Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

Rick Bloomingdale begins serving as President of Pennsylvania AFL-CIO

06.30.10

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

Rick Bloomingdale begins serving as President of Pennsylvania AFL-CIO

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, June 5th- The new President of the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation Rick Bloomingdale, and the new Secretary-Treasurer, Frank Snyder, began their four-year terms on June 1st.

Mr. Bloomingdale replaced the recently retired labor federation President William George.

Mr. Bloomingdale, a member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union, previously served as the organization’s Secretary-Treasurer. He held that positition since 1994.

Mr. Snyder is a member of the United Steelworkers of America (USW) Union.

Rick Bloomingdale joined AFSCME in 1977, serving as a Project Staff Representative of Local 449 and later as the State Political/Legislative Director for AFSCME District 13.

There are 43 International unions affiliated with the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. The unions affiliated with the labor federation represents approximately 900,000 members throughout Pennsylvania.

Frank Snyder is a third-generation steelworker, who began his working life at a steel mill in Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

He was President of USW Local 8148 for over a dozen years. Local 8148 represented workers from virtually every employment sector including manufacturing, healthcare and public sector employees. Before joining the AFL-CIO staff be was a USW Union Organizer.

Mack Trucks recalls United Auto Workers members

06.30.10

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

Mack Trucks recalls United Auto Workers members

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, June 14th- Mack Trucks Inc. announced the truck manufacturer will recall 75 laid-off workers at its Macungie plant because of the increase in demand.

According to the company, the recall will take place on June 21st.

The workers are members of the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) Amalgamated Union Local 677, Mack Boulevard in Allentown. Mack Trucks is owned and operated by Volvo of Sweden.

According to a story published in the Allentown Morning Call, company officials said they would be cautious in recalling laid-off workers this year as they monitored the market’s reaction to a 2010 change in federal emissions requirements that raise the price of rigs, which can range from $80,000 to $150,000 each.

In June 2009, Local 677 members ratified a new 40 month contract agreement with Mack. The agreement will expire on October 1st, 2012. It took effect on June 1st, 2009.

The contract agreement was a concessionary pact that was neccessary because of the world economic slump.

Edward Balukus, President of Local 677 told the newspaper at the time for the most part the membership understood the agreement was the best that could have been negotiated during the bad economy.

Mack laid-off 180 workers at the manufacturing facility in December 2008 and approximately 25 more in May 2009.

When the new pact was ratified, there were approximately 395 workers laid-off at the Macungie plant which makes truck rigs with the majority used for the manufacturing of garbage trucks.

In 2009 the union had four different contracts with Mack including for employees of their headquarters that was located across the street from Local’s 677 office. Mack announced in the summer of 2008 it would move the headquarters from Allentown to North Carolina shifting the jobs away from the Lehigh Valley.

Baltimore Health Care Workers Rally for Union Rights

06.28.10

by GISELLE CHANG

BatimoreBrew

Around 400 people, joined by actor and activist Danny Glover and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, crowded Mt. Vernon Square yesterday afternoon for 1199SEIU’s the Heart of Baltimore rally to demand that all health care institutions and employers allow workers to freely, without employer intimidation, vote on having the union at their hospital, nursing home or health care institution.

Many area hospitals and nursing homes employ unionized health care workers, with Johns Hopkins Medicine being the first to do so over fifty years ago. But participants in the rally said that others, such as the University of Maryland Medical Center, dissuade their employees from pursuing unionization with fear campaigns and punishment.

“How much do I like my job?” Gary Miller, a technician at St. Agnes Hospital Emergency Department mused out loud before deciding to answer why he supports unionization.

“St. Agnes Hospital is not yet unionized and we’re letting the union make the first move, otherwise we [workers] could get in big trouble.”

Wade Hilton, a physical trainer who has a private practice but worked in a hospital for many years, shared similar sentiments, saying that some workers “are afraid it’s going to affect their jobs” if they join the Heart of Baltimore campaign and demand unionization. While they may not lose their job, they may be demoted to a lower-paying one, Hilton added.

Why take that risk?

The crowd of nurse’s aides, technicians and laundry, food service and other workers — many of them still wearing their scrubs and carrying stethoscopes, all of them enduring the blistering heat — said they need to organize to improve their sector’s chronic problem of low pay and poor working conditions.

Many said they are currently barely making poverty wages and are unable to afford the health care benefits they provide for other patients. Organizers said the problem is disproportionately worse in Baltimore and that nurse’s aides here make less than their counterparts in every other major East Coast city.

They are two-and-a-half times more likely than other Maryland workers to be on Food Stamps, and more than half of them make so little, their children qualify for the state’s low-income health insurance plan, according to the union.

As one in every five Baltimoreans works in the health care, the 1199SEIU campaign the Heart of Baltimore, aims to not only improve the livelihoods of these workers by raising wages and guaranteeing health care benefits through unionization but, in effect, heal the ailing Baltimore economy as well.

“It is about strengthening the economy for the entire city,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said to the crowd, a sea of people in purple shirts waving yellow inflatable batons. “When health care workers have a voice, we all win.”

Workers with a sense of ownership, control and say over their environment perform better Miller said: “With the union, when we voice our concerns we will have much better of a chance of controlling what will be implemented, which is good not only for us but for the patients too.”

Rawlings-Blake echoed that sentiment, saying that every health care worker deserves a voice on the job and that when they do, “you can assure that every patient gets the right care.”

Annie Henry, an instrument processor with Johns Hopkins Medicine, has been a member of the union for 41 years in order to battle racism she says she sees in the work place. Henry said that after working for Hopkins for only six months she was ready to walk out the door and that it was joining the union that gave her a “voice without retaliation.”

Since then she said the union’s strength increased but that subtle bias persists even in workplaces like hers where the union is allowed. When she was applying for a position a few years ago, she said, she was rejected on the basis of being a union member.

