Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

Pro-union talk radio nearly blankets the state of Pennsylvania

01.29.09

I want to make friends of Democratic Talk Radio aware of a great addition to non-Republican Right talk radio in Pennsylvania.

Charles Showalter is hosting a great new show Monday-Friday on KFB 770AM from noon to 1pm. The show is called The Union Edge Talk Radio. The studio line is 412-829-7100.

Here are a couple of Podcast links:

Our good friend Michael Morrill of Keystone Progress http://theunionedge.com/january-21%2C-2009-show

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka http://theunionedge.com/january-23%2C-2009-show

There is much more information at his website at http://www.theunionedge.com and we encourage DTR fans to explore that site.

We will be having Charles Showalter are a future guest on our Lehigh Valley WGPA SUNNY 1100AM Democratic Talk Radio program which broadcasts on Thursday mornings from 8:05am until 9am.. Our call-in line is 610-866-8074.

Charles Showalter is a member of the AFTRA union.
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As we expand our Democratic Talk Radio show into the Philadelphia market in coming months, we are intentionally not broadcasting during the time slots of The Union Edge , The Labor to Neighbor Show or The Rick Smith Show. We applaud the great work of all the great hosts.

They are all union brothers and sisters. All are friends of Democratic Talk Radio.

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On weekends, you can hear pro-union, progressive talk radio in Pennsylvania by tuning into The Rick Smith Show with host Rick Smith. His website is http://ricksmithshow.com/.

His show broadcasts on WHYL 960AM on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 2pm. The call-in line is 1-877-960-0960.

You can hear Podcasts of past Rick Smith shows at this link http://ricksmithshow.com/past_shows and we advise spending the time to do so. Explore his web site while there.

Rick Smith is a good friend and frequent guest on Democratic Talk Radio. We highly recommend his show! It gets huge ratings in the Carlisle-Harrisburg, PA market and reaches most of central Pennsylvania plus surrounding areas.

Rick Smith is an active member of the Teamsters

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In the Philadelphia market, we have another great pro-labor talk radio show on WURD 900AM.

http://900amwurd.com/2008/?p=51

“The Labor to Neighbor Radio Show is heard Tuesdays at noon. The hosts, Patrick J. Eiding and Janet H. Ryder invite guests to address contemporary issues facing working families in our region. Topics include but are not limited to; union and worker issues, employment and job training, human and social services referral information and sharing pertinent current events that help shape our daily lives.

Patrick J. Eiding is the president of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO which is a federation of more than 100 local unions with more than 150,000 members and families in this city. This former business manager for the Insulators Union Local 14 serves on many boards and commissions and was recognized as one of the 75 most important Philadelphians.

Janet Hammond Ryder is the vice president of labor participation for both the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO and the United Way of Southeastern PA. In that capacity, she links community organizations and local unions together to make sure they are actively engaged and involved in making a real difference in their communities. She is a former Philadelphia Public School educator and political director for American Federation of Teachers, PA.”

The call-in lines are 866-361-0900 or 215-634-8065.
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Democratic Talk Radio is hosted by Stephen Crockett who is Editor of Mid-Atlantic Labor.com. Crockett is a member of the National Writers Union (UAW Local 1981) and OPEIU Local 277. He is an associate member of the United Steelworkers (USW). Crockett has been involved in an organizing drive by the Machinists (IAM). He is from Maryland and Tennessee.

Democratic Talk Radio co-host Dana Garrett has been very active with UFCW Local 27 and the Laborers (LIUNA). Dana is from Delaware. Dana Garrett hosts another talk show in Delaware called Progressive Voices which broadcasts on the University of Delaware FM station WVUD.

The Democratic Talk Radio office is located at the UAW Local 1183 union complex in Newark, Delaware next door to the Delaware AFL-CIO. The main Democratic Talk Radio website is http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com. The DTR Blog is found at http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio.com/wordpress/.

Democratic Talk Radio currently broadcasts from Bethlehem, PA on WGPA SUNNY 1100AM. Anyone can listen in live to Democratic Talk Radio on Thursday mornings from 8:05am-9am Eastern via this link:

http://wgpasunny1100.com/

Bailout Recipients Hosted Call To Defeat Key Labor Bill

01.27.09

Bailout Recipients Hosted Call To Defeat Key Labor Bill

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/27/bank-of-america-hosted-an_n_161248.html

Three days after receiving $25 billion in federal bailout funds, Bank of America Corp. hosted a conference call with conservative activists and business officials to organize opposition to the U.S. labor community’s top legislative priority.

Participants on the October 17 call ## including at least one representative from another bailout recipient, AIG ## were urged to persuade their clients to send “large contributions” to groups working against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), as well as to vulnerable Senate Republicans, who could help block passage of the bill.

Bernie Marcus, the charismatic co-founder of Home Depot, led the call along with Rick Berman, an aggressive EFCA opponent and founder of the Center for Union Facts. Over the course of an hour, the two framed the legislation as an existential threat to American capitalism, or worse.

“This is the demise of a civilization,” said Marcus. “This is how a civilization disappears. I am sitting here as an elder statesman and I’m watching this happen and I don’t believe it.”

Donations of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to Republican senatorial campaigns were needed, they argued, to prevent America from turning “into France.”

“If a retailer has not gotten involved in this, if he has not spent money on this election, if he has not sent money to [former Sen.] Norm Coleman and all these other guys, they should be shot. They should be thrown out their goddamn jobs,” Marcus declared.

Earlier he argued: “As a shareholder, if I knew the CEO of the company wasn’t doing anything on [EFCA]… I would sue the son of a bitch… I’m so angry at some of these CEOs, I can’t even believe the stupidity that is involved here.”

Audio of the conference call, which was obtained by the Huffington Post, is excerpted throughout this piece to provide a clearer insight into the pitched battle surrounding the Employee Free Choice legislation. At one point, relatively early in the call, Marcus joked that he “took a tranquilizer this morning to calm myself down.”

