Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

Completely cover my car with union stickers -1st Labor Day Parade in Bethlehem, PA in 50 years

08.26.08

Please help me completely cover my car with union bumper stickers for the 1st Labor Day Parade in Bethlehem, PA in 50 years. I am going to drive my “union-mobile” in the parade.

I am driving up from Maryland to be with my union brothers and sisters in Bethlehem, PA where I also broadcast my pro-labor Democratic Talk Radio show Thursday mornings on WGPA SUNNY 1100AM.

The goal is to completely cover both sides, the hood & the roof of my 1997 Ford Explorer. We are going to turn it into a rolling billboard for the union movement.

If you are close enough to the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, you are invited to personally apply stickers from your union to my vehicle the morning of the parade -and to march in the parade.

If not, you can mail them to me at 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702. My cell phone number is 443-907-2367.

Or drop them off at the USW Local 2599 Hall in Bethlehem, PA (53 East Lehigh Street).

Or at drop them at The Mailroom union print shop in Allentown, PA (1231 Airport Road).

Please get them to me by Saturday if you are not personally bringing them to the event on Labor Day.

I would love to have your local or international represented on my vehicle. All of the stickers will stay on the vehicle as long as it runs!

Thanks,

Stephen Crockett

Editor, Mid-Atlantic Labor.com
Host, Democratic Talk Radio

From the Lehigh Valley edition of The Union News

“Mr. Green also told the newspaper Local 2599 is sponsoring a Labor Day event in Bethlehem which will include a parade and picnic.

On September 1st, Labor Day, the USW will conduct a parade starting at 10:30 am at Main Street and Spring Street in Bethlehem and march up Main Street and back to the unions picnic area on East Lehigh Street in the city. Tickets for the picnic are $10.00 and will include food, beverages, music and games.

Tickets for the picnic must be purchased in advance and can be obtained by calling the United Steelworkers at 610-867-3772 or e-mail at USWGreen@aol.com.”

Biden Hailed as Helpful to House Democrats

08.26.08

Biden Hailed as Helpful to House Democrats

By Jonathan Allen and Edward Epstein, CQ Staff

From the perspective of Siobhan “Sam” Bennett, the party activist who’s the Democratic challenger in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley-based 15th Congressional District, Barack Obama could not have picked a better running mate than Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of neighboring Delaware.

“There’s a reason that he’s called the third senator from Pennsylvania,” she said by telephone after a day of politicking at an annual fundraising event for local charities in Coplay, which is about a five-mile drive north of Allentown. “The folks I was shaking hands with were all talking about Sen. Biden.”

Bennett has more reason than most Democratic candidates to welcome Biden’s selection, as he was born in Scranton to the north and has long bought time on the Philadelphia airwaves, which also carry into the Lehigh Valley, to communicate to Delaware voters.

But she joined Democratic officials Sunday in predicting that Biden would be a help to candidates in competitive House districts across the country, not just to the eight Pennsylvanians — four challengers and four incumbents — who are in competitive races in the state. “I’m confident that he will help every Democrat on the ticket,” she said.

Party leaders clarified early on that they wanted Obama to pick a running mate with a more centrist bent ## a position informed by their desire to help incumbents and challengers in competitive seats.

Biden fits that bill, according to House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, who has leanings similar to Biden’s on a range of foreign and domestic policies. “The president makes change. The president is the leader,’’ he said. “What a six-term senator does is bring experience to make the agent of change effective.’’

He said one reason Biden will help Obama is that voters will trust him. “I think people think he could be president, which is important,’’ Hoyer said.

Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, a leader of the conservative Democrats known as Blue Dogs who often represent very competitive districts, echoed Hoyer’s assessment of Biden. “Joe Biden’s been in the United States Senate since I was in the sixth grade,” Ross noted. “If anyone was criticizing the ticket before for a lack of experience, that should now be put to rest.”

Democrats are excited about an election in which analysts uniformly predict they will pick up seats in both the House and Senate for the second consecutive cycle.