Still the benefits outweigh the setbacks. Laura Pugh, a cook and delegate also with Johns Hopkins Medicine, joined the union in 1970 and says she did so because she “wanted to see change.” She describes how at the time she could only go in one door because she was black and that she was afraid to speak back to white employees. But “we have gotten better” Pugh stated, “better wages, better health benefits, we got a pension.”

Despite successes, the campaign is far from over. The local Baltimore union, which had been in existence since 1969 merged with the regional 1199SEIU (Service Employees International Union) five years ago, launching the Heart of Baltimore campaign for free and fair union election. Last fall the campaign was strengthened through resolutions passed by both the city and county councils calling on all health care institutions and health care providers to free and fair union election. The resolutions cannot mandate, however, that employers allow union election.

Thus the rally, advertisements in magazines and newspapers, radio support and other forms of publicity are needed, organizers said, to raise awareness about the Heart of Baltimore campaign and put pressure on health care CEOs to adopt a free and fair union election code of conduct.

“We have now learned that change is possible and we have to make [employers] realize that we are a partnership,” Pugh said. “We’re trying to get everyone involved because everybody should have health insurance.”

Henry explained that she urges health care workers to join the campaign for unionization because there is safety in numbers. “At some point in time everybody is going to want to make more money and why wouldn’t you want to pay workers to make a decent living?” she demanded.

John Reid, the Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU Maryland/D.C. invigorated the crowd declaring that Baltimore health care workers have long suffered in comparison with their fellow counterparts just down the road in D.C.

Reid addressed the audience urging health care workers to stand up and assert their rights saying “we are ready to make our voice heard because we are the heart of Baltimore.”

Wall Street Front Group Celebrates Record Success Electing Radical Pro-Corporate, Pro-BP Candidates

06.28.10

Wall Street Front Group Celebrates Record Success Electing Radical Pro-Corporate, Pro-BP Candidates

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/06/26/clubforgrowth-radical-sucess/

Roll Call’s John McArdle reported this week that the radical Wall Street front group “Club for Growth” is “celebrating” a near perfect winning streak this election cycle so far, especially given the results in run-off elections last Tuesday. The Club is known for running hard-hitting attack ads, especially in Republican primaries, against candidates who would consider raising any form of taxes on the rich or have done anything to hold powerful corporations accountable. Noting the Club’s historic role of purging moderates from the GOP, Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) is quoted in the article calling it the “Spanish Inquisition.”

Chaired by prominent Wall Street investors like Thomas Rhodes and Richard Gilder, as well as the wealthy and reclusive Howie Rich, the Club collects funds from employees of J.P. Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, while being buoyed by large donations like a $1.4 million contribution from investor Stephen Jacksons of Stephens Groups Inc. The hand-picked candidates of the Club claim to lead the tea party movement, even though polls show that 70% of self identified tea partiers want the government to help create jobs, and nearly half want government to rein in executive bonuses.

Despite this contradiction, the Club-endorsed primary winners are already tacking to the extreme, pro-corporate right. For example, with BP’s oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Club candidates are rushing to defend the rights of corporations over the rights of the American victims of the catastrophe:

– State Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC), the Club-endorsed candidate to win in the primary run-off for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, attacked Democrats for holding hearings to investigate BP’s crimes. In a post on his website, Scott said, “Democratic lawmakers seem to enjoy hauling CEOs before their committees so they can grandstand and condescend to them.”

– Mike Lee (R-UT), the Club-endorsed candidate who won in the primary run-off for the Utah Senate seat, said recently that he wants to keep the low $75 million dollar liability cap for companies like BP. Lee said it would be a “mistake” to raise the liability cap for companies like BP and Anadarko, even if maintaining the status quo leaves “taxpayers on the hook for part of the damage.” Lee said he wanted taxpayers, rather than BP, to pay for the oil spill because the low liability cap was part of a “set of settled expectations that you give to a business when it decides to make an investment.”

– Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the Club-endorsed candidate who defeated incumbent Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) in the primary run-off last Tuesday, was asked in a debate last week if he agrees with Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-TX) apology to BP executives. Gowdy recommended that Barton should have “stuck by his guns” and not apologize for apologizing to BP. He then said that the Obama administration should not “use the criminal justice system to extort money” from BP.

– Sharron Angle (R-NV), the Club-endorsed candidate who won in the Nevada Senate primary, told Nevada Newsmakers that in the wake of BP’s spill, the government needs to further deregulate the oil industry.

– Jeff Duncan (R-SC), the Club-endorsed candidate who won the GOP nomination in the South Carolina 3rd Congressional district run-off, closed his campaign by arguing for expanded offshore drilling last week. As one of South Carolina’s most right-wing state lawmakers, Duncan proudly refers to himself as a “states’ rights” politician.

– Mike Pompeo (R-KS), the oil executive and Club-endorsed candidate in Kansas’ 4th Congressional district, said his first reaction to BP’s oil spill was the “fervent hope that Congress doesn’t overreact” and curtail dangerous offshore drilling.

While much has been reported on the impact of the tea parties and their role in elections this year, the true driver for the hard right are corporate front groups like FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth. Using Wall Street cash, these fronts have helped to boost a cadre faux populists who are really just shills for large banks and foreign oil giants like BP. Notably, financial conglomerate J.P. Morgan, which funds the Club, is one of the largest shareholders of BP.

Dems Could Win Tea Party Voters Over With America-First Trade Message

06.25.10

Dems Could Win Tea Party Voters Over With America-First Trade Message

By Mike Elk

In These Times article link/

A new poll contradicts the widely held belief that the the tea party movement is opposed to government action to help the economy. It shows that self-described Tea Party supporters are very much in favor of government action to revitalize America’s manufacturing base.

Seventy-four percent of self-described Tea Party Supporters would support a “national manufacturing strategy to make sure that government that economic, tax, labor, and trade policies in this country work together to help support manufacturing in the United States,” according to the poll, put out by the Mellman Group and the Alliance for American Manufacturing. Likewise, 56 percent of self-described Tea Party Supporters “favor a tariff on products imported from other countries that are cheaper because they came from a country that does not have to comply with any climate change regulations in the country where the products were made.”