Story continues below

“This bill may be one of the worst things I have ever seen in my life,” he said, explaining that he could have been on “a 350-foot boat out in the Mediterranean,” but felt it was more important to engage on this fight. “It is incredible to me that anybody could have the chutzpah to try and pass this bill in this election year, especially when we have an economy that is a disaster, a total absolute disaster.”

The legislation ## which would allow workers to form a union either by holding a traditional election or having a majority of employees sign written forms ## is virtually certain to face a Republican filibuster. Obama and Senate Democrats have stated their commitment to the bill, though the timing of the vote remains a topic of heated debate.

Weeks before the November election, Marcus, Berman, and others saw this ominous political landscape taking shape. Hoping to aid opponents of EFCA in the Senate, they pleaded with participants on the call, mostly stock analysts or individuals with investment portfolios, to urge clients to prop up the campaigns of endangered Republican candidates, including Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

“If there are not enough Republicans operating as a firewall, after this election it is going to be very difficult to hold the line,” predicted Berman. “The only way after these elections if we don’t have a filibuster proof Senate… is to make this issue so hot in some states so that even a Democrat who is up for election in 2010 has to think twice about whether or not they are going to let this thing go by.”

At one point, another individual on the call suggested that participants send major contributions to Berman’s organization as a way of affecting the election without violating the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. “Some organizations have written checks for $250,000, $500,000, some $2 million for this,” said the man, likely Steven Hantler, the director of free enterprise and entrepreneurship at Bernie Marcus’ Marcus Foundation.

Citing the massive war chests that unions have brought to the EFCA fight, Marcus asked participants to make campaign donations rather than lobbying payments. “Fire all these guys in Washington,” he said of the K-Street operators, “they are worthless anyway.”

In an interview with the Huffington Post, Berman said that there “was nothing on that call that spoke to funneling money to anybody.” Indeed, at a separate point, Marcus discussed the need to contribute to issue advocacy and education activities. The call, Berman continued, was designed to explain some of the economic implications of passing EFCA and was “one of a series with people around the country who are connected to businesses.”

“There has been, though it has changed in the last few months, a fairly significant deficit in terms of understanding what this law is about,” Berman said. “I know a number of business groups have held calls with people about the impact of this legislation… The unions who are a proponent of this have not made it a high profile issue. I think they have learned from their polling that it doesn’t poll well, which is why they don’t’ want to make it a public issue.”

As for the business community, Berman added, “I do think that most businesspeople fully appreciate the damage that out-of-control labor leaders have caused for other businesses. There is no appetite for finding out if you are going to have to be the next business to deal with other labor issues.”

A Bank of America spokesman declined a request for public comment, and the bank’s representative on the call played a minor role. The conference call was referenced in a November 5 Bank of America research document, in which the company noted that EFCA “increases the likelihood that retailers would be unionized, which could drive higher labor cost at retail.” On “the flip side,” however, the document said the bill would increase the “spending power of lower income consumers as this would be a de facto wage and benefit increase.”

As evidenced by its dual interpretation of the legislation, Bank of America’s role in the EFCA fight is a bit murky. The company, as stated by an official there, hosted the call for the purposes of equity research, meaning that their goal was to represent the opinions of clients and not the bank itself. But their involvement in an effort to drum up support for defeating the labor-backed legislation, so soon after getting bail out funds from the federal government, left a bad taste in the mouth of some union officials.

“Bank of America is now not only getting bailout money. They are lending their name to participate in a campaign to stop workers from having a majority sign up [provision],” said Stephen Lerner, Director of the Private Equity Project at SEIU. “The biggest corporations who have created the problem are, at the very time, asking us to bail them out and then using that money to stop workers from improving their lives.”

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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you go to the original link, you can actually listen to the conversation between these anti-labor corporate welfare recipients.

New Report: 30 Million Service Jobs May Be Shipped Overseas

01.27.09

- AFL-CIO NOW BLOG - http://blog.aflcio.org -

http://blog.aflcio.org/2009/01/23/new-report-30-million-service-jobs-may-be-shipped-overseas/

New Report: 30 Million Service Jobs May Be Shipped Overseas

By James Parks

Recent telecommunications advances, especially the Internet, could theoretically put more than 30 million U.S. jobs at risk of being [1] exported overseas. Services previously needed to be performed domestically theoretically can be done anywhere in the world through the Internet, four U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) analysts say in an article appearing in the agency’s [2] Monthly Labor Review (subscription required).

The 160 occupations considered capable of being performed in other countries account for some 30.3 million workers, one-fifth of total U.S. employment and cover a wide array of job functions, pay rates and educational levels.

More than half of the vulnerable jobs in the BLS study are professional and related occupations, including computer and mathematical science occupations and architecture and engineering jobs, and many office and administrative support occupations also are considered susceptible.

Since 2000, corporations have shipped more than 525,000 white-collar overseas, according to the AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees ([3] DPE). Some estimates say up to 14 million middle-class jobs could be exported out of our nation in the next 10 years. Accountants, software engineers, X-ray technicians, all are losing their jobs as corporations look for low-wage workers in countries such as India and China.

Meanwhile, the jobs being created in the United States often are low-wage jobs that don’t offer health coverage or ensure retirement security. [4] Nearly one-quarter of the nation’s workers labor in jobs that generally pay less than the $8.85 hourly wage the U.S. government says it takes to keep a family of four out of poverty. Sixty percent of such workers are women, and many are people of color.

Among the occupations most susceptible to being sent overseas, the BLS analysts say, are those that produce information and do not require “face-to-face” contact. Among the most vulnerable are office and administrative support jobs, with relatively low education or training requirements, including telephone operators, payroll and timekeeping clerks, and word processors and typists.

