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IUPAT District Council 21 complaint against Penn Allen Glass amended

11.30.10

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

IUPAT District Council 21 complaint against Penn Allen Glass amended

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, November 3rd- The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Union District Council 21, which represents tradespersons within the painting and glaziers industry, amended the labor complaint that was filed against an Lehigh Valley employer.

The IUPAT filed the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia alleging an signatory contractor with the Union, violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

The newspaper exclusively reported the ULP was filed by the union against Penn Allen Glass Inc. Front Street of Hellertown, in the previous edition.

According to the complaint, which was reviewed by the newspaper, District Council 21 alleges the Employer violated the NLRAct by failing to honor the labor agreement with the IUPAT.

“Since on or about August 16th, 2010, the Employer notified the Union and its bargaining unit employees that it was “cancelling” its contract with the Union, said Collective Bargaining Agreement being in effect until December 31st, 2010. The Employer unilaterally ceased deducting and remitting Union dues after August 16th, 2010,” states the complaint.

The Union alleges Penn Allen Glass, which operates an glass production facility at its regular place of business, 513 North 16th Street, Allentown, violated Section 8 (a), subsection (1) and subsections (a) 3 and (a) 5 of the National Labor Relations Act.

“Since on or about July 1st, 2010, the Employer unilaterally terminated the health care coverage of bargaining unit employees mandated by the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” continues the ULP.

The employer representative indentified on the complaint to be contacted is Tom McNabb. His position with the Employer is not indentified on the ULP.

The complaint was filed on behalf of the IUPAT by Philadelphia Attorney Warren Borish.

Penn Allen Glass principal product or service is the manufacturing of glass, mostly for commercial use.

“The Employer also unilaterally ceased making contractually mandated contributions to the District Council 21 Apprenticeship Fund (FTI), and IUPAT Pension and Annuity Funds.

Since on or about September 10th, 2010, the Employer permanently laid-off all of the members of the bargaining unit covered by its Agreement with the Union. All of the above unilateral actions are in violation of the Act and the Employer’s contractual obligations,” the ULP added.

STATEMENT BY U.S. SENATOR BENJAMIN L. CARDIN ON PROPOSAL TO FREEZE FEDERAL CIVILIAN PAY

11.30.10

STATEMENT BY U.S. SENATOR BENJAMIN L. CARDIN ON PROPOSAL TO FREEZE FEDERAL CIVILIAN PAY

“Our nation is recovering from the most serious recession since the 1930s. Today we face continuing high unemployment and a $1.4 trillion federal budget deficit that threatens our economic security. All Americans have a stake in our economic recovery. President Obama has proposed a two-year pay freeze for federal employees to help address the deficit. I believe any federal employee pay freeze should only be considered as part of an overall deficit reduction package. This is particularly relevant as Congress considers tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, which would add more than 10 times to the federal deficit than the President’s proposed civilian pay freeze.”

Study suggest federal action saved jobs in Pennsylvania

11.30.10

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

Study suggest federal action saved jobs in Pennsylvania
BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, November 15th- A new study by the Keystone Research Center, a economic research organization in Harrisburg, suggest the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania would be double digits absent the federal economic policies.

The Keystone Research Center study states hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania workers would be out of work today had policymakers chosen to do nothing in the face of the worst economic recession in decades.

“Federal policies stopped the economic free fall, and policy choices at the national and state level will powerfully shape the future health of the economy for middle-class Pennsylvania families,” said Dr. Mark Price, Labor Economist for the Keystone Research Center.

According to the study, unemployment rates would be at 15 percent or higher in most parts of the state, with a 20 percent rate in Philadelphia. Even places with traditionaly lower jobless rates like Harrisburg-Carlisle and Lancaster regions, would be saddled with double-digit unemployment rates.

“We have more to do. To get Pennsylvania’s economy going full steam, we need more investment in people and communities, our kids education, roads and bridges, and local economies. If the federal government trims spending too soon, our economy will get derailed again,” stated Dr. Stephen Herzenberg, Executive Director of the Keystone Research Center.

The report suggest across Pennsylvania absent federal involvement with the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009 it would have sent unemployment rates spiraling to:

• 17 percent in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metropolitan area (15,000 job
saved);
• Nearly 17 percent in Erie County (5,500 jobs saved);
• Nearly 16 percent in Altoona (over 5,000 jobs saved);
• 15 percent in Allenton/Bethlehem/Easton metropolitan region (27,000
jobs were saved by federal intervention);
• 15 percent in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area (76,000 jobs saved);
• 15 percent in Reading metropolitan region (9,000 jobs saved);
• 13 percent in the York/Hanover metropolitan area (nearly 14,000 jobs
saved);
Above 12 percent in the Harrisburg/Carlisle metropolitan area (21,000
jobs saved); and
• Above 11 percent in Lancaster County with (14,000 jobs saved).

According to Mr. Price, the new report, Getting Pennsylvania’s Economy Back on Track, amplifies a key finding of Keystone’s State of Working Pennsylvania 2010 report released last month that Pennsylvania’s economy would have been much worse off without the policy actions taken by the Federal Reserve, the Bush and Obama administrations, and the United States Congress.

The report suggests absent federal involvement, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate would be at least 15 percent today, nearly 700,000 jobs short of full employment. By comparison, Pennsylvania’s September unemployment rate stood at 9 percent, with a jobs gap of 312,000.

The Keystone Research Center estimates of unemployment rates are derived from a national-level analysis of the impact of federal economic intervention that was co-authored by Republican Arizona Senator John McCain economic adviser Mark Zandi.

Also, Pennsylvania’s economy added jobs faster during the current economic recovery than it did after the two recessions in 2001 and 1991. Fourteen months after the end of the 1991 recession, private-sector employment had declined by 19,300 jobs. At the same point after the 2001 recession, private-sector employment was down 29,800 jobs. In August of this year, 14 months after the recession was said to have ended, private-sector employment in the state had increased by 2,900 jobs.

Gracedale Nursing Home unions fear changes to contracts if facility is sold

11.30.10

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

Gracedale Nursing Home unions fear changes to contracts if facility is sold

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, November 16th- The unions that represent workers at the Gracedale Nursing Home are gaining signitures from the public on petitions requesting that Northampton County not sell the facility.

On October 24th, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union Local 1435 and the United Steelworkers of America (USW) Union Local 2599, held a rally at the facility, located in Upper Nazareth Township, to show support for the nursing home to stay under the ownership of Northampton County.

According to Jerry Green, President of Local 2599, East Lehigh Street in Bethlehem, his union is working hard to gain enough signitures to hopefully influence county officials to reconsider selling the facility to a public operator.

The nine member Northampton County Council voted to seek offers for the 725 bed nursing home which has around 650 residents.

County officials have stated selling the nursing home, which is owned and operated by Northampton County, is about saving taxpayers money. There are approximately 750 workers, 600 full-time and 150 part-time, employed at the nursing home.

Local 1435 represents around 600 workers employed at the nursing home including food service, cleaning and other support employees. Local 2599 represents approximately 50 nurses and social aid workers.

The unions fear should the facility be sold to an outside operator their members will be required to give wage and benefits concessions and contract langugage that protects their members will be changed.