The poll also shows that President Obama’s approval rating are 11 points lower among households were a family member is employed in manufacturing than a household where no one is employed in manufacturing. That underscores a trend already noted: those most affected by the Democrats’ failure to deliver on their promises of trade reform are turning against the Democratic Party.

Why? The reason is that many feel betrayed by Democrats. Government inaction during the last thirty years has destroyed the core of the American economy: manufacturing.

Such is the case in my own hometown of Westmoreland County, Pa., where the loss of manufacturing jobs turned the county from a heavily white, heavily union, heavily Democratic county into a heavily white, heavily Fox New watching, heavily Republican County.

In 1988, card-carrying ACLU member Michael Dukakis carried my home county by an 11-point margin in a year in which he won only nine states nationally. Yet in 2008 my home county voted for Republican Sen. John McCain by a 17-point margin. It turned Republicans because Democrats sold out on NAFTA, the North American Free-Trade Agreement, and thousands of manufacturing jobs disappeared.

The Republican Party has been able to keep these voters in their ranks despite the fact that Republican party is doing nothing on the trade front either. Infact, there is absolutely no mention of trade reform in the Tea Party’s official “Contract From America.” (See Roger Bybee’s great Working ITT piece on this problem for the Tea Party Movement). The Tea Party get its momentum not from an overall hatred of government, but from a hatred of government doing things that so often hurt people like unfair trade deals.

This new poll shows that the top concerns of all Americans, including Tea Party supporters, is not the federal budget deficit but that we are too deep of debt to China in terms of our trade imbalance. No major political party is championing this issue. The surprise victory of Democrat Mark Critz in John Murtha’s old district which was expected to go Republican showed that Democrats can win over Republican voters when they campaign tough on trade issues.

If President Obama really wanted to heal the words of divided nation and away from demagogues like Glenn Beck, he could do it be taking real action on trade. He could do it by fufilling his campaign pledge to renegotiate NAFTA (a pledge now considered “laughable” within the administration). Then Obama could fulfill another campaign promise by slapping tariffs on illegal Chinese currency manipulation which make Chinese goods 25-40% cheaper than American goods.

The great thing about renegotiating NAFTA and slapping tariffs on China is that by law Obama doesn’t need congressional approval to do it. He could do it unilaterally and send a huge signal to voters that he, along with those who support this policy, on the side of American workers. The president could use these steps to lay out a bold vision for an industrial policy to rebuild America.

The choice is President Obama’s - reform trade and heal the countries’ wounds or see a divided, unemployed white working class turn to voices of hate.

The Fight for Respect at T-Mobile USA

06.25.10

Change is good… except when it is arbitrary, capricious, and painful. John, a technical support rep, writes about trying to meet the so-called “right-fitting” policies imposed by management on employees at T-Mobile USA. Eventually discontinued, the plan ended up confusing employees and angering customers.

We note that this campaign for respect at T-Mobile has been picked up by the Wichita Eagle. The company has a major call center in that city.

We encourage you to continue visiting our website (http://www.loweringthebarforus.org/) and to like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/loweringthebar). Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/realtmobile).

The campaign continues. We are active in organizing. We are active politically. We are about to launch a major international initiative. We are thinking through the future of this company and reaching out to the investment community. We are working with a variety of stakeholders.

CWA Vice President Ed Mooney, who led the delegation of T-Mobile employees to Germany in May, is back! On Thursday, June 24, he appeared on talk radio in Bethlehem with a T-Mobile employee from Pennsylvania somewhere. We hope to have the audio file posted soon to the web site.

Do you know what a difference the union makes? Check out Hae-Lin’s post on How They Do It in Germany. She looks at the little things that matter so much – individual monitoring, how pay is structured, and break time. She finds that in general call center work is stressful but that the union (ver.di) negotiates a work environment that is much more humane.

Estamos Juntos? T-Mobile is actively reaching out to the Hispanic community as part of its attempt to revive its fortunes. Unfortunately, the company is not doing a good job of “sticking together” for either employees or customers. For those of you following the World Cup, you may know that T-Mobile is a major promoter of soccer, especially in the Hispanic community. We suggest, however, that T-Mobile deserves a red card for its treatment of employees.

There are some indications that the issues facing stakeholders at T-Mobile are present in different forms throughout Deutsche Telekom. In What’s Going on at Deutsche Telekom, we note managerial corruption at DT Greece, rigged bidding involving DT in Serbia, a step backward in corporate transparency at DT Hungary, and the recent resolution of the corporate snooping scandal in Germany that left a rather nasty smell. Back in the U.S., T-Mobile may have obstructed justice in a homicide investigation.

The corporate spying scandal at DT was once thought to have compromised the career of incoming T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm. His appointment changed all that… but it is pretty high stakes for DT CEO René Obermann.

As for the fortunes of T-Mobile USA, please note that CWA released an investor alert last week. We hate to be pessimistic, but mainstream observers are not excited by the company’s future. We note that Deutsche Telekom is no longer traded on the New York Stock Exchange. I have no love for the NYSE but it does have listing standards the company no longer has to meet – to the detriment of investors. Tell me again how the company will raise money for the 4G network?

For all you Apple fans out there, we note the speculation that the iPhone may be offered by T-Mobile or Verizon or… ?

We noted last week as well that T-Mobile is shutting down a repair facility in Georgia, only to outsource the work. How is that for respecting employees?

There are some observers out there who believe the brand T-Mobile will disappear in 2011. Maybe we should have a contest to re-name the company!

That’s it for now.
Enjoy your weekend!