Another 11 of the highest ranked jobs are professional and related occupations, which generally possess higher educational requirements. They include pharmacists, computer programmers, biochemists and biophysicists, architectural and civil drafters, financial analysts, paralegals and legal assistants.

Among the occupations least likely to be shipped overseas are financial managers, food scientists and technologists, front-line retail sales managers, and training and development specialists.

Article printed from AFL-CIO NOW BLOG: http://blog.aflcio.org

URL to article: http://blog.aflcio.org/2009/01/23/new-report-30-million-service-jobs-may-be-shipped-overseas/

URLs in this post:
[1] exported overseas: http://www.aflcio.org/issues/jobseconomy/exportingamerica
[2] Monthly Labor Review: http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2008/12/art4full.pdf
[3] DPE: http://www.dpeaflcio.org/index.cfm
[4] Nearly one-quarter of the nation’s workers labor in jobs that generally pay less than the $8.85 hourly wage: Link to report

The union way up- By Robert B. Reich

01.26.09

The union way up

America, and its faltering economy, need unions to restore prosperity to the middle class.

By Robert B. Reich
January 26, 2009

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-reich26-2009jan26,0,1124419.story

Why is this recession so deep, and what can be done to reverse it?

Hint: Go back about 50 years, when America’s middle class was expanding and the economy was soaring. Paychecks were big enough to allow us to buy all the goods and services we produced. It was a virtuous circle. Good pay meant more purchases, and more purchases meant more jobs.

At the center of this virtuous circle were unions. In 1955, more than a third of working Americans belonged to one. Unions gave them the bargaining leverage they needed to get the paychecks that kept the economy going. So many Americans were unionized that wage agreements spilled over to nonunionized workplaces as well. Employers knew they had to match union wages to compete for workers and to recruit the best ones.

Fast forward to a new century. Now, fewer than 8% of private-sector workers are unionized. Corporate opponents argue that Americans no longer want unions. But public opinion surveys, such as a comprehensive poll that Peter D. Hart Research Associates conducted in 2006, suggest that a majority of workers would like to have a union to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions. So there must be some other reason for this dramatic decline.

But put that question aside for a moment. One point is clear: Smaller numbers of unionized workers mean less bargaining power, and less bargaining power results in lower wages.

It’s no wonder middle-class incomes were dropping even before the recession. As our economy grew between 2001 and the start of 2007, most Americans didn’t share in the prosperity. By the time the recession began last year, according to an Economic Policy Institute study, the median income of households headed by those under age 65 was below what it was in 2000.

Typical families kept buying only by going into debt. This was possible as long as the housing bubble expanded. Home-equity loans and refinancing made up for declining paychecks. But that’s over. American families no longer have the purchasing power to keep the economy going. Lower paychecks, or no paychecks at all, mean fewer purchases, and fewer purchases mean fewer jobs.

The way to get the economy back on track is to boost the purchasing power of the middle class. One major way to do this is to expand the percentage of working Americans in unions.

Tax rebates won’t work because they don’t permanently raise wages. Most families used the rebate last year to pay off debt ## not a bad thing, but it doesn’t keep the virtuous circle running.

Bank bailouts won’t work either. Businesses won’t borrow to expand without consumers to buy their goods and services. And Americans themselves can’t borrow when they’re losing their jobs and their incomes are dropping.

Tax cuts for working families, as President Obama intends, can do more to help because they extend over time. But only higher wages and benefits for the middle class will have a lasting effect.

Unions matter in this equation. According to the Department of Labor, workers in unions earn 30% higher wages ## taking home $863 a week, compared with $663 for the typical nonunion worker ## and are 59% more likely to have employer-provided health insurance than their nonunion counterparts.

Examples abound. In 2007, nearly 12,000 janitors in Providence, R.I., New Hampshire and Boston, represented by the Service Employees International Union, won a contract that raised their wages to $16 an hour, guaranteed more work hours and provided family health insurance. In an industry typically staffed by part-time workers with a high turnover rate, a union contract provided janitors with full-time, sustainable jobs that they could count on to raise their families’ ## and their communities’ ## standard of living.

In August, 65,000 Verizon workers, represented by the Communications Workers of America, won wage increases totaling nearly 11% and converted temporary jobs to full-time status. Not only did the settlement preserve fully paid healthcare premiums for all active and retired unionized employees, but Verizon also agreed to provide $2 million a year to fund a collaborative campaign with its unions to achieve meaningful national healthcare reform.

Although America and its economy need unions, it’s become nearly impossible for employees to form one. The Hart poll I cited tells us that 57 million workers would want to be in a union if they could have one. But those who try to form a union, according to researchers at MIT, have only about a 1 in 5 chance of successfully doing so.

The reason? Most of the time, employees who want to form a union are threatened and intimidated by their employers. And all too often, if they don’t heed the warnings, they’re fired, even though that’s illegal. I saw this when I was secretary of Labor over a decade ago. We tried to penalize employers that broke the law, but the fines are minuscule. Too many employers consider them a cost of doing business.

This isn’t right. The most important feature of the Employee Free Choice Act, which will be considered by the just-seated 111th Congress, toughens penalties against companies that violate their workers’ rights. The sooner it’s enacted, the better ## for U.S. workers and for the U.S. economy.

The American middle class isn’t looking for a bailout or a handout. Most people just want a chance to share in the success of the companies they help to prosper. Making it easier for all Americans to form unions would give the middle class the bargaining power it needs for better wages and benefits. And a strong and prosperous middle class is necessary if our economy is to succeed.

Robert B. Reich, former U.S. secretary of Labor, is professor of public policy at UC Berkeley and the author, most recently, of “Supercapitalism

International Association of EMT’s & Paramedics Union Local 5000 unsuccessful in organizing ambulance workers

01.26.09

February 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

International Association of EMT’s & Paramedics Union Local 5000 unsuccessful in organizing ambulance workers

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

LEHIGH VALLEY- On January 7th workers employed by the Centronia Ambulance, William Avenue in Allentown, rejected being represented by the International Association of EMT’s & Paramedics Union Local 5000 in an Representation Election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia. The employees voted 19 for to 73 against being represented by the union for the purpose of collective bargaining.

