Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

Basic ideas central to federal and state budget discussions

04.07.11

“Republicans are pushing for Radical Right Wing policy changes using budget blackmail.” Everyone should be saying so… over and over again. No policy or funding changes should be in the budget that could not get public support as stand alone measures.

In solidarity,

Stephen Crockett

Communications Workers Local 13500 files complaint against Lifepath Inc.

04.07.11

APRIL 2011, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Communications Workers Local 13500 files complaint against Lifepath Inc.

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, March 4th- The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Union Local 13500 filed a labor complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia alleging a Lehigh Valley employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

According to a Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge filed on February 17th, 2011, that was reviewed by the newspaper, the CWA alleges Lifepath Inc., which operates approximately 29 facilities throughout the Lehigh Valley that provides specialized support services for mentally and physically disabled persons, violated Section 8 (a), subsections (1) and (5) of the NLRAct.

The CWA organized the employees of the facilities in 2007 after the approximately 460 workers of Lifepath Inc. voted to be represented by the union for the purpose of collectively bargaining in a NLRB conducted election.

According to the ULP, Lifepath Inc. is headquartered on Highpoint Boulevard in Bethlehem.

“On or about October 1st, 2010, and continuing thereafter, without notice to the bargaining representative of its employees, the employer unilaterally and arbitrarily changed terms and conditions of employment for employees by unilaterally and arbitrarily terminating a 15 minute grace period given to employees who were late for a scheduled training class,” states the Unfair Labor Practice.

The complaint was filed on behalf of the union by Philadelphia Attorney Richard Markowitz.

The employer representative named on the complaint to be contacted is Karen Werkheiser, indentified as Lifepath’s Human Resourses Director.

Since the CWA has represented Lifepath Inc. employees the union has filed at least three other complaints with the NLRB.

According to a previously published story in the newspaper, the last ULP was filed against the employer in March 2010.

Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Region’s unemployment rate decreases to 8.9 percent

04.07.11

APRIL 2011, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Region’s unemployment rate decreases to 8.9 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, March 16th- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 8.9 percent, decreasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The MSA includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 9.7 percent.

There are fourteen Metropolitan Statistical Area’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area has the second highest unemployment rate.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 9.1 percent. The Johnstown MSA has the third highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 8.5 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 8.2 percent, decreasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, which was released approximately four weeks ago. There are 523,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs, but that number does not include residents that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work.

Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,344,000 and 5,821,000 of them have employment. The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 9.0 percent, decreasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. That number also does not include residents that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work.

There are 13,863,000 residents nationally unemployed but counting workers that have exhausted their benefits or have been unable to find full-time work there are more than 20 million Americans without jobs. After workers have exhausted their unemployment benefits they are no longer counted as unemployed unless they continue to apply for work.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.1 percent, decreasing by seven-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.5 percent and the Lancaster MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate at 6.7 percent. The Harrisburg MSA and the Pittsburgh MSA are tied for the fourth lowest rate at 7.2 percent.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 419,000 civilians. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor force at 2,954,000 with 253,900 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,222,900 with 88,200 without jobs; the Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force at 281,700 with 20,200 without employment. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the fifth largest civilian labor force at 281,500 with 25,600 without employment.

Lehigh County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 8.6 percent, decreasing by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by nine-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Lehigh County has a civilian labor force of 176.200. There are 15,200 Lehigh County residents without jobs, decreasing by 800 from the previous report.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 9.9 percent, decreasing by seven-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and decreasing by one and five-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Carbon County has a civilian labor force of 31,000 with 3,100 residents without jobs, decreasing by 200 from the previous report.

Northampton County unemployment rate is 8.7 percent, decreasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and decreasing by six-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 152,600. There are 13,300 Northampton County residents without jobs, decreasing by 500 from the previous report.