##
Stick together at T-Mobile? Not for the workers. Learn the truth about T-Mobile.

http://loweringthebarforus.org/

http://twitter.com/realtmobile

Contact: realT-Mobile@cwa-union.org

SEIU elects Mary Henry to lead 2.2 million member union

06.24.10

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

SEIU elects Mary Henry to lead 2.2 million member union

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 4th- The 73-member International Executive Board of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) met in Washington DC on May 8th and elected Executive Vice President Mary Kay Henry the 10th President of the Union. The SEIU has 2.2 million members which is the largest in the nation.

“This moment marks a renewed commitment to our union’s core mission, to improve the lives of all workers who are struggling to make ends meet in this economy. Working people are facing hardships we haven’t seen in generations, and we believe SEIU can be an even more effective vehicle for change to help them improve their lives and the lives of the people they serve,” said Ms. Henry.

Ms. Henry replaces Andy Stern which announced eariler in the year his plan to retire. Mr. Stern was a 38 year member of the union and has been the leader of the SEIU for 14 years, after former President John Sweeney resigned to become President of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation.

The SEIU represents workers in Northeastern Pennsylvania including employees at Mercy Hospital in Scranton and Geisinger Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre.

Mr. Stern joined the SEIU in 1972 as a member of Local 668, which represents members in the region. He was elected the youngest president in the SEIU history in 1996.

Mr. Stern led the movement of the national unions that disaffiliated with the AFL-CIO and formed the Change-to-Win (CtW) labor federation in 2005. Seven unions representing 6 million workers including: the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT); the United Farm Workers (UFW); the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA); the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW); UNITE/HERE; and the International Brotherhood of Carpenters Union joined with the SEIU to form the CtW labor federation.

However, Mr. Stern was critized by labor leaders including Teamsters International President James Hoffa after members of the UNITE/HERE Union voted to join the SEIU in 2009.

Anti-union business groups waisted no time in showing their delight that Mr. Stern stepped down.

Americans for Limited Government, an right-leaning anti-union organization, proudly pro-claimed “Good Riddance, Andy Stern” on their web-site and on a e-mail sent to the newspaper.

The organization stated the announcement of Mr. Stern’s retirement was a victory for the entire nation. “Perhaps Andy Stern, who has done so much to drag the United States economy into the socialist abyss will be retiring to a spiritual home in Havana,” stated Bill Wilson, the President of Americans for Limited Government.

Ms. Henry announced the SEIU will invest $4 million in an innovation fund set up to reinvigorate private sector organizing throughout the country; and also the Union will invest an additional $4 million in campaign work related to gubernationial races in 2010.

“We will invest in grassroots political action in a sustained way so that we can build a progressive majority from the ground up and link it to the incredible national work of our union. The best demonstration of this approach was passage of national healthcare reform granting 33 million more Americans access to healthcare. We want to link our political strength and our organizing program to stand up on behalf of all workers who are being threatened in this country,” added Ms. Henry.

Ms. Henry grew up in Detroit, Michigan and has served as Organizing Director for the union and head of the SEIU healthcare division. She was elected SEIU Executive Vice President in 2004 and is a strong advocate for immigrant rights.

Millions of tax revenue lost because of natural gas tax policies

06.24.10

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

Millions of tax revenue lost because of natural gas tax policies

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 2nd- According to a study released by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center in Harrisburg, a budget and related research group with gives analysis on the impact of state tax policies on working families, by not having a natural gas severance tax, Pennsylvania has lost more than $54 million since October, 2009. The group believes the money could have funded vital state services including education and health care, as well as drilling related environmental and local costs. The organization stated the number is growing every day as more energy companies flock to Pennsylvania to tap into the gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale.

“Every hour, the natural gas industry gets an $11,000 tax break because lawmakers won’t enact a severance tax. Pennsylvania is one of the only energy-producing states in the nation without a severance tax. We shouldn’t be giving away this precious resource without asking companies like Exxon Mobil, Shell and Range Resources to chip in for the public costs of their activities,” said Sharon Ward, Director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center.

Across the country, 96 percent of natural gas is produced in states that have severance taxes. Severance taxes provide a stable source of revenue in many energy-producing states for critical services like education and health care. In 2010, Montana and North Dakota were among the only states to avoid budget shortfalls thanks in large part to energy taxes, including severance taxes.

According to the group, while some policymakers in Pennsylvania worry about the impact of a severance tax, studies in Wyoming, Utah and other states have shown that tax rates have little effect on natural gas production. Rather, drilling decisions are made on the location of reserves and the expected price of natural gas.

In the 2009-2010 budget, environmental protection and conservation were cut by $79 million. Some of the severance tax revenue could have offset cuts to state parks, environmental management and clean water programs, the group added.

A severance tax also could offset public safety costs and road repair in heavy drilling parts of the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania State Police officials have shown increased policing cost because of the influx of out-of-state drilling crews. Many of the workers hired by the energy companies are from Texas and Louisiana.

Complaint’s filed against Mercy Hospital and Union

06.24.10

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

Complaint’s filed against Mercy Hospital and Union

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 4th- There were two complaints filed by an employee of Mercy Hospital at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia alleging both her Union and Employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

The newspaper found both Unfair Labor Practices (ULP’s) while reviewing complaints and petitions filed at the NLRB Region Four office. The newspaper is the only member of the local media to review and publish the information.

The ULP’s were both filed on May 14th, 2010. Ms. Roberta Robbins of Hazleton, a member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Pennsylvania Healthcare, which represents employees of Mercy Hospital on Jefferson Avenue in Scranton including nurses, filed a complaint against the Union alleging it has failed and refused to represent her with grievances against the Employer. The complaint alleges the SEIU failed to represent her concerning the Employer’s “retaliation against her for protected concerted activities, Union activities, and contacts to the Department of Labor,” states the ULP.

“The Union has violated the duty of fair representation by misrepresenting the terms of a settlement agreement, by failing to negotiate the promised settlement, and by failing to pursue a grievance to arbitration when the Employer did not follow through on its settlement offer.” The union representative indentified on the ULP to be contacted is Mary Ireland.

