Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

How to help UAW Local 1183 keep their community food bank running

06.26.12

UAW Local 1183 once represented thousands of active Chrysler auto workers in the now closed Newark, Delaware assembly plant. The plant has been torn down and the local has only a few hundred actively working members althoughthere are thousands and thousands of retirees. Exceptional management by the union leaders have kept the local active in helping the community in these difficult times.

The local somehow has managed to stay open. Hats off to their elected leaders for this accomplishment!

One of their greatest services to residents in northern Delaware along with those in nearby counties in Maryland and Pennsylvania is their community food bank. It is serving up to 10 times as many people or more than before the Great Recession hit. Thanks to the tireless work of UAW Local 1183 Financial Secretary Alena Bandy, they are helping the poor and hungry feed their families. This is being done with only a small fraction of dues paying members as before the Chrysler plant closed!

They need financial help. They need your help. You or your union can send donation checks if that is possible to: UAW Local 1183, attention: Alena Bandy, 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702.

Or you can support the weekly Flea Market fundraiser by shopping it or setting up to sell your unwanted items. All the table rents go to the UAW Local 1183 Food Bank. If you can, please help us spread the word about this worthy cause as widely as possible.

UAW 1183 “Food Bank Fund Day” every Sunday this summer

Flea Market Fundraiser- Weekly all Summer

When: every Sunday –weather permitting

Where: UAW 1183 (union hall parking lot) at : 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702

Space rental is $15 (cash only) -
Bring your own tables

Time: 8am until 2pm (seller set-up time starts at 7am)
Additional Contributions: UAW 1183 Food Bank, 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, DE 19702

UAW 1183 phone number is 302-738-4500.

More than 70 million pounds of food collected by NALC

06.26.12

JULY 2012, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

More than 70 million pounds of food collected by NALC

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, June14th- The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Union collected more than 70.5 million pounds of food in this years nationwide food drive, at a time when hunger is a major problem because of the weak economy and workers exhausting their unemployment benefits.

According to Linda Giordano, NALC Food Drive Coordinator, the NALC annual one-day drive, the largest in the nation, was conducted in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. The event was held throughout the Lehigh Valley. Ms. Giordano stated the NALC, which represents letter carriers of the United States Postal Service (USPS), celebrated the 20 th year of the annual food drive in 2012.

“These results will enable the food pantries that we supply across the country to help feed the 50 million Americans, one-third of them children, who live in families that lack sufficient food,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said.

“Six days a week, as we deliver mail to every address in America, letter carriers see first-hand the needs in the communities we work in, and we’re privileged to lead an effort that brings out the best in so many Americans,” Mr. Rolando added.

Each year customers of the USPS are asked to place non-perishable food donations near their mailboxes so that the nation’s 200,000 letter carriers can collect them while they deliver mail.

“This drive allows letter carriers to help replenish food banks during difficult summer months when millions of children have no school breakfast or lunch programs to count on,” Ms. Giordano told the newspaper.

This was the ninth consecutive NALC food drive surpassing 70 million pounds of food collected. Several NALC Branches were still compiling their figures as of June 10th, however already this year’s total tops 2011’s 70.2 million pounds.

Ms. Giordano stated the good 2012 results were achieved despite the continuing tough economy, which made the drive all the more important.

“We could not achieve these results without the contributions of our national and local sponsors, the assistance of those groups that help our branches collect the food, and the generosity of our postal customers,” stated NALC Assistant to the President Pam Donato.

NALC members brought the food collected to local food banks, pantries or shelters, including many affiliated with feeding America, a national partner in the drive. Assisting approximately 1,600 NALC Branches nationwide were rural letter carriers, other USPS employees, civic volunteers and other members of the labor community, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union member truck drivers.

Other national partners were Campbell Soup Company, the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, and the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation.

