, and Aug. 30, 2010.

CWA, Kaleida Health: In Buffalo, N.Y., about 3,900 workers and members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at Kaleida’s Flint Road Labs and Kaleida Health facilities, including Buffalo General, DeGraff Memorial, Millard Fillmore Gates Circle and Millard Fillmore Suburban hospitals, ratified a three-year deal containing a 12.5 percent wage increase.

AFM, Shreveport Symphony Orchestra: In Louisiana, Shreveport Symphony Orchestra musicians, represented by American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM) Local 116, are working under the terms of an imposed contract. The new contract switches full-time musicians to a per-service pay structure, resulting in a 75 percent salary cut and the elimination of 24 full-time core positions as of Sept. 1.


USW, Calgon Carbon: A four-month lockout that began March 1 could end after members of USW Local 5032 at Calgon Carbon, outside of Pittsburgh, accepted a tentative three-year agreement. Health care benefits and pensions were two of the sticking points in the new contract, whose details have not been released.

IAM, Moncure Plywood: In North Carolina, some 200 workers at Moncure Plywood plant in Chatham County, represented by the Machinists (IAM), went on strike, after rejecting the company’s contract offer. The contract expired April 30, and parties have previously negotiated with the assistance of a federal mediator. According to union officials, key issues concern seniority rights, the company’s right to hire temporary workers, overtime, worker drug testing, health insurance premiums and the creation of a joint committee comprised of management and union workers to improve safety at the plant.


UAW, Foxwoods: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a complaint against the Mashantucket Pequot tribe for refusing to bargain with the UAW, which represents nearly 3,000 dealers at the Foxwoods Resort Casino. The UAW won a representation election last November.


ILWU, Pacific Maritime Association: Some 10,000 port workers across California, Oregon and Washington State, represented by 30 locals of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), are continuing to push hard for a new contract, after the previous one expired on July 1. According to ILWU President Robert McEllrath: “We’re making progress and moving in the right direction, but it’s going to take awhile longer.” The Longshoremen (ILA) union, which represents East Coast longshore workers, unanimously passed a resolution to offer full support to members of the ILWU in its negotiations.

ATU, Port Authority: A fact-finder is scheduled to visit Pittsburgh next week to start meetings with Local 85 of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and the Port Authority, as part of ongoing efforts to reach a new contract. Some 2,300 bus-trolley operators, mechanics and other hourly workers remain on the job under terms of their contract that expired June 30.

AFSCME, Philadelphia: AFSCME District Council 47, made up of Philadelphia’s white-collar city workers, publicly stated the district would be amenable to signing a one-year contract, as did the members of the independent Fraternal Order of Police (FOP-Ind.)—if the city agrees to the same raises and other terms the police received. The police officers’ contract awards the officers a 4 percent pay raise that will be instituted in two phases, plus a 1 percent longevity increase.

Disclaimer: This information is being provided for your information only. As it is compiled from published news reports, not from individual unions, we cannot vouch for either its completeness or accuracy; readers who desire further information should directly contact the union involved.