Ms. Robbins complaint against Mercy Hospital alleges the employer “retailiated against her for:

(a) her protected concerted activities,
(b) her complaints to the Department of Labor, and,
(c) her Union grievances, by changing her assigned shift and taking other retaliatory actions, and be refusing to honor a settlement agreement with the Union,” states the complaint.

According to the ULP’s the SEIU represents approximately 1,200 employees of the medical center.

The employer representative indentified on the complaint to be contacted is Tina Jones, Human Resources of Mercy Hospital.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA unemployment rate highest in Pennsylvania

06.24.10

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

MSA unemployment rate highest in Pennsylvania

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 2nd- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, the region’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 10.0 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, which was released approximately four weeks before. 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 8.2 percent. The unemployment rate is the highest for the region since September 1992 when it reached 10.5 percent.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 9.0 percent, unchanged from the previous report. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,470,000 with 584,000 not working and 5,886,000 with employment. The national unemployment rate is 9.9 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.

There are 15,260,000 civilians in the nation reported to be unemployed. That number does not include civilians that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and have stopped looking for work. There are at least 21,500,000 civilians in the nation without jobs.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the fouth largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 286,000 civilians. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 2,998,400 with 280,300 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA is second at 1,130,500 with 104,500 without jobs; the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force at 426,500 with 41,600 not working; and the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fifth largest civilian labor force at 287,200 with 23,300 without employment.

Of the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the highest unemployment rate. The Erie MSA has the second highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 9.9 percent, with the Allentown/Bethlhem/Easton MSA with the third highest at 9.7 percent followed by the Reading MSA at 9.6 percent.

There are 28,500 residents reported to be not working in the MSA, increasing by 5,100 from twelve months before. That number also does not include civilians who unemployment benefits have expired and stopped looking for work.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.6 percent. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in the state at 7.6 percent, the Altoona MSA and the Lancaster MSA are tied for the third lowest rate at 7.9.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 9.5 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and increasing by one and seven-tenths of a percentage points from one year ago. Lackawanna County has a labor force of 108,700, increasing by 100 civilians from the previous report and rising by 500 from one year ago. There are 10,300 Lackawanna County residents without jobs, increasing by 1,800 from twelve months ago.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 10.4 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and increasing by one and nine-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Luzerne County has a labor force of 162,800, decreasing by 200 from the previous report and increasing by 1,000 during the past year. Of the labor force 16,900 do not have a job, increasing by 300 during the past four weeks and rising by 3,100 from one year ago.

Wyoming County has a unemployment rate of 9.7 percent, decreasing three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and jumping by one and five-tenths of a percentage point from one year ago. Wyoming County has a labor force of 14,600, decreasing by 100 from the previous report and rising by 100 during the past twelve months. There are 1,400 Wyoming County residents without jobs, decreasing by 100 from the previous report and increasing by 200 from one year ago.

Within the MSA, mining, logging and construction jobs increased from the previous report by 700 jobs because of the spring building season.

Professional and business services jobs rose by 600 from the previous report due in large part to warmer weather allowing additional employment at local landscaping businesses.

Leisure and hospitality jobs rose by 900 during the period because of the outdoor recreational businesses adding seasonal workers.

Philadelphia CLUW Honors Women Active In The Community

06.23.10

Philadelphia CLUW Honors Women Active in the Community
by John O. Mason

The Philadelphia Chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) held its Working Women’s Awareness Week Awards Reception at the assembly hall of Workers United, 22 South 22nd Street, on Monday, June 7, 2010.
Kathy Black, Philadelphia CLUW President, thanked the attendees for coming “to support the work of CLUW and to celebrate the achievement of some very impressive working women, from the Labor movement and our allies in the community.”
The awardees were Willie Black, Coordinator of Messages From Mom and Dad; Karen Bojar, who recently retired as president of Philadelphia national Organization for Women (NOW); Cecilia Lynch, activist for the Philadelphia Security Officers Union; Danielle Newsome, Organizer for the Cure CVS Campaign; and Barbara Rahke, Director of the Philadelphia Area Project for Occupational Safety and Health (PHILAPOSH), who won the Union Woman of the Year Award.
Black introduced Karen See, the new National CLUW President, who said, “I know that with your help, I know we can change CLUW into a vibrant organization nationwide. Fortunately, we have strong chapters in Philadelphia, which I hold us (as a model). When somebody says, ‘I want to organize a CLUW chapter,’ I say, ‘You want to be like Philadelphia.’”
Continuing about the Philadelphia CLUW chapter, See said, “You guys are doing a great job here, I like to clone some of your leaders and take them to some other states with me. We are coming back, there’s a new excitement about CLUW, and I feel it, and I see it everywhere I go.”
Janet Ryder, Pennsylvania State CLUW President, said of CLUW‘s recent activities, “Men, believe it or not, women get the job done…We’re a very diverse group, and we’re very pro-active, and we’re very passionate about what we do. The women (honored) tonight are being honored because of their passion and their service to the community.”
Ryder introduced Willie Black of Messages from Mom and Dad, an organization that videotapes prison inmates reading stories to their children, to maintain the connection between them. In accepting the award, Black spoke of her work, “talking to the inmates, and having them hear back from their children (and) of the service that we give them.” Black said her group sends survey cards to the children asking about the DVDs of their parents reading to them; “We have gotten,” she said, “some really heartwarming responses, most of them saying they don’t get an opportunity to see their parents, so this is their visit to their parents.”
Black said that Messages From Mom and Dad was “a collaboration of civic, social, religious, and political organizations….We go twice a week (to correctional facilities for men and women) and we videotape the men and women reading a book (for their children),” and they play the video to the children; “They are…giving a message of love to their child, and they’re encouraging their children to continue to read…So this has also become literacy type of project.”
Karen Bojar received the next award, saying, “Many of you know, the Philadelphia chapter of NOW and the Philadelphia chapter of CLUW have had a very strong working relationship over the past eight years.” Bojar added that Kathy Black, who is President of Philadelphia CLUW, is also Vice-President of Philadelphia NOW, saying to Black, “the partnership that we have has been certainly something that you have so much to do with.
“Women have made enormous strides over the past fifty years,” added Bojar, “but those gains have not been shared equally…The job of the Feminist movement is to focus laser-like on issues affecting working women.”
The next award went to Cecilia Lynch, who was active in the Philadelphia Security Officers Union (PSOU), working with Philadelphia Jobs With Justice (JWJ), in their organizing of security workers in the firm Allied Barton. “I want everybody in this room,” she said to the audience, “especially Kathy Black, all the people in CLUW, everybody involved with Jobs With Justice, how much I and the other officers appreciate with you did for us. It’s been many years, it’s been a long time, and we never could have done it without everyone here.” Lynch said that later in June the union would go into negotiations with Allied Barton for a contract.
The next award went to Danielle Kamali Newsome, who worked under Change To Win to head its Cure CVS campaign, protesting the drug store chain’s practices of locking up condoms in low income neighborhoods, and of selling expired medicines and baby formulas. Newsome thanked Philadelphia CLUW for being “one of the first organizations to sign on to the Cure CVS campaign. CLUW, along with NOW and Jobs With Justice, were really integral in getting everything that we won through that campaign, being out in rallies in the rain, going to City Council.”
Following Newsome, Barbara Rahke received the award for 2010 Union Woman of the Year. In her remarks, Rahke introduced her stepdaughters, saying, “In our work… we have people we love, who, every day, whether we see them or not, they remind us why we do what we do.
“I do consider myself an organizer,” Rahke added, “and as an organizer, your goal is to put yourself out of a job, if we do what we’re supposed to do, and we’re helping motivate people to find their inner power, and their inner strength, and to step forward and take leadership, then our job is done. I feel like I’m getting an award for just finishing the job, which we try to do all the time.”

