Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

Congressman Carney helps local helmet manufacturer gain military contract

08.20.10

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

Congressman Carney helps local helmet manufacturer gain military contract

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 30th- United States House of Representative Christopher Carney (Democrat-10th Legislative District) announced that Gentex Corporation, which operates a manufacturing plant in upper Lackawanna County, has been selected to produce helmets for the Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.

Mr. Carney stated the $12.6 million subcontract provides a boost to the regional economy and means the addition of new jobs to the northeast Pennsylvania company. The Gentex plant in Simpson Township is nonunion.

Mr. Carney played a role in getting the Federal Prison Industries (also known as UNICOR) contract with the United States government suspended in May. The company manufactured military helmets with prison labor and more than 44,000 helmets were recalled in the spring because they did not met the standards required in helmet manufacturing. Mr. Carney was pursuing action against the company because of alleged multiple problems it had with ballistic standards testing.

“I am very pround of the work that Gentex does for our fighting men and women. This contract will help boost our economy through job creation while also adding to our national security. It is the latest in a long legacy of successes for the company. I fight to secure investments that our local businesses require to develop state-of-the-art technologies. This is a perfect illustration of the good those investments often bring,” Mr. Carney stated.

United States Chamber of Commerce criticizes Craig Becker

08.20.10

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

United States Chamber of Commerce criticizes Craig Becker

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 15th- The United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC critized National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Craig Becker for not recusing himself from a dozen cases including local affiliates of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which has used to work for. The business organization, which also has labor unions as affiliated members, suggest implications can be drawn from his decision not to recuse himself from a single case involving pre-recognition bargaining.

The Chamber of Commerce stated that with the NLRB at full strength with five sitting members, thanks to President Obama’s appointments, the organization announced on July 9th they have launched a new periodic publication to assist employers, associations, and others in indentifying important developments at the NLRB.

“In recent years, we have seen an increasing debate over American labor policy. While the NLRB was deadlocked with one Republican and one Democratic member for more than two years, it was not a significant player in the labor policy debate. The Chamber fully anticipates that the Board will now enter a very active period with numerous decisions and policy changes that will be of keen interest to all shakeholders,” said Randel Johnson, senior vice president of the Chamber of Commerce’s Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits committee.

“There is a real need to sort through the dozens of decisions and actions taken by the NLRB each week and identify those that have policy implications. In launching this publication, we hope to fill that need so that stakeholders are aware of important developments at the Board and can take action when appropriate, such as by submitting comments or legal briefs on pending matters,” said Mr. Johnson.

The organization was critical of President Obama appointment of Mr. Becker and lobbied law makers in Washington to reject his nomination. Pro-labor Democrats failed to gain enough votes to stop a Republican filabuster on Mr. Becker’s nomination. However, President Obama placed Mr. Becker on the NLRB through recess appointment.

Settlement reached between SEIU and UNITEHERE

08.20.10

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

Settlement reached between SEIU and UNITEHERE

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 28th- The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Workers United and UNITEHERE announced they have reached a settlement agreement on behalf of the unions’ members and elected leadership that will bring to a close the protracted dispute between the unions.

The agreement was reached after months of negotiations, and resolves all issues related to jurisdiction and asset distribution and establishes a process for determining the rightful bargaining representative for the remaining disputed units. There has been a dispute between the unions for several years after members of UNITEHERE voted to disaffiliate and rename themselves “Workers United” and join the SEIU. Workers United members work within the garment industry. The agreement was signed by the parties on July 25th.

The recently elected SEIU national President Kay Henry, who replaced Andy Stern, made settling the dispute a top priority of her administration.

“Working families all around this nation are facing the most profound crisis since the Great Depression. There are 26 million people out of work and far too many who are facing cutbacks, layoffs, and benefit reduction. When hardworking people are losing the roof over their head or borrowing money to pay for groceries, we know we have more work to do. This moment calls on all of us in the American labor movement to dedicate ourselves to being part of the solution,” said Ms. Henry.

“Despite the tensions that have existed between our unions over the past months, John Wilhelm, Bruce Raynor and I have worked together to find common ground and we’ve been able to put our differences behind us. We agreed that we cannot be spending our time fighting one another over workers who are already represented when there are far too many people who want and need a voice on the job. Our resources and our attention must be put toward solutions for the crisis workers face right now.”

“We need to drive change for people in this country. None of us can go it alone. Moving forward, SEIU plans to link arms with our allies in labor and the progressive movement and forge stronger relationships with communities to be more aggressive force pushing for the demands that help working people on the job, at the bargaining table, and with public policy makers all around our country,” Ms. Henry added.

Nursing Home worker in Hazleton files labor complaint

08.20.10

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

Nursing Home worker in Hazleton files labor complaint

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 20th- The President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Pennsylvania Healthcare Union, Mountain City Nursing Home Chapter, filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia alleging his employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct). The facility provides long term resident care. Ronald Patrick Hvizda, Freeland, is indentified on the complaint as the President of the SEIU/Pennsylvania Healthcare Union Chapter at the Mountain City Nursing Home on Township Road 318 in Hazleton and is an employee of the nursing home.

Mr. Hvizda states on the complaint the Union represents approximately 200-250 workers at the Mountain City Nursing Home.

“On July 10th, 2010 management administered a disciplinary action against me (union delegate) for information and statements from employees while I was investigating needed information concerning another members grievance. Management has treated me in a discrimative manner (as a union delegate) compared to the treatment and actions of other employees. Management has interferred with the investigation of a delegate ascertaining information to find merit and just cause of a disciplinary action to a bargaining unit member,” states the complaint.

The Employer representative indentified on the complaint to be contacted is Paul Braum.

Support Xerox workers

08.20.10

Compliments of American Rights At Work:

Xerox just told 19 workers they must transfer departments or leave the company. What do all these workers have in common? They’re all fighting for a fair union contract.

At the same time, Xerox is shipping thousands of American jobs overseas.

It’s greed, pure and simple.

Just a few months ago, Xerox fired union workers – and then, after thousands of people protested, gave them their jobs back. It looks like Xerox needs a reminder that we’re still watching, and we still won’t stand for this type of behavior.

Click here to join me in helping Xerox workers keep their jobs:

http://act.americanrightsatwork.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=576&track=201008_tafp_xerox