In the previous edition of the newspaper it was exclusively reported Local 5000 of Quincy, Massachusetts filed with the NLRB a petition requesting the agency conduct the election. Under NLRB rules, the petition requesting for the agency to conduct a election must have the support of at least 30 percent of the unit of employees.

According to the petition, filed on November 26th, 2008, and obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, the union wanted to represent all full-time and regular part-time, per diem and PRN-paramedics, EMT’s, wheelchair/para-transit drivers, dispatchers and registered nurses employed by the employer.

A labor organization must receive 50 percent plus one of the eligible employees to vote for union representation to become their bargaining representative.

Lehigh Valley MSA unemployment rate increases to 6.5 percent

01.26.09

February 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Lehigh Valley MSA unemployment rate increases to 6.5 percent

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

LEHIGH VALLEY, January 5th- According to labor data provided by the Department of Labor and Industry, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by four-tenths of a percentage point to 6.5 percent, the highest rate for the region since January 1996. The MSA includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 4.4 percent.

Of the fourteen Metropolitan Statistical Area’s in Pennsylvania, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area has the fourth highest unemployment rate.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 6.1 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. There are 394,000, increasing by 22,000 from the month before, Pennsylvania residents without jobs. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,414,000 with 6,020,000 employed. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the month before. There are 10,331,000 residents nationally unemployed.

The Johnstown MSA has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 7.1 percent. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the second highest unemployment rate in the state at 7.0 percent, with the Williamsport MSA having the third highest unemployment rate at 6.7 percent.

The Lebanon MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.8 percent, the State College MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.9 percent, with the Lancaster MSA having the third lowest unemployment rate at 5.0 percent.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest civilian labor force, workers between eighteen and sixty-five years old, in Pennsylvania at 418,900, increasing by 5,300 from twelve months ago. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest civilian labor force in Pennsylvania at 2,986,400 with 184,100 residents not working. The Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest civilian labor force in the state at 1,216,300, with 70,700 residents unemployed. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest labor force in Pennsylvania at 284,900, with 15,100 residents unemployed.

Within the MSA, Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate at 7.8 percent, increasing by six-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and increasing by two and five-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Carbon County has 2,400 civilians not working, increasing by 200 from the month before and increasing by 800 from twelve months ago. Carbon County has a labor force of 31,100 the smallest civilian labor force in the MSA.

Lehigh County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 6.3 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month, and increasing by one and nine-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Lehigh County has 11,200 civilians without jobs, the most within the MSA, increasing by 700 from the month before and increasing by 3,500 from a year ago. Lehigh County has a labor force of 175,900, the largest in the MSA.

Northampton County has a unemployment rate of 6.4 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and increasing by two full percentage points from twelve months before. Northampton County has 9,700 civilians not working, increasing by 500 from the previous month and increasing by 3,100 during the past twelve months. Northampton County has a labor force of 151,700.

Nonfarm jobs have decreased by 2,600 during the past twelve months for a total of 343,700 with manufacturing jobs leading the decline, decreasing by 1,900. There are 289,700 service-providing jobs in the MSA, decreasing by 500 from twelve months ago.

SEIU Local 668 critical of Governor Rendell’s budget and makes suggestions

01.26.09

February 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

SEIU Local 668 critical of Governor Rendell’s budget and makes suggestions

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

LEHIGH VALLEY, January 11th- The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 668, which represents approximately 20,000 human services workers in Pennsylvania, responsed to Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell’s request for suggestions on closing the state’s budget shortfall, by identifying millions of dollars that could be saved.

SEIU Local 668 stated the Governor should cancel contracts with private contractors for work that can be done more efficiently and for a lower cost by state employees.

“The need for human services is at an all-time high due to the present state of the economy. Yet there are fewer and fewer people to provide these vital services, due to flat funding of public agencies and the hiring freeze imposed by Governor Rendell. Our agencies have been flat funded since day one of this administration, so we’ve actually been paying for our own raises through the loss of staff for the last 6 years,” said Kathy Jellison, President of Local 668 in Harrisburg. Local 668 has a local office on East Lehigh Street in Bethlehem.

Ms. Jellison said the Rendell Administration has spent hundreds of millions of dollards on private contractors for work that can de done by state employees. “Mr. Rendell has ignored repeatedly suggestions for cost-cutting measures that would save taxpayer dollars by the Union,” she added.

“It is time this administration to open the books and disclose the huge amounts of taxpayer money being wasted on private contractors. Our members can do this work more efficiently, and at a lower cost to the taxpayers. There is no justification for these private contracts, when our members can do a better job and have more experience at providing the same services. We believe this is why vital human services have not been fully funded in Pennsylvania,” said Ms. Jellison.

The union pointed out as one example, a state contract with the University of Massachusetts to identify Medicare receipients that show payments are being made by the state under this contract that equal between $285 and over $500 for each recipient the University identifies. “Yet our members can do this exact same work for approximately 37 cents per recipient if given the proper tools,” said Ms. Jellison.

Ms. Jellison also pointed to over $300 million paid to Delotitte Consulting, a firm with ties to top officials in the Rendell Administration, for work done in the Department of Public Welfare, some of whcih was previously handled by state employees.

“Our agencies provide services needy families, the elderly and disabled, the unemployed, the mentally ill and mentally retarded, emergency services, youth and children. In addition, our members are trained to help prevent fraud and, as a result, have saved taxpayers an average of over $26 million annually in addition to awards for efficiency and delivery of Food Stamps, $4.6 million last year alone,” added Ms. Jellison.

She called upon Mr. Rendell to sit down with the SEIU Local 668 and other state unions and implement some of their suggestions to help the budget shortfall without cutting vital services.