National unemployment rate falls because of Census jobs

06.22.10

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

National unemployment rate falls because of Census jobs

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 4th- The national job growth report was released for May indicating the unemployment rate decreased to 9.7 percent primarily as a result of 411,000 temporary United States Census jobs. The unemployment rate does not include workers that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work.

There was reported to be 15,260,000 residents without employment in the United States which does not include workers who benefits have been exhausted or unable to find full-time work. Actually, there are more than 20 million Americans without jobs.

The Census hires total job creation for May pushed the total to 431,000, however the addition of 20,000 non-Census jobs is down sharply from the 217,000 reported for April. However, excluding the temporary Census hires, the economy has generated 132,000 jobs a month over the last three months. The number is just a bit more than the amount needed to keep pace with the number of workers entering the labor force.

According to Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, an economic policy think tank in Washington, DC., the weakness in job creation spread across sectors. Construction is again shedding jobs, losing 35,000 jobs in May after showing gains the prior two months. Some of this may have been weather related, with increases in March and April reflecting a bounce-back from the bad weather in February.

Retail trade lost 6,600 jobs in May after adding 97,000 jobs over the prior four months. Weak sales are the obvious explanation for the job decline. Employment services added 34,400 jobs in May after adding 29,000 in April. The sector has added almost 75,000 a month from October, 2009 through January 2010.

Health care added 13,100 in May, down from its average of 20,000 a month over the last year. Restaurants added 5,500 jobs in May compared with an average of 19,000 jobs over the last four months. State and local governments lost 22,000 jobs in May, a pattern that will likely continue with the new fiscal year that begins in July.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a bright spot with the 0.1 hour increase in the duration on the average workweek. It is now up by 0.5 hours from its low last October. The increase could suggest a demand for labor and more hiring is imminent. However, hours are poorly measured and some of this increase may simply be noise in this data.

Meanwhile, wage growth continues to slow with the average hourly wage rising at a 1.6 percent annual rate over the last quarter, down from a 1.9 percent rate over the last year.

The picture in the household data is very mixed. While the unemployment rate dropped, the employment rate also slipped by 0.1 percent as the labor force was reported as shrinking by 322,000. This likely reflects noise rather than a real decline in the labor force. As noted before, since October 2009, employment growth in the household survey has hugely exceeded jobs growth in the survey.

African Americans were the biggest gainers in May, with a 1.0 percentage point drop in their unemployment rate overall to 15.5 percent, with the unemployment rate for black women dropping 1.3 percentage points to 12.4 percent.

College graduates saw a 0.2 percentage point decline in their unemployment rate to 4.7 percent. Unemployment stayed constant for those with some college and rose by 0.3 percentage points for high school grads and those without degrees.

Postal Workers Union Local 175 files labor complaint

06.22.10

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

Postal Workers Union Local 175 files labor complaint

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 2nd- The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 175 in Wilkes-Barre filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia alleging the United States Postal Service (USPS) violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).The union filed the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge on May 24th agains the USPS.

According to the complaint the employer is accused of violating Section 8 (a), subsections (1)(3) and (5) of the NLRAct.

The complaint alleges the Employer has been reneging on an agreement to extend the time limits for processing grievances.

“On or about February 12th, 2010, the above named Employer, unilaterally and without bargaining with the Union, restricted Local 175 President John Kishel from engaging in Union/Steward activities during work hours, and thereafter began prohibiting John Kishel from engaging in the above activities during the work day at any time after 12:30 p.m.,” states the ULP.

The employer representative identified on the complaint to be contacted is Wilkes-Barre USPS Postmaster Judith Lech.

According to the complaint the Union represents approximately 100 employees of the USPS. Local 175 members where required to transfer when the USPS eliminated most of the mail processing at their South Main Street in Wilkes-Barre facility when they moved much of the operations to Scranton and the Lehigh Valley last year. The union represerts mail process workers including clerk personnel and maintenance workers at 24 USPS facilities in and around Wilkes-Barre.

