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Result of Pratt Logistics union election is not yet known because of challenges

07.02.12

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

Result of Pratt Logistics union election is not yet known because of challenges

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

LEHIGH VALLEY, June 15th- Because the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union Local 773 challenged 12 employees eligiblity to participate in a election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia at a Lehigh Valley employer, it is not yet known if the union won the right to represent the workers in collective bargaining.

On June 8th, the agency conducted a Representation Election at the workplace of Pratt Corrugated Logistics, 7533 Industrial Parkway in Macungie, to determine if employees of the paper products manufacturer wanted to be represented by Local 773 for the purpose of collective bargaining.

The union filed a petition with the NLRB on May 2nd, 2012 requesting the agency conduct the election. Local 773 office is located on Hamilton Street in Allentown. The petition requested that Pratt employees, including all full-time and regular part-time delivery and pick-up drivers including yard jockey positions, participate in the election.

The Union filed several Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges against the Employer alleging Pratt management violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct) by firing employees that were supportive of being organized.

In the previous edition of the newspaper it was reported Local 773 filed at least two ULP’s against the company.

The Union News is the only member of the local media that reviews petitions and complaints filed at the NLRB office in Philadelphia and publishes the findings.

Employees of Pratt voted 4 against becoming Local 773 members to 1 for. However, because of the 12 challenged ballots, the outcome of the election is not yet known.

Free Davis-Bacon training sessions being offered by DOL

07.02.12

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

Free Davis-Bacon training sessions being offered by DOL

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, June 15th- The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is offering free trainings on prevailing wage requirements for federal contracts including holding a session in Philadelphia.

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division announced on June 16th the agency will host four trainings throughout the United States to provide outreach on the rules concerning prevailing wage requirements under the Davis-Bacon Act, the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act and the labor standards provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

According to Nancy Leppink, acting administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, space at the trainings is limited and anyone wishing to attend can send an e-mail to whdpwc@dol.gov that includes the participants name, title, organization and email address. Upon receipt of this information a DOL representative will advise whether the request can be accommodated. Members of the labor community are invited.

The Philadelphia training session will be held on July 10th to July 12th. The other sites are in Los Angeles, California; Seattle, Washington; and Miami, Florida.

“The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring that our stakeholders, including contractors, contracting officials, unions, workers and other interested parties, understand the wage and fringe benefit requirements that apply to federal and federally assisted contracts,” stated Ms. Leppink.

The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, such as the prevailing wage law, apply to contractors and sub-contractors performing on federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration, or repair (including painting and decorating) of public buildings or public works.

Under Davis-Bacon Act contractors and subcontractors must pay their laborers and mechanics employed under the contract no less than the locally prevailing wages and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar projects in the area. The law directs the DOL to determine such locally prevailing wage rates.

For more information regarding the prevailing wage conferences call the DOL toll-free helpline at (866)-487-9243.

Study indicates direct-care workforce will be nation’s largest by by 2020

07.02.12

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

Study indicates direct-care workforce will be nation’s largest by by 2020

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, June 9th- According to a analysis by the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), Bronx, New York, by 2020 direct-care workforce is projected to be the nation’s largest workforce at 5 million workers. Direct care workers are nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care aides.

Direct-care occupations are expected to add an additional 1.6 million jobs to the economy over the decade from 2010-2020 but the wages for these jobs continue to decline and the number of workers without health care coverage has increased, stated PHI Policy Research Directer Dorie Seavey.

“It’s quite striking that probably the largest workforce ever produced by our economy is largely made of women who struggle with inadequate conditions of employment as they try to make ends meet,” said Ms. Seavey, who conducted the analysis with Policy Research Analyst Abby Marquand.

Home-care jobs, both home health aide and personal care positions, are the nation’s fastest growing jobs, projected to increase over the decade from 2010 to 2020 at an 69 percent to 71 percent, respectively.

Home health aides and personal care aides rank third and fourth on the list of occupations expected to generate the most new jobs to the economy over the period.

Direct-care workers far outnumber other health care practitioners, including physicians, nurses, and therapists, comprising nearly a third of the entire United States health-care workforce in 2011.

These workers also outnumber, by nearly three to one, all those employed in allied health occupations, such as medical and dental assistants, and physical therapy assistants and aides.

The Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute researchers estimate that there are at least 800,000 independent providers who provide personal care services for consumers enrolled in Medicaid based settings. These workers, employed directly by consumers and their families in home and community based settings, are not tracked by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consequently, independent providers have been heavily undercounted in government surveys.

“There are two basic models for delivering in-home services and supports in the United State today; an agency model and an independent provider model.

The latter has two broad variants, private and public. The size of the private strand is extremely difficult to measure since so many private arrangements are not reported, but publicly funded arrangements can and should be accounted for, substantial numbers of workers and consumers are involved in this sector” stated Ms. Marquand.

According to the United States Department of Labor, the median wage of $10.59 in 2011 for all direct-care workers is far below the median wage for all workers, $16.57. Also, adjusted for inflation, wages for these workers occupations have declined over the last decade.

Personal care aides and home health aides earned a median wage of $9.49 and $9.91 per hour, respectively. The wages for these home-care occupations are less than the median hourly wages of $11.63 for nursing aides, orderlies, and attendents.

The number of direct-care workers without healthcare coverage in 2010 increased to 950,000, up from 900,000 the previous year.

Also, research indicated more than one third of aides employed by home-care agencies and one in four nursing home aides lacked healthcare coverage in 2011.

National Postal Mail Handler Union files labor complaint

07.02.12

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

National Postal Mail Handler Union files labor complaint

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, June 10th- The National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU) Local 308, South Commerce Way, Lehigh Valley, filed a labor complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia alleging management at the United States Postal Service (USPS) Mail Processing Center violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

According to the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge, which was discovered by the newspaper while reviewing representation petitions and labor complaints filed at the NLRB Region Four office, Local 308 alleges the United States mail delivery service violated the NLRAct by refusing NPMHU Shop Stewards from reseaching possible grievances. The Union News is the only member of the local media, including newspapers, television or radio broadcasters, that reviews and publicizes the information. The labor complaint was filed on May 24th, 2012.

The ULP alleges management at the Lehigh Valley Mail Processing Center have consistently denied or have given minimal units of time, for stewards to research possible violations of the labor agreement between the Union and the USPS.

“Chief steward Pam Baum was denied on May 15th, 2012. On May 15th, 2012 she was given a little over hour and was told that if she needed more time she should punch off of the clock to do her union business on her own time and charge the Union.

Another steward, Lonn Murrov is only given steward time for a short period of time on Sundays. In all of these cases, Management Mike Ryan or Ann Wiskoski blames staffing for their inability to grant steward time.

Also, in this facility members requests to see a shop steward are denied or ignored on a regular basis. Grievances on this issue have been filed, agreed to and ignored by floor level management. Because of this grievances are filed untimely, which the Union believes is the agenda of management at this facility,” states the ULP.

The labor complaint was filed on behalf of Local 308 by Brian Odums, a Shop Steward at the Lehigh Valley facility.

According to the ULP the Employer Representative to be contacted is Brian Ebersol. Mr. Ebersol is identified as the USPS Mail Processing Center plant manager.