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Building Trades Unions leader supports ARRAct legislation

03.12.10

MARCH 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Building Trades Unions leader supports ARRAct legislation

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, February 26th- February 17th was the first anniversary of the signing by President Obama of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRAct) and the legislation has helped workers employed in the construction industry, according to Mark Ayers, President of the Building and Construction Trades Department in Washington, DC.

The Building and Construction Trades Department is an alliance of 13 national and international unions that collectively represent 2.5 million skilled craft professionals in the United States and Canada. The council is an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Nationwide, more than 80 billion dollars was pumped into the United States economy during the third quarter of 2009 alone. As that money made its was to Main Street, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), after four quarters in the negative column, began to grow again.

According to Stephen Herzenberg, an Economist and Executive Director of the Keystone Research Center (KRC), “absent that action, unemployment today could easily be fifteen percent on its way to twenty percent, and we’d find ourselves in the grips of another Depression.”

KRC is a nonprofit economic research organization in Harrisburg.

Mr. Ayers stated at the outset of 2009, the American economy was in serious trouble and it was battered and bruised by the collapsing housing and credit bubbles, and the resulted was massive job losses in every sector of the economy, especially the United States constuction industry.

“Despite its detractors, the evidence is clear, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is working and has helped our nation turn a corner through sound investments that are creating jobs, tax cuts for the middle class, and much-needed CORBA and unemployment insurance benefits for working Americans. However, we must continue efforts to fundamentally strengthen our economy, as we know there is no such thing as a jobless recovery,” said Mr. Ayers.

Mr. Ayers added that working people expect the United States Congress and the Obama Administration to address the concerns of the American people and the Building Trades Unions stand ready to assist them in any meaningful efforts to put Americans back to work.

Corey O’Brien receives endorsement of construction unions federation’s

03.12.10

MARCH 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Corey O’Brien receives endorsement of construction unions federation’s

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, March 3rd- Lackawanna County Mayority Democratic Commissioner Corey O’Brien is challenging incumbent United States House of Representative Paul Kanjorski (Democrat-11th Legislative District) in the May 18th Primary Election and recently received the endorsement of the two building and construction trades labor federations in the region.

On March 3rd, Mr. O’Brien’s campaign announced the Scranton Building and Construction Trades Council in Lackawanna County and the Northeastern Building and Construction Trades Council in Luzerne County voted to support his attempt to defeat Mr. Kanjorski. Mr. Kanjorski is seeking a 14th two-year term as the Representative from the 11th Legislative District in Washington. The district includes the three major cities of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton.

The President of the Scranton Building Trades Council is Drew Simpson, an Officer of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters Union, and the President of the Northeastern Building and Construction Trades Council is Mike Rozitski, a retired Officer of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT).

The majority of unions affiliated with the two labor federations have not endorsed either candidate.

Bakery Workers Union rejected by employees in Hazleton

03.12.10

MARCH 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Bakery Workers Union rejected by employees in Hazleton

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, March 2nd- Employees of Archer Daniels Midland Company in the Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazleton rejected being represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 492 of Philadelphia.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia conducted an Representation Election at the company’s facility on February 25th. The company operates a factory in Hazleton and the principal product manufactured is cocoa.

On January 13th, 2010 the union filed with the NLRB requesting the agency conduct an election to determine if the employees wanted to be union represented for the purpose of collective bargaining. The NLRB scheduled the election to be held on the site of the factory for February 25th.

The newspaper discovered the petition while reviewing petitions and complaints filed at the NLRB office in Philadelphia. The newspaper is the only member of the local media that routinely reviews the material.

According to the NLRB, there was 80 eligible to vote Archer Daniels Midland employees and only 20 voted to be represented by the union and 59 voted against representation.

According to the petition, the union wanted to represented all full-time and regular part-time production and maintenance employees along with warehousemen employed by the employer at the Hazleton facility.

The petition was filed on behalf of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union by John Joseph Lazar. Mr. Lazar is identifiedon the petition as the President of Local 492.

Before the NLRB will conduct an election a petition must be filed with the agency and be supported by at least 30 percent of the unit of employees. Under NLRB rules, the union must receive at least 50 percent plus one of the eligible to participate workers votes in the election to become their representative for the purpose of collective bargaining.