CWA Union files complaint against T-Mobile Communications

01.26.09

February 2009 Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

CWA Union files complaint against T-Mobile Communications

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

ALLENTOWN, January 11th- The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Union District 13, Parkway Center in Pittsburgh, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia alleging company representatives of T-Mobile Communications in Allentown violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

The CWA filed the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the NLRB on January 8th, 2009 alleging the company violated Section 7 of the NLRAct.

According to the complaint, obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, the named employer representative to contact is Cyrus Nowroozani.

“Since on or about July 15th, 2008 the above named employer, by its officers, agents and representatives engaged in surveillance and other acts and conduct, interfered with, restrained and coerced its employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the Act,” the charge states.

The ULP states the company employs 1400 workers at their facility at 794 Roble Road in Allentown. T-Mobile is a communications company which provides wireless phone service.

The National Labor Relations Board after receiving a complaint will investigate the charge(s) and if they find merit in the ULP(s), a hearing will be scheduled.

The newspaper reported in the November 2008 edition the CWA filed a complaint with the NLRB for alleging the company violated the NLRAct for terminating the employment of Sandra Bradley because of her activities on behalf of the Union.

According to that ULP, also obtained by the newspaper, she was fired to discourage union membership by other employees after she provided mutual on-the-job aid to the CWA.

Should it be found the National Labor Relations Act was violated the agency could seek monetary fines or other remedies to rectify the situation.

USW conducting negotiations with Northampton County

01.25.09

February 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

USW conducting negotiations with Northampton County

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

LEHIGH VALLEY, January 15th- The United Steelworkers of America USW) Union Local 2599 and Northampton County have both agreed to work under the terms and conditions of the previous contract agreement between the parties for the workers the union represents employed at the Northampton County’s Gracedale Nursing Home.

According to Jerry Green, President of Local 2599, East Lehigh Street in Bethlehem, which has approximately 1,600 ative members throughout the Lehigh Valley counting workers currently laid-off from employers the union represents. The union represents around 50 workers at Gracedale, including 5 social workers and approximately 45 registered nurses.

The previous three-year labor agreement between Northampton County and USW Local 2599 expired on December 31st, 2008. The parties agreed to continue negotiations for a new successor agreement while the workers work under the previous pact. “We have had around five meetings. Things are moving along slowly. The county has changed the people from the last time who conduct the negotiations, and they want contract language changes, which is slowing things down,” said Mr. Green.

Mr. Green stated the employees are working under the terms and conditions of the second contract between the parties. The union has represented the workers since 2003.

In the previous edition of the newspaper, it was reported the economic slowdown has affected workers represented by the Local 2599. Local 2599 represented approximately 520 workers at the Victaulic Company Forks Township facility going into 2008 but currently have 219 on lay-off.

Also, Horsehead manufacturing in Palmerton laid-off 140 USW members of the 152 they employ on December 23rd, 2008 and Prior Coated in Allentown have 12 of the 38 USW members currently laid-off. And Berenfield Containers in Easton have 4 of 23 Local 2599 members on lay-off.

The newspaper learned Local 2599 has filed a complaint against Hygrade Metal Moulding Manufacturing Company, Highland Avenue in Bethlehem, alleging the company violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

According to the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge, filed on December 23rd, 2008 with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia, and obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, the union alleges the window components manufacturer has failed and refused to provide information requested by Local 2599 that is “relevant and necessary for the Union to bargain on an informed basis and otherwise perform its function as the designated representative of the employees in the bargaining unit.”

According to the complaint, the union represents 20 Hygrade workers. The ULP states the bargaining agreement between the parties expired on January 1st, 2009.

Teen Works Board of Directors vote to fund four projects

01.25.09

February 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Teen Works Board of Directors vote to fund four projects

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

LEHIGH VALLEY, January 10th- The Teen Works Board of Directors voted in December to help fund four community projects being conducted by area teens or school groups from throughout the Lehigh Valley. The organization usually meets monthly and often the meetings are held at the United Auto Workers of America (UAW) Union Local 677 building on Mack Boulevard in Allentown.

Unions from throughout the Lehigh Valley contribute funds that is donated to area teens 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 is used to support the Teen Works program. Teen Works is sponsored by approximately 33 local unions and labor federations from the Lehigh Valley.

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 a teen or youth group can receive from the organization is $1,000.00.

Boy Scout Troop 431 member Ryan Smerker of Wescosville received a grant of $500.00 from the organization to improve the Concordia Lutheran Church playground in Allentown. The youth with other members of Boy Scout Troop 431 will double the size of the current playground and add new mulch and landscape timbers to make the area look nicer.

Boy Scout Troop 48 member Jake Stauffer of Wind Gap received a grant of $500.00 from Teen Works to add a larger flag pole for the American flag at the Wind Gap Park in Wind Gap. Also, the youth will paint the interior and exterior of a building at the park and add rain gutters to the facility. The existing flag pole will be used to fly the Pennsylvania State flag.

Boy Scout Troop 48 member Evan Brown of Pen Argyl received a grant of $454.64 by the group for his project at the Weona Park in Pen Argyl. The youth will reconstruct and beautify the baseball dugouts at the park. Also, the roof on one of the dugouts will be replaced. The youth will install new safety fencing in both dugouts and two benches will be replaced and the dugouts will be repainted.

Boy Scouts of America member 78 Gordon Bill of Bath request to refund any money spent by Sacred Heart Church in Bath to replace their pulpit was rejected by the organization. The youth requested Teen Work provide $752.00 of funds to pay for materials that was used to replace the pulpit in the church at East Northampton Street in Bath.

The final project to receive funds from the organization will benefit the St. Jane Frances de Chantal School in Easton. Boy Scout Troop 24 member Ryan Mertz of Easton received $500.00 from the organization to convert a two-room storage room into a one room art classroom for the students at St. Jan Frances de Chantal school.