But that excitement is tempered by a sensitivity to the needs of incumbents and challengers who are better off not identifying squarely with the party. They have encouraged candidates such as Bennett to spend this week in their districts rather than in Denver at this week’s national convention.

In Biden, they see a national candidate who can play particularly well in swing districts, reassure voters who are concerned about Obama’s credentials and help deliver a call for change that they are sounding up and down the ticket.

“This guy has served in Washington, but he has never become old Washington,” House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of South Carolina said, noting that Biden commutes home to Wilmington each day the Senate is in session.

Bennett, who faces second-term Republican Rep. Charlie Dent in November, said about half of the people she talked to while campaigning in Pennsylvania on Sunday wanted to talk about Biden. “They were bringing him up,” she said. “He’s got our values.”

http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docID=news-000002940489

Steelworkers hold veterans round table seminar -and announce plans for 1st Labor Day Parade in Bethlehem, PA in 50 years!

08.26.08

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

Steelworkers hold veterans round table seminar

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

BETHLEHEM, August 20th- The United Steelworkers of America (USW) Union Local 2599 sponsored a round table seminar on August 11th in the Lehigh Valley to discuss issues important to military veterans.

The event was held at the United Steelworkers Union Hall on East Lehigh Street in Bethlehem.

According to Local 2599 President Jerry Green, the event was attended by approximately fifty former members of the arm services, union members and their families, and invited quests.

Mr. Green moderated the event with nine veterans from the Lehigh Valley participating on the panel including: John Stoffa, Northampton County Executive; Bob McAuliff, United Steelworkers International Staff and USW District 10 Rapid Response Lead Coordinator; Charlie Kelly, a member of the United Steelworkers Union; Paul Coaches, a United Steelworkers Union retiree; Mike Dzwonczyk, a United Steelworkers Union retiree; Don Trexler, a United Steelworkers Union retiree; Rich Kulick, a United Steelworkers Union retiree; Joe Long, a United Auto Workers Union Local 677 retiree and Chairman of the Northampton County Democratic Party; and Jim Wasser via phone from Chicago, representing the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation and a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union.

The speakers discussed the need for improved spending for the Veterans Hospitals, health care, and prescription drugs.

They agreed the George W. Bush Administration has failed to improve veteran services and cuts have been made to most veteran programs. The feeling of the group was if Republican Senator John McCain is elected in November, the veteran system will be cut further. The group showed their admiration for Mr. McCain’s service to the nation as a Vietnam veteran but suggested his leadership as President of the United States would be a disaster and he would not help the military veterans.

The panel shared some personal stories with the audience involving their experiences dealing with veteran issues. Mr. Green discussed how Steelworkers Union members that were veterans lost their health care coverage when Bethlehem Steel Corporation went bankrupt and the need for the United States Veterans Administration benefits became that much more important.

Mr. Green also told the newspaper Local 2599 is sponsoring a Labor Day event in Bethlehem which will include a parade and picnic.

On September 1st, Labor Day, the USW will conduct a parade starting at 10:30 am at Main Street and Spring Street in Bethlehem and march up Main Street and back to the unions picnic area on East Lehigh Street in the city. Tickets for the picnic are $10.00 and will include food, beverages, music and games.

Tickets for the picnic must be purchased in advance and can be obtained by calling the United Steelworkers at 610.867.3772 or e-mail at USWGreen@aol.com.

Building Trade unions protest hiring of out-of-the-area (non-union) workers

08.26.08

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

Building Trade unions protest hiring of out-of-the-area workers

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

REGION, August 21st- The unions affiliated with the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Lehigh Valley protested the hiring of out-of-the-area nonunion workers at the Lehigh Valley Mall in Bethlehem Township by holding a labor rally on August 15th.

Approximately seventy-five union members and representives attended the protest to bring public attention to the hiring of construction workers, mostly from the southern states, by some retail stores under construction at the Lehigh Valley Mall.

According to William Newhard, President of the twenty local unions member affiliated labor federation, most of the affiliated unions were represented at the event.