Anti-Pennsylvania State Store legislators fail to pass privatization law

06.26.12

JULY 2012, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Anti-Pennsylvania State Store legislators fail to pass privatization law

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, June 20th- The anti-union, pro-business members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly continues to introduce legislation to get Pennsylvania out of the business of selling liquor and wine and privatize the state run stores.

The latest proposal, the second in 2012, was tabled because of the inevitability of defeat in the House of Representatives. The backers of privatization promises to re-visit the issue after the summer recess of the General Assembly.

The last plan would give Pennsylvania’s 1,200 beer distributors first shot at buying licenses to sell wine and liquor that is currently only available at state owned stores and licenses that are not sold would be auctioned off to other private companies. All 600-plus state stores would be closed over five years, with the employees being fired.

Pennsylvania House of Representative Republican Majority leader Mike Turzai has lead the way for the selling of the system. His latest proposal died before the full House voted on the legislation because even members of his own party would not show support for the plan.

At least three privatization proposals have been introduced during the past sixteen months but have failed to become law. The privatization supporters are led by pro-business groups, profiteers and corporate owned main-stream media members, which are unfriendly to labor unions. The groups continue to cite polling that suggest Pennsylvanians support the selling of the stores, despite the system success in making money for state. Also, the pro-privatization supporters have failed to provide a reason why making it easier to purchase liquor in Pennsylvania would be a “good thing.”

The United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Union represents the majority of the workers employed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), which operates the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirit Shops. The UFCW represents shelf stockers and clerk workers while the Independent State Store Union (ISSU) represents most lower supervisors of the system and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union represents mainly office employees including the PLCB auditors.

UFCW Local 1776 and Local 23 have requested the labor community contact their members of the General Assembly and ask them not to support privatizing the state stores.

Meanwhile, members the two UFCW Unions have ratified a new four year contract with the Commonwealth. Wendell Young IV, President of Local 1776 stated on June 5th the successor contract agreement was approved by a 85 percent to 15 percent margin.

Local 1776 represents approximately 2,000 state store employees throughout the Northeast, Southeast and Central parts of Pennsylvania while Local 23 represents around 1,500 workers throughout the Western part of the state.

The new pact provides wage increases in the second, third and fourth year of the agreement. The contract term runs from July 1st, 2011, when the previous pact expired, to June 30th, 2015. There was a wage freeze in the first year of the agreement.

Study indicates food system employs more than 20 million

06.26.12

JULY 2012, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Study indicates food system employs more than 20 million

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, June 14th- According to a new study just released, twice as many food system employees use food stamps as other types of workers and half admitted to working while sick due to lack of insurance and paid sick days.

The report by the Food Chain Workers Alliance, a nation coalition of worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, looked at wages and working conditions of workers across the entire food chain. The sector employs approximately 20 million people in the United States, comprising one-sixth of the nation’s workforce.

Nearly 700 interviews with workers and employers in food production, processing, distribution, retail and service, were conducted. Collectively, the participants sell over $1.8 trillion dollars of goods and services annually, accounting for over 13 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to the report there are some good paying jobs in the food system with approximately 13.5 percent of workers surveyed earning livable wage, but, the vast majority are low-wage, with little or no access to paid sick days and health benefits.

More than 86 percent of workers reported earning subminimum, poverty, and low wages, resulting in food workers facing higher levels of financial insecurity, or the inability to afford to eat.

The report examines the five core food occupations and industries in the food system: farmworkers and production, slaughterhouse and other processing facilities, warehouse workers and distribution, grocery store workers, and restaurant and food service workers. It examines how corporate consolidation throughout the food chain has created impacts on workers in terms of low wages, small to midsize employers in terms of unfair competition, and consumers in terms of food quality and diversity.

The survey indicated 79 percent of food system workers do not have a single sick day, or do not know if they have paid sick days and 58 percent lack health coverage, also:

•Food system workers use food stamps at double the rate of the rest of the United States workforce. Food industry employees are also more likely receive Medicaid than other industries. Nearly 28 percent of food system employees are on Medicaid; and

•Despite taking on more duties, 81 percent never received a promotion.