Ron Achey, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation, Greater Lehigh Valley United Way Labor Liaison, the go-between the labor community in the Lehigh Valley and the agency, and co-ordinator of the Teen Works program, stated because of a decrease in funds donated in 2008 the organization may need to adjust the maximum grant that can be obtained down-ward.

The organization will meet again on February 10th, 2009.

Service Employees Union loses NLRB appeal on election

01.25.09

February 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Service Employees Union loses NLRB appeal on election

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsabe@aol.com

BETHLEHEM, January 4th- The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington, DC ruled against the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Pennsylvania Union, which requested the agency conduct a election to determine if employees of Good Shepherd Nursing Home in Bethlehem wanted to be represented by the union.

In the previous edition of the newspaper, it was exclusively reported the Union was awaiting the NLRB decision on when a election would be scheduled and what employees would be eligible to vote.

The SEIU petitioned the NLRB on October 15th, 2008, requesting the agency conduct an Representation Election, to determine if 55 employees of Good Shepherd want the SEIU/Healthcare Pennsylvania, North 2nd Street in Harrisburg, formerly called SEIU/1199P, to be their representative for the purpose of collective bargaining.

According to the petition, obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, the union requested all full-time and regularly part-time certified nursing assistants, unit secretaries, housekeepers, laundry aids, and van drivers employed by the employer at their Schoenersville Road facility in Bethlehem to be eligible to vote. The union requested on their petition all other employees, including Registered Nurses (RN’s), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s), business office clerical employees, guards, supervisors, and managerial staff not participate in the union election.

On October 28th, the NLRB conducted a hearing in Easton on which employees will be eligible to participate in the election. The employer wanted employees at another facility operated by them to also be eligible to participate in the election.

On December 9th, the NLRB Region Four in Philadelphia Area Director ruled to allow the employees of the second facility to participate in the election.

The SEIU appealed the decision to Washington, DC. However, the NLRB ruled the SEIU petition was not valid because it did not include the second facility.

Krugman: Employee Free Choice Key to Economic Recovery

01.25.09

Krugman: Employee Free Choice Key to Economic Recovery

by Seth Michaels, Jan 22, 2009

http://blog.aflcio.org/2009/01/22/krugman-employee-free-choice-key-to-economic-recovery/

In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, Nobel Prize-winning Princeton economist Paul Krugman has written an open letter to President Obama detailing the steps needed to end our economic crisis and turn the country around.

Krugman’s prescription includes quick and large-scale actions to save jobs, rebuild infrastructure and protect those whose health care, housing and retirement have been put at risk—but it also includes longer-term strategies to make sure America is “a more just and secure society.” High on Krugman’s list? In addition to health care reform and an economic recovery package, he stresses restoring workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain for a better life by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.

…you can do a lot to enhance workers’ rights. One is to start laying the groundwork to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it much harder for employers to intimidate workers who want to join a union…the legislation will enable America to take a huge step toward recapturing the middle-class society we’ve lost.

Krugman looks at another time when the United States and the world faced a serious threat to economic prosperity—the Great Depression—and says one of the most important factors to help the economy rise out of the Depression and into growth was what he describes as the “Great Compression”—the change from an unequal and economically divided society, rife with poverty, to a strong middle-class society. The ability of workers to form unions and bargain, made real by reforms to labor law, pulled the economy into prosperity:

…one important factor was the rise of organized labor: Union membership tripled between 1935 and 1945. Unions not only negotiated better wages for their own members, they also enhanced the bargaining power of workers throughout the economy. At the time, conservatives warned that wage gains would have disastrous economic effects—that the rise of unions would cripple employment and economic growth. But in fact, the Great Compression was followed by the great postwar boom, which doubled American living standards over the course of a generation.

As we’ve stated before, the economy is reeling from inter-related crises in housing, credit, manufacturing and health care, and one of the big factors fueling the nation’s economic crisis is the fact that workers have lost power in the workplace and have fallen behind as a result. Krugman, an economist respected around the world, recognizes that restoring balance to the economy will depend upon restoring power to workers.

The Union Edge radio show rallies support for SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania workers

01.23.09

Brothers and Sister,

In Aliquippa PA, my home town, health care professionals have been short changed in their pay as the company closes it’s doors.

The Union Edge Talk Radio Show is closely following their efforts for justice. On Face value, I can see many similarities between this issues and what happened to the United Electrical workers in Chicago.

I am asking you to help build strong worldwide support for the medical workers in Aliquippa PA. Please forward this message to your network, and ask them to follow the story and listen to the interviews at http://www.TheUnionEdge.com.

Nearly 200 employees of Commonwealth Medical Center (formerly Aliquippa Hospital) - members of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania - lost our jobs when our hospital declared bankruptcy and then abruptly closed last December 12th. We still haven’t received the paychecks that were due to us before Christmas and New Years. The hospital’s finance company and management agreed to pay hospital executives, but not the frontline staff!

Please join us for the following events on Mon/Tues next week in support of Aliquippa Hospital caregivers:

* Community Rally, Monday, Jan. 26th, 12 noon - In front of the hospital, 2500 Hospital Drive, Aliquippa

* Demonstration and Bankruptcy Hearing, Tuesday, Jan. 27th, 8:30 a.m. - In front of US Bankruptcy Court, US Steel Tower, 600 Grant Street, Downtown Pittsburgh

Join us as we stand up for fairness and respect for working families - not just for those at the top!

In Solidarity,
Charles Showalter
TheUnionEdge.com

Full text of President Barack Obama’s speech

01.22.09

Full text of President Barack Obama’s speech

Written by Freep.com
Jan 21, 2009 at 05:59 PM

http://www.progressiveexchange.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3841&Itemid=586

“My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land ## a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America ## they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted ## for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things ## some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions ## that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act ## not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions ## who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them ## that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works ## whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account ## to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day ## because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control ## the nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart ## not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort ## even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus ## and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West ## know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service, a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment, a moment that will define a generation, it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends ## honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism ## these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility ## a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence ## the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed ## why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world … that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive … that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet” it.