Mr. Newhard said the hiring of the out-of-the-area workers was not the doing of the owners of the Lehigh Valley Mall. If fact, the labor federation and the retail center owners for more than a decade have had a “cooperation agreement” for any renovation work inside the mall. However, a retailer can hire an out-of-the-area general contractor and in turn hire out-of-the-area subcontractors for the project.

Mr. Newhard, who is the Business Manager and Principal Officer of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 375 in Allentown, said his members have not been hired for the retail construction project.

Local 375 represents IBEW members employed within the electrical construction industry throughout the Lehigh Valley except in the Easton and Phillipsburg, New Jersey area. IBEW members employed within the electrical construction industry in that area are represented by Local 102 in Parsippany and has a office in Easton.

Mr. Newhard said hiring workers from outside Pennsylvania does nothing for the local economy because the workers will return to their home region and spend the money they earn in the Lehigh Valley there.

500th Union Member Set to Be Elected to Public Office in New Jersey

08.26.08

http://blog.aflcio.org/2008/08/25/500th-union-member-set-to-be-elected-to-public-office-in-new-jersey/

500th Union Member Set to Be Elected to Public Office in New Jersey

This in from the field.

The Eagleton Institute of Politics hosted the 12th Annual Labor Candidates School of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO earlier this month. Twenty-two rank-and-file union members running for local office participated in interactive exercises and heard from leading experts on fundraising, election law, research, message development, public speaking, media relations, voter contact, volunteer recruitment, targeting and get-out-the-vote efforts.

The Labor Candidates School is the cornerstone of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO’s successful COPE program. After the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates program began in 1997, union members won 499 elections to public office. This year’s graduates will include the 500th union member elected to public office through the labor candidates program.

Says New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech:

The 499 rank-and-file union members elected to public office since 1997 through the New Jersey State AFL-CIO Labor Candidates Program make improvements in the lives of working families every day, by ensuring that municipal properties are built and maintained by union labor through Project Labor Agreements and passing into law key legislation like Paid Family Leave and a first-in-the-nation check-check neutrality guarantee for public employees.

Further, says Wowkanech:

Our labor candidates program is the catalyst, which drives our progressive labor agenda here in New Jersey. We look forward to celebrating our 500th labor candidate’s election to office in New Jersey, who will have graduated from our Labor Candidates School.

John Sweeney speaks in Denver

08.26.08

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will speak tonight at the Democratic National Convention. Following is the text of his speech as written;

All over America, children like Marcus Lewis are riding their bikes, starting sixth grade and dreaming of breaking Olympic records—or just finding a good job and raising a family. But unless we turn our country around, they’re not going to make it, not even into the middle class.

Marcus’s mom, Annette, is a single mother who worked hard to get her children where they are today. She works full time and is struggling to send her 18-year-old daughter to college. But after the rent and the bills, there’s hardly enough left over for food.

Dan Luevano is an electrician who worked for a construction company for 10 years, six of them without a raise. When he told his boss he’d be voting for a union so he could bargain for a better life, he was fired.

Steve Skvara is a retired steelworker who learned about unfair trade the hard way—when the giant company where he’d worked went bankrupt, cut his pension by a third, and eliminated his family’s health care.

These are good people, strong people. They work hard and believe in their country, their faith and the future. They can’t afford four more years like the last eight. They need change, and that’s why they all support Barack Obama for President of the United States.

They deserve a better America—an America where every worker can count on a good job, where every family has health care, where every senior enjoys a decent retirement.

They deserve an America that works for everyone, where all workers have a free choice to join unions, to collectively bargain, to lift up their communities and our economy and build a better life for their children.

Whatever happened to the promise of a better America? What happened was that the Bush administration—with the support of Senator McCain—broke that promise, undermined our values and turned our economy into a threshing machine for big business.

Brothers and sisters, this is our chance to create much-needed change for young people like Marcus and rebuild this country we love. We can create the better America that Annette, Steve and Dan—and all of us—deserve. A country whose heart is as big as the hearts of its people. A country that lifts up our families here at home and lights up the world with our vision and values.

On behalf of America’s unions, with 28 million voters in union households, we will win for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and we will create a better America. Thank you and God bless America.