“Since on or about April 2nd, 2010, the above named Employer, unilaterally and without bargaining with the Union, began requiring the Union to send its correspondence to the Employer via first class mail,” the ULP continued.

The complaint alleges the USPS has failed to provide Local 175 with requested information including the seniority lists for Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and the Lehigh Valley and other information neccessary to represent the membership.

Under pressure by Mr. Carney company suspends helmet manufacturing

06.18.10

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

Under pressure by Mr. Carney company suspends helmet manufacturing

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 5th- Under pressure from United States House of Representative Chris Carney (Democrat-10th Legislative District), Federal Prison Industries (also known as UNICOR) has suspended producing military helmets and agreed to waive the preferential staus that gives it first right of refusal on helmet contracts with the United States government.

“Our military men and women deserve only the best equipment and it has become clear that Federal Prison Industries cannot meet the standards required in manufacturing helmets,” stated Mr. Carney.

The decision to suspend helmet manufacturing leaves two large contractors who have large facilities in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Gentex and BAE, with the opportunity to win substantial contracts and add hundreds of jobs, Mr. Carney stated.

Mr. Carney was informed of the decision to suspend helmet production hours before consideration of amendments on the Defense Authorization Act was to begin on Federal Prison Industries.

The company which employs prisoners, is one of the largest military helmet manufacturers in the country and was the producer of the 44,000 helmets that the Army recalled several weeks ago.

Mr. Carney was pursuing action against the company because of alleged multiple problems it had with ballistic standards testing.

Nurses Union files more complaints against Medical Center

06.18.10

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

Nurses Union files more complaints against Medical Center

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 4th- The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Professionals (PASNAP) Union filed a second complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia alleging the operators of the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital on North River Street in Wilkes-Barre violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

PASNAP, Conshohocken Pennsylvania, represents approximately 440 nurses employed at the medical center. The Union also represents nurses employed at the Community Medical Center (CMC) on Mulberry Street in Scranton.

PASNAP and Community Health Systems (CHS) Inc., which operates the medical center, and the union have been negotiating for more than twelve months attempting to gain a successor contract agreement. The previous pact expired on August 30th, 2009. The two sides agreed to work under the terms and conditions of the previous contract while negotiations continue for a new pact.

The Tennessee based CHS Inc. is the largest owner of for-profit hospitals in the United States and also operates a facility in Pottsville.

On March 11th, 2010, the Union filed a complaint with the NLRB alleging CHS Inc. is negotiating in bad faith and violated the NLRAct.

On May 14th, the union filed another Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge alleging since on or about February 1st, 2010, and continuing thereafter, and on or about April 8th, 2010 and continuing thereafter, the Employer has failed to bargain in good faith for the registered nurses PASNAP represents. The Union alleges the Employer has withdrawn its agreement to specific bargaining proposals and has done so because of ULP’s filed by the Union.

Senate Republicans Kill Jobs Bill, Block Jobless Aid

06.18.10

Senate Republicans Kill Jobs Bill, Block Jobless Aid

by Mike Hall

http://blog.aflcio.org/2010/06/18/senate-republicans-kill-jobs-bill-block-jobless-aid/

Senate Republicans last night blocked a jobs bill that would have extended unemployment insurance (UI) for long-term jobless workers. Some 250,000 unemployed workers a week are losing their unemployment benefits because they can’t find jobs.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the Republican’s action to

block unemployment benefits for the hardest-hit jobless Americans is an outrage–sadly, it’s simply the latest shame. All members, both Republicans and Democrats, must remember that come November, voters will be thinking about one thing—jobs.

Senate leaders scaled back the bill to win the 60 votes needed to end the Republican filibuster against the bill. The 56-40 vote included all Republicans present and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)

The extended UI program expired May 31 after the Senate left town for the Memorial Day recess without acting on a House-passed jobs bill that would have kept the long-term unemployment benefits program alive. The U.S. unemployment rate is near 10 percent, at least 15 million people are out of work and 6.8 million people have been out of work for 27 weeks or more.

The Republicans’ strident opposition to the jobs bill is out of step with voters. According to a June 11-13 USA Today/Gallup poll, 60 percent of Americans say they would favor “additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy.”

Not only did Senate Republicans turn their backs on jobless workers–they also protected Wall Street investors and big oil companies like BP. The bill would have closed tax loopholes that allow hedge fund and other investments managers to shelter income at lower tax rates than working families pay on their income. It also increased the liability taxes on oil companies. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said Republicans

said “Yes” to the special interest groups they always stand by.

Further Senate action on the bill is not expected until next week.

Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) town hall & dinner in Delaware

06.16.10

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), a non-partisan partnership of leading U.S. manufacturers and the United Steelworkers.

Every citizen in the state of Delaware, the city of Newark and the surrounding region, no matter what their income, education, position, or political leaning should join us to put the critical need to rebuild a new manufacturing economy on the top of the policy agenda. Economists and the public agree that America must have high-quality jobs if we are to have long term prosperity and save America’s middle class. The solution is to rebuild our manufacturing jobs by seizing the opportunity to make green and sustainable products and meet our infrastructure needs. Now is the time, manufacturing is the solution, and you can help make it happen for our nation.

The United States has lost more than 5 million manufacturing jobs in the past decade, and more than 50,000 factories have closed. Manufacturing is critical to the nation’s economic growth and our lawmakers must take action to grow good American manufacturing jobs. Together we can “Keep it Made in America.”

Executive Banquet & Conference Center
205 Executive Dr.
Newark, DE 19702

Tuesday, June 29
6:00-9:00 pm

Speakers followed by a panel discussion. Written questions will be submitted from the floor.

Complimentary Dinner Will Be Served

WHO: Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) & you
WHAT: Delaware Town Hall & free dinner
WHEN: Tuesday, June 29: 6:00-9:00
WHERE: Executive Banquet & Conference Center, 205 Executive Drive, Newark, DE 19702
WHY: “Manufacturing a Solution for America’s Economic Woes” is vital for America today and in the future!