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

George W. Bush Resume

01.19.09

GWB RESUME

Date: 2009-01-19, 7:32PM

GEORGE W. BUSH 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC 20520

This individual seeks an executive position. He will be available in January, and is willing to relocate.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

Law Enforcement: I was arrested in Kennebunkport , Maine , in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver’s license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been “lost” and is not available.

Military: I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam .

College: I graduated from Yale University with a l ow C average. I was a cheerleader.

PAST WORK EXPERIENCE: I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil business in Midland , Texas , in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn’t find any oil in Texas . The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock. I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. With the help of my father and our friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas .

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS :

I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union . During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America .

I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.

I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.

With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida , and my father’s appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.

ACCOMPLISHM ENTS AS PRESIDENT:

I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.

I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.

I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.

I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.

I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.

I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.

I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market. In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month right up to the present.

I’m proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history. My “poorest millionaire,” Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.

I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. President.

I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.

My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. History: Enron.

My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to ensure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.

I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history. I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.

I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history, adjusted for inflation.

I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.

I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in U.S. history.

I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.

A I’ve broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.

I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.

I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.

I refused to allow inspector’s access to U.S. “prisoners of war” detainees, and have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.

I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. elections).

I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.

I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period. After taking off the entire month of August 2001, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.

I garnered the most sympathy ever for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world## the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.

I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of mankind.

I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, preemptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community.

I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families in wartime.

In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British friends.

I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.

I am supporting development of a nuclear “Tactical Bunker Buster,” a WMD.

I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice.

RECORDS AND REFERENCES:

All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my daddy’s library , sealed and unavailable for public view.

All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.

All records from a period of time when I was supposed to be serving in the military have been accidentally destroyed.

Location: Na Na Na Na Good Bye
it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Original URL:http://nashville.craigslist.org/rnr/999683718.html

Congressman Kanjorski supported loans to American automakers

01.16.09

January 2009 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Congressman Kanjorski supported loans to American automakers

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsswb@aol.com

REGION, December 30th- Congressman Paul Kanjorski, Democrat 11th Legislative District, voted for HR 7321, the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act on December 10th, that would have provided a “bridge loan” of 14 billion to the American automakers. The House of Representatives passed the legislation, however, the auto loan failed to pass in the Senate. Despite the failure of the legislation in the Senate, President Bush secured federal money to keep the industry alive into 2009.

Mr. Kanjorski stated voting against the “bridge loan” was not even an option for him. “The industry might well have vanished in a matter of weeks, unemployment would have skyrocketed, and the economy would have sunk deeper. Let us hope that the money is allocated wisely, that the executives act prudentlt, that all stakeholders make some sacrifices, and that long-term viability is pursued tirelessly,” said Mr. Kanjorski.

According to a study released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in Washington, DC, and the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, the financial woes of the United States auto industry is not just a Detriot problem but could impact the economies of states across the nation.

Pennsylvania ranks ninth among the 50 states in potential job loss as a result of one or all of the big three automakers shutting down, the study estimated. Also, up to 120,100 jobs would disappear in Pennsylvania within a year, if General Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler were allowed to fall into bankruptcy. The loss of GM, the company most at risk of entering bankruptcy, would jeopardize up to 33,200 jobs in Pennsylvania.

The Economic Policy Institute estimated even if only motor vehicles and parts jobs are counted, Pennsylvania would lose up to 8,400 jobs from a total industry shutdown and up to 2,300 from a shutdown of General Motors alone.

Mark Price, Ph.D., a labor economist for the Keystone Research Center, noted that the EPI study should concern manufacturers and other industries in Pennsylvania. “Anyone who thinks an auto industry collapse has little impact on Pennsylvania should think again. As the EPI study shows, the 120,000 Pennsylvania jobs threatened by an auto industry failure account for 2.1 percent of total state employment,” said Mr. Price.

“America needs its own automotive industry. I have always owned American cars. I believe in the American workforce, the thousands of men and women who make the automobiles on which we rely. They do not fly on corporate jets, they centainly do not make millions of dollars. We need to help them in their time of need,” said Mr. Kanjorski.

The EPI study estimates the loss of “re-spending” jobs as a result of the wages lost by workers in motor vehicle industries and other sectors supported by car production, would within three years top $150 billion in federal tax revenue and without cars to export, the United States trade deficit would rise by $109.3 billion.

Mr. Kanjorski believes the loss of the auto industry would result in a sizable drop in government revenue just when annual deficits have run away and the national debt in soaring. “Unemployment assistance will skyrocket and thousands of American breadwinners will loss their homes and even the ability to feed their children. The cost of inaction will therefore be catastrophic,” added Mr. Kanjorski.

Mr. Kanjorski said experts estimated 2.5 million jobs will be lost in the nation if the auto industry is lost. “The Big Three employ 240,000 workers, suppliers and dealerships provide 800,000 jobs, and some 1.4 million jobs are dependent on the auto manufacturers.”

Union leaflets McDonald’s to show support for Employee Free Choice Act

01.16.09

January 2009 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Union leaflets McDonald’s to show support for EFCA

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsswb@aol.com

KINGSTON, December 30th- The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members as part of a nationwide campaign to show their support for passage of the Employees Free Choice Act (EFCA) by Congress gathered at McDonald’s on Wyomissing Avenue in Kingston. McDonald’s was targeted by the SEIU across the nation, leafleting more at more than one hundred restaurant locations nationwide on December 18th. The corporation does not support the passage of the legislation and has contributed funds to air television and radio ads opposing it.

