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Teamsters Union Local 773 amends complaint against Pepsi Bottling Company

03.02.10

MARCH 2010, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Teamsters Union Local 773 amends complaint against Pepsi Bottling Company

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

ALLENTOWN, February 15th- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union Local 773, Hamilton Street in Allentown, amended the labor complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia that alleged a Lehigh Valley employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

In the previous edition of the newspaper it was exclusively reported that Local 773 filed the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge on December 23rd, 2009 against Pepsi Bottling Company, Vultee Street in Allentown, alleging the employer violated Section 7 of the NLRAct.

The newspaper discovered the complaint after reviewing ULP’s and petitions filed at the NLRB Region Four office. The newspaper is the only media in the Lehigh Valley that routinely reviews complaints and petitions filed at the regional office of the agency.

The union filed the amended complaint on January 25th alleging “the above-named employer by and through its agents, has unilaterally changed the collective bargaining agreement by refusing to provide insurance coverage to injured employees for twelve months as required under Article IX,” states the ULP.

The ULP does not state how many workers the union represents at the beverage manufacturing facility.

Democratic Party candidate for Governor endorsed by Teamsters

03.02.10

MARCH 2010, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Democratic Party candidate for Governor endorsed by Teamsters

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, February 18th- Allegheny County Executive and Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania Governor Dan Onorato is requesting the labor community support him in the May election.

Mr. Onorato is one of four Democrats seeking to become their party nominee and challenge the Republican Party candidate in November. The candidates want to replace out-going Democratic Governor Edward Rendell.

On February 4th, Mr. Onorato received the endorsement of the Pennsylvania Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union (IBT). The union represents 92,000 IBT members across Pennsylvania. IBT Local 773 on Hamilton Street in Allentown is affiliated with the organization.

“When I talk to Pennsylvania families from every region of the Commonwealth. I hear the same thing. Folks want a Governor with new ideals to create new jobs and to clean-up Harrisburg. As Alleghany County Executive, and before that as County Controller, that’s what I’ve been all about, reforming government, investing in innovation and creating the 21st Century jobs we need to be competitive in the economy,” Mr. Onorato told the newspaper.

According to Mr. Onorato campaign, as Allegheny County Executive, he has focused on job creation and after six years of his leadership, Allegheny County has more jobs than any other county in Pennsylvania and the county’s unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the state and twenty-five percent lower than the nation’s.

“We know that the fastest growing industries are linked to education and medicine. Pennsylvania has some of the finest institutions of higher learning and medical facilities in the country. We need to continue to focus on fostering the development of these next generation jobs,” added Mr. Onorato.

Dan Onorato was raised in a working class neighborhood of North Pittsburgh. His father worked as a mechanic at the Allis-Chalmers tractor factory and his mother was a elementary school teacher. He graduated college from Penn State and received his law degree from University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Mr. Onorato has served as Allegheny County Executive since 2004 and was unopposed for re-election in 2007. Prior to being elected County Executive, Mr. Onorato served as Allegheny County Controller and a Pittsburgh City Councilman.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and Councilmen Julio Guridy and Ray O’Connell, Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr., and Councilwomen Elinor Warner and Councilman Ken Brown have endorsed Mr. Onorato.

The Onorato for Governor campaign recently conducted a petition signing event at the United Steelworkers Union (USW) building on East Lehigh Street in Bethlehem.

Report shows ARRAct saved thousands of jobs in state

03.02.10

MARCH 2010, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Report shows ARRAct saved thousands of jobs in state

BY NANCY KRAKE
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, February 20th- According to the Keystone Research Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan economic research organization in Pennsylvania, since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRAct) was signed into law one year ago from February 17th, tens of thousands of jobs have been saved across the Commonwealth slowing the downward spiral of the worst recession in decades.

The Keystone Research Center stated the success of the ARRAct in Pennsylvania is clear. It has preserved 84,000 Pennsylvania jobs according to a report from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Extended unemployment and food stamp benefits have kept Pennsylvanians who lost their jobs from losing everything.

Nationwide, 800 billion was pumped into the economy during the third quarter of 2009 alone. As that money made its way to Main Street, the Gross Domestic Product, after four quarters in the negative column, began to grow again.

“The Recovery Act is working in Pennsylvania and across the nation. But our work is not done. Thousands of Pennsylvanians still don’t have enough work. Our elected leaders need to muster the political courage to act decisively again and pass a “Main Street Jobs Act” in Pennsylvania and in Washington DC,” said Mark Price, PH.D., and Labor Economist for the Keystone Research Center.

The Keystone Research Center believes at the state level, Pennsylvania should tap into more than $600 million in additional federal dollars for unemployment benefits, emergency assistance for at-risk families, and grants for workers idled by the recession to learn new skills at community college.

NLRB seat blocked by Chamber of Commerce lobbying

03.02.10

MARCH 2010, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

NLRB seat blocked by Chamber of Commerce lobbying

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, February 15th- More than seven months after the Obama Administration sent to the United States Senate the nomination of Craig Becker to be a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Democrats fell short of the 60 votes needed to break a Republican led filibuster against his nomination. The key procedural vote failed 52 to 33 with two Democratic Senators voted with the Republicans.

Mr. Becker’s nomination was blocked after the United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington heavily lobbied the business organization supporters in the Senate to not support his seat on the NLRB.

In April, 2009 President Obama announced his intention to nominate labor law attorneys Mr. Becker and Mark Gaston Pearce for the two vacant Democratic seats on the NLRB. Brian Hayes was nominated by Mr. Obama to be the Republican member of the NLRB. If Mr. Obama’s nominees were confirmed by the Senate the NLRB would have a full complement of five members for the first time since December 16th, 2007. The NLRB oversees the enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

The Senate in December returned the nomination of Mr. Becker back to the White House, however the Obama Administration resubmitted his name on Janaury 19th.

Mr. Becker’s seat on the NLRB had been blocked by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain for months by calling for hearings before proceeding to full committee consideration of his nomination.

The Chamber of Commerce stated Mr. McCain had a legislative hold on the Becker nomination because it takes 60 votes to invoke cloture on the nomination before it can proceed to an up-or-down vote and all of the Democrats in the Senate did not agreed to support cloture. Because of the Massachusetts election the Democratic party now has 59 seats in the Senate but they were unable to seat Mr. Becker when the party held 60 seats.

Democratic Senators Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska voted with 31 Republicans to block Mr. Becker’s nomination. No Republicans voted to support cloture.

Mr. Becker is Associate General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in Washington DC.

The sitting members of the NLRB are Chairman Wilma Liebman and member Peter Schaumber.

Mr. Hayes was in private legal practice for more than twenty-five years devoted exclusively to representing management clients in all aspects of labor and employment law. He was represented employers in scores of cases before the NLRB, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and various state fair employment practice agencies.

The Chamber of Commerce stated Mr. Becker was blocked because of his view that employers should be stripped of any legally cognizable interest in their employees’ election of representatives. Also, Mr. Becker’s ties to the SEIU, an avid proponent of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCAct) legislation could lead him to advance “Card Check” organizing through administrative action of the NLRB.

“Craig Becker’s nomination represents plan B for organized labor to override the will of Congress and implement elements of card check legislation. Any Senator who supports the private ballot should oppose this nomination,” said Chamber of Commerce Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel Steven Law.