FREE EVENT!

Please RSVP to 866-365-2203
For Information Contact: Gwen Miller 302-283-1330 or Stephen Crockett 443-907-2367.

RSVP is a must. We need an accurate count for the dinner.

House of Representative Paul Kanjorski to again be challenged by Lou Barletta

06.15.10

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

House of Representative Paul Kanjorski to again be challenged by Lou Barletta

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 4th- Incumbent United States House of Representative Paul Kanjorski (Democrat-11th Legislative District) defeated Lackawanna County Democratic Majority Commissioner Corey O’Brien on May 18th for their party nomination and will again be challenged by Hazleton Republican Mayor Lou Barletta in November. Mr. Barletta has challenged Mr. Kanjorski twice before including in 2008.

Mr. Kanjorski has one of the best labor voting record’s in Washington but Mr. O’Brien was supported by several labor union’s in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

According to the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC, Mr. Kanjorski has voted to support labor legislation 94 percent of the time.

Several unions that supported Mr. Kanjorski in the past contributed to Mr. O’Brien. The AFL-CIO endorsed Mr. Kanjorski.

Kevin McHugh, Business Manager of the International Association of Bridge Structural Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union Local 489 in Yatesville, told the newspaper as a Lackawanna County Commissioner Mr. O’Brien supports the hiring of unionized construction workers for county projects. Local 489 endorsed Mr. O’Brien.

John Gatto, Assistant Business Manager of the Painters and Allied Trades District Council 21 in Drums stated Mr. O’Brien has supported the unions of the building trades but Mr. Kanjorski’s labor voting record couldn’t be ignored and his union endorsed the incumbent.

Mr. Kanjorski voted to increase the federal minimum wage in January 2007 and voted for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCAct)/Card Check legislation in 2008. The EFCAct legislation passed in the House of Representatives 241-185 but failed in the Senate. The labor community made passage of the legislation a priority but because several Democrats would not support it, EFCAct failed in the United States Senate.

Mr. Barletta received the support of several unions during his challenge of Mr. Kanjorski in 2008. They included unions that represent firefighters and the police in the region. The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Union Local 60 in Scranton, Local 860 in Dunmore, Local 104 in Wilkes-Barre and Local 507 in Hazleton supported Mr. Barletta. FOP Lodge #2 also supported Mr. Barletta.

David Schreiber, President of Local 60, which represents 137 members of the Scranton Fire Department, told the newspaper his members could support Mr. Kanjorksi in 2010 providing several issues are first resolved between the parties. His members have been unhappy with Mr. Kanjorski in the past because of his support for Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty. Mr. Doherty failed to negotiate for a new labor agreement with Local 60 during the nine years he served as Mayor of Scranton.

Ken Klinkel, President of the United Auto Workers of America (UAW) Union Local 1193 in Eynon, stated Mr. Kanjorski showed his support for union auto workers by supporting loans to the American auto markers in 2009. The loans saved thousands of auto workers jobs at General Motors (GM) and Chrysler. GM has since repaid the loans.

Lackawanna County’s largest manufacturer to layoff workers

06.15.10

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

Lackawanna County’s largest manufacturer to layoff workers

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 1st- Cinram Manufacturing in Olyphant announced the company will layoff 155 employees but the report company officials filed with the Department of Labor indicates more than 600 will loss their jobs by the end of 2010.

Cinram Manufacturing is Lackawanna County’s largest manufacturer. In February it was announced the company lost the Warner Home Video manufacturing contract. Warner Home Video will terminate its production contract with Cinram on July 31st. The contract with Warner Home Video represented approximately 28 percent of Cinram’s revenue.

The company operates a 1 million square foot plant in the Mid-Valley Industrial Park, which once manufactured vinyl records and employing several thousand workers.

Cinram employees are not represented by a labor organization therefore the employer will not need to negotiate what is called, “layoff effects bargaining.”

The average wage of the employees to be laidoff is between $15.00 to $20.00 per hour.

The newspaper is aware of two organizing campaigns at the plant that was conducted by several unions during the past several decades.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) Union attempted to gain enough signitures of employees of the plant to request the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) conduct an election to determine if they wanted to be union represented. However, not enough employees signed authorization cards. Under NLRB rules at least 30 percent of the employees must sign authorization cards.

The IAM represented workers at the Capital Records plant in Scranton until the early 1970’s when the plant was closed and some of the manufacturing of records was moved to California.

According to information provided to the Department of Labor by Cinram officials, and obtained by the newspaper, the company will layoff several times in 2010. The first layoff will occur on August 2nd and a second layoff will be held between December 7th and 21st.

The layoffs will effect packaging and assembly operators, offset print operators, and electro-mechanical technicians. The average longevity of the laidoff workers will be at least 18 years.

The company stated it planned to layoff around 600 of the 1,000 workers at the plant. No part-time workers will be effected by the layoff.

Cinram filed with the Department of Labor about the layoffs on April 23rd, and the mainstream media failed to report the actual number of employees to be terminated.

Alliance for American Manufacturing Town Hall in Delaware on June 29th

06.14.10

Alliance for American Manufacturing Town Hall in Delaware on June 29th

Time: 6-9pm

Location: Plumbers & Pipefitters (UA 74) Hall
201 Executive Drive
Newark, Delaware 19702

Contacts: Gwen Miller 302-283-1330
Stephen Crockett 443-907-2367

Speakers followed by a panel discussion. Written questions taken from the floor. Representatives from labor, business, community, government and more.

I will post the list as soon as it is finalized.

All your members are invited.

Free dinner but you will need to RSVP so we get an accurate count. This is going to be a good meal.

I will post the RSVP phone number on the Mid-Atlantic Labor.com Facebook page and on the main website.

Email me at demlabor@aol.com if you want updates and a PDF of the flyer to distribute to your membership and fellow leaders.

In solidarity,

Stephen Crockett