EFCA would change how union elections are conducted in workplaces by allowing employees to sign authorization cards seeking union representation and recognizing the union when a majority of cards are signed. It would also establish a system of mediation and arbitration that would apply to an employer and union that are unable to agree on their first contract.

The legislation passed in the House of Representatives in March, 2008 but failed in the Senate. The legislation will be re-introduced during the up-coming congressional session. President-elect Obama supports the legislation.

Meanwhile, the United States Chamber of Commerce stated labor unions version of current American labor laws short comings regarding union elections is “Union Rhetoric.”

“Rewriting American labor laws mandating recognition through the card check process and replacing collective bargaining with binding arbitration cannot be justified,” said Randel Johnson, the U.S. Chamber’s vice president of Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits.

According to the SEIU, McDonald’s naturally does not support EFCA, because the corporation is benefiting from the current federal labor law system regarding union elections. The union said McDonald’s continues to insist on paying low wages while their CEO Jim Skinner earns 770 times more than the workers.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA unemployment rate increases to 7.0 percent

01.16.09

January 2009 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

MSA unemployment rate increases to 7.0 percent

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsswb@aol.com

REGION, December 31st- According to labor data provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, the region’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 7.0 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming Counties. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 4.9 percent.

The MSA’s unemployment rate continues to remain higher than Pennsylvania and the nation. The unemployment rate in the state is 6.1 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,414,000 with 394,000 not working and 6,020,000 with employment. The national unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month. There are 10,331,000 civilians in the nation without employment.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA civilian labor force, workers between eighteen and sixty-five years old, increased by 2,000 from the previous month to 281,900 and increased by 4,800 during the previous twelve months. There are 19,700 civilians not working within the MSA, increasing by 600 from the previous month, and increasing by 6,100 from twelve months before.

The MSA has the fifth largest labor force in Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 2,988,400 with 184,100 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA is second at 1,216,300 with 70,700 without jobs; the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force at 418,900 with 27,100 not working; and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force at 284,900 with 15,100 residents without employment.

Of the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the second highest unemployment rate with only the much smaller Johnstown MSA the only region with a higher unemployment rate at 7.1 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the month before. The Johnstown MSA only has a civilian labor force of 68,000, with only the Altoona MSA and the Williamsport MSA with a smaller civilian labor force in Pennsylvania. The Williamsport MSA has the third highest unemployment rate in the state at 6.7 percent.

The Lebanon MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.8 percent. The State College MSA is second at 4.9 percent with the Lancaster MSA third at 5.0 percent.

Within the MSA, Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month and one and nine-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before. Lackawanna County has a labor force of 107,200, increasing by 1,700 during the past twelve months, with 7,100 without jobs, increasing by 300 from the previous month and increasing by 2,200 from twelve months ago.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 7.2 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month and increasing by two and two-tenths of a percentage point from one year ago. Luzerne County has a labor force of 160,200, decreasing by 2,900 during the past twelve months. The labor force of Luzerne County is the largest in the MSA and there are 11,600, increasing by 200 from the previous month, and increasing by 2,700 from one year ago, residents not working, the most in the MSA.

Wyoming County has a unemployment rate of 6.9 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the month before and increasing by one and five-tenths of a percentage point from one year ago. Wyoming County has a labor force of 14,500, decreasing by 100 residents the past month and increasing by 100 during the past year. There are 1,000 Wyoming County residents not working, unchanged from the previous month and increasing by 200 from one year ago. Wyoming County has the smallest labor force in the MSA and the fewest residents not working.

Teamsters Union Local 401 members ratify new contract with United Beverage

01.16.09

January 2009 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Teamsters Union Local 401 members ratify new contract with United Beverage

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsswb@aol.com

PITTSTON, December 30th- The sixteen members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union Local 401 employed by the United Beverage Company in Pittston voted to ratify a new five-year contract agreement with their employer.

According to Pat Connors, Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer of Local 401, South Washington Street in Wilkes-Barre, the membership voted 12 for the new pact to 2 gainst. The company is a beverage distributor.

The ratification vote was taken at Local 401’s office on December 29th with the tentative agreement reached between the parties on December 23rd.

Employees will receive a $3.51 per hour increase over the term of contract.

Other highlights include:
• $8.00 each increase in pension
• reduction in employee contribution for health care up to $140.00 per month with the company paying 80 percent of the cost
• the adding of jury duty language
• bereavement improvement
• commission increased from 15 cents to 18 cents on units
• language added to protect employees if they lose driving license
• life insurance increased
• short term disability increased
• vision plan now available

Mr. Connors told the newspaper negotiations went well with both sides conducting themselves very professionally.

He added the contract package is very comparable if not better than other distributors in the area.

Group study shows more employment declines to come

01.15.09

January 2009 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Group study shows more employment declines to come

By PAUL TUCKER
theunionnewsswb@aol.com

REGION, December 15th- The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) signals more strong employment declines are in the future.

The ETI declined further in November falling to 102.9, down 1.6 percent from the October figure and down over 13 percent from a year ago.

The Conference Board for more than 90 years, has created and disseminated knowledge about management and marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society. The group operates as a global independent membership organization. It publishes information and analysis, makes economics based forecasts and assesses trends.

“Thus far, the United States economy has lost 1.9 million jobs and the declines in the ETI suggest job losses could very well surpass 3 million by mid 2009. The continued deterioration in the labor market will exert significant downward pressure on wages,” said Gad Levanon, Senior Economist at the Conference Board.

The ETI aggregates eight labor-market indicators, each of which has proven accurate in its own area, they include:

• The Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance (The United States Department of Labor).
• The Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now (National Federation of Independent Business).
• Number of Employees Hired by the Temporary Help Industry (The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics).
• Part-time Workers for Economic Reasons (The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics).
• Industrial Production (Federal Reserve Board).
• Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales (The United States Bureau of Economic Analysis).

The 16 month-long decline in the ETI is seen in all eight of its components, most notably over the past six months in temporary help and part-time workers for economic reasons.