NOVEMBER 2010 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News
Labor community requesting their members vote for Paul Kanjorski
BY PAUL TUCKER
REGION, October 17th- Incumbent House of Representative Paul Kanjorski (Democrat-11th Legislative District) is being challenged by Hazleton Republican Mayor Lou Barletta and the labor community is making phone calls and visiting union members homes attempting to mobilized them to vote for Mr. Kanjorski on election day, November 2nd.
The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in Washington, DC endorsed Mr. Kanjorski’s attempt to gain a 14th two-year term representing residents of the 11th Legislative District in Washington. The district includes the three major cities of Northeastern Pennsylvania; Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton.
Meanwhile, the AFL-CIO through the policital program designed to educate and mobilize union members are conducting phone banks and labor walks from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87 building in Dunmore for Lackawanna County and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Union Local 542 building in Plains for Luzerne County.
The labor federation is also distributing fliers regarding how Mr. Kanjorski has supported the labor community while serving 26 years in Washington.
According to one flier obtained by the newspaper, the AFL-CIO suggest Mr. Barletta wants to privatize Social Security. “Lou Barletta’s position on Social Security is all over the place. But the truth is, when President Bush proposed privatizing Social Security, Lou Barletta said he supported putting workers’ retirement savings into risky private accounts. Barletta repeatedly denied this is “privatization,” stated the flier.
Mr. Barletta has denied he supports privatizing Social Security. His campaign did not contact the newspaper during the fall campaign regarding his political views with labor issues.
The flier states Mr. Kanjorski opposes any scheme that would privatize Social Security, stating he also is committed to ensuring the cost-of-living adjustments for beneficiaries reflecting the costs that seniors occur. In 2011, Social Security beneficiaries will not receive an cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) and Mr. Kanjorski supports seniors receiving a $250.00 check from Washington during 2011.
Some labor leaders are concerned that their members enthusiasm to participate in voting on November 2nd is lacking and it could result in a lack of involvement of a constituency group important to the re-election of Mr. Kanjorski.
Mr. Kanjorski visited the AFSCME building on October 14th to greet phone bankers and union members. He thank them for their support and was hopeful of a victory on November 2nd.