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IAFF Union wins right to bargain for Nanticoke workers

08.26.10

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

IAFF Union wins right to bargain for Nanticoke workers

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 29th-The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Union Local 2655 was successful in organizing workers of the Nanticoke Fire Department Community Ambulance. The union won the right to represent the employees of the Nanticoke ambulance personnel after successfully winning an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia.

The IAFF filed a petition with the NLRB on June 11th, 2010 requesting the agency conduct an election to determine if the employees wanted to be represented by the Union for the purpose of collective bargaining.

On July 16th, the 15 eligible to vote workers voted 7 for union representation to 3 against.

According to the NLRB, the election was certified on July 27th after the employer failed to challenge the balloting result.

The union won the right to represent all land transport and emergency medical service personnel including paramedics and EMT’s employed by Nanticoke. The Nanticoke firefighters are already represented by the International Association of Fire Fighters.

The IAFF also represent firefighters in Carbondale, Scranton, Dunmore, Wilkes-Barre, Pittston, and Hazleton. Scranton is the largest unit of firefighters the IAFF represents in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

According to the petition requesting the NLRB conduct the election, Attorney Stephen Richman of Philadelphia filed the petition on behalf of the IAFF.

The Employer representative to be contacted was Dan Shaw the petition states.

Machinist Union attempting to organize Tobyhanna workers

08.26.10

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

Machinist Union attempting to organize Tobyhanna workers

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 16th- The International Association of Machinists (IAM) Union filed four petitions with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia requesting the agency conduct elections for four units of workers employed at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Monroe County.

The newspaper discovered the petitions while reviewing petitions and labor charges filed at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia.

The Union filed three petitions with the NLRB on July 7th and the fourth petition was filed on July 8th.

According to information obtained from the petitions, the Union wants to represent workers employed by Defense Support Services, an sub-contractor employed by the Army Depot. The IAM Cincinnati, Ohio office filed the petitions.

Petition case number 21717 states the Union wants to represent approximately ten full-time and regular part-time Production Control Clerks employed at the Tobyhanna Army Depot.

Petition case number 21718 states the Union wants to represent four full-time and regular part-time POC or Team Leaders employed at the Tobyhanna Army Depot.

Petition case 21719 indicates the IAM wants to represent sixty-six full-time and regular part-time Supply Techs, POC or Team Leaders and production Control Clerks employed at the Tobyhanna Army Depot.

The fourth petition states the Union wants to represent fifty-two full-time and regular part-time Supply Techs employed at the Tobyhanna Army Depot.

Under NLRB rules, the petition requesting for the agency to conduct an election must be supported by more than 30 percent of the unit of employees. At least 50 percent plus one of the employees must cast ballots in favor of union representation in a NLRB election before the agency will certify the labor organization as their bargaining representative for the purpose of collective bargaining.

The IAM currently represents several units of employees at the Tobyhanna Army Depot. Approximately 50 percent of the workers employed at the military facility are members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Union Local 1647.

Wilkes-Barre nurses rally for new contract agreement

08.26.10

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

Wilkes-Barre nurses rally for new contract agreement

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 29th- The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Professionals (PASNAP) Union, which represents nurses employed at the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital on North River Street in Wilkes-Barre, conducted a rally and picnic on July 17th to show solidarity in their attempt to gain a new contract with the employer.

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, have been negotiating for more than fourteen 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.

The rally included other members of the labor community picketing the hospital and holding a solidarity picnic.

The Union filed multiple labor complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia in the spring however the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges were dismissed by the agency ruling the complaints lacked merit.

The union filed a ULP charge on March 11, 2010 alleging CHS Inc. was negotiating in bad faith and violated the NLRAct. On May 14th, the union filed another ULP charge alleging the Employer has withdrawn its agreement to specific bargaining proposals and has done so because of ULP’s filed by the Union.

On July 15th, 2010 the Union filed another ULP alleging the Employer violated the NLRAct.

“Since on or about May 10th, 2010, and at various times thereafter, the above-named Employer, by its officers, agents and representatives has failed to bargain collectively and in good faith with the Charging Party,” the ULP states.

The Union also alleges in the complaint that the President of the Wyoming Valley Nurses Association/PASNAP, Alex Rendina, has been discriminated against because they have denied Mr. Rendina reinstatement to his position, after they were ordered by an arbitration award to do so.

“Moreover, since or about July 8th, 2010 and continuing thereafter, the above-named Employer, by its officers, agents and representatives, has brought a baseless lawsuit in bad faith, seeking to overturn the June 9th, 2010 labor arbitration award reinstating Alex Rendina to his position,” states the complaint.

Building Trades Unions hold rally in Scranton for Dan Onorato

08.26.10

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

Building Trades Unions hold rally in Scranton for Dan Onorato

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 30th- Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Onorato appeared at the John Mitchell Monument in downtown Scranton before union construction workers and officers to discuss jobs and the Republican nominee Tom Corbett’s remark that unemployed workers would rather collect benefits than go back to work.

Mr. Corbett, currently the Pennsylvania Attorney General, stated in a public radio interview in Elizabethtown that if we keep extending unemployment compensation benefits people are going to just sit there. He suggested that jobless Pennsylvanians would rather continue to collect unemployment benefits than take a job. Adding he has literally had construction companies tell him, “I can’t get people to come back to work.” He stated the employer told him the workers said, “I’ll come back to work when unemployment runs out.”

Mr. Onorato, currently Allegheny County Executive, in May defeated four other Democrats to become their party’s nominee. He and Mr. Corbett wants to replace out-going Pennsylvania Democratic Governor Edward Rendell beginning in January 2011.

Mr. Onorato called on Northeastern Pennsylvania workers and job seekers to rally against Mr. Corbett’s comment.

Mr. Corbett stated on July 12th he didn’t mean to be “insensitive” when he suggested that jobless Pennsylvanians would rather continue to collect unemployment benefits than take a job.

According to the most recent unemployment data from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Informational and Analysis in Harrisburg, the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 9.2 percent.

The information indicates there are 591,000 Pennsylvanians without jobs but the number does not include workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits or have stopped looking for work.

The Scranton Building and Construction Trades Council labor federation President Drew Simpson contacted affiliated local unions requesting their members participate in the event.

Mr. Simpson, Warden/Representative of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Union Local 645 in Scranton, told the newspaper while several unions of the building trades supported candidates during the spring campaign, his union did not support any candidate. “Onorato got most of the building trade unions endorsements, but the Carpenters stayed out of it,” said Mr. Simpson.

Mr. Simpson said the Carpenters Union Council, which Local 645 is affiliated, is headquartered in Pittsburgh which is in Allegheny County, and the leadership has worked with Mr. Onorato in the past. “Pittsburgh knows him and has worked with him in the past,” added Mr. Simpson.

The labor community is likely to support and endorse Mr. Onorato during the fall campaign.

The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) will meet on August 12th in Harrisburg and will decide which political candidates the labor federation will support. It is likely Mr. Corbett’s comment will damage his chance of receiving the endorsement of the AFL-CIO.