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The ULP filed by IUPAT District 21 under investigation

07.15.12

JULY 2012 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

The ULP filed by IUPAT District 21 under investigation

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 24th- The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) District Council 21, Azalea Drive in Drums, Luzerne County, labor complaint filed at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia is under investigation.

In the previous edition of the newspaper it was reported that IUPAT District Council 21 filed a Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge alleging an signatory contractor with the Union violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

According to the Unfair Labor Practice charge, which was discovered by the newspaper while reviewing representation petitions and labor complaints filed at the NLRB Region Four office, the IUPAT represents approximately four workers of the company.

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 23rd, 2012 against Accents Painting and Wallcovering, LLC Accents Contracting, Church Road in Mountain Top.

The ULP was filed against the painting contractor on behalf of the Union by John Gatto, identified as the Assistant Business Manager of IUPAT District Council 21. IUPAT represent painters and drywall construction workers within the building trade industry.

“On or about March 23rd, 2012 Accents Painting and Wallcovering refused to furish District Council 21 with requested information for collective bargaining.

Since September 2011 Accents Painting and Wallcovering has not made fund payments as per District Council 21’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Since approximately January 2012 the officers of Accents Painting and Wallcovering have been running Accents Contracting, a non signatory alter ego, within the same industry,” states the labor complaint.

According to the NLRB, the complaint is under investigation and during their review of the ULP additional information has been uncovered regarding Accents Painting and Wallcovering business practices.

Mr. Gatto stated the employer is attempting to not pay their obligations under the IUPAT contract and the Union was left with no choice but to file the labor complaint.

The company is operated by Jennifer and Ken Phillips.

IBEW Local 81 withdraws union organizing petition

07.15.12

JULY 2012 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

IBEW Local 81 withdraws union organizing petition

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, June 30th- The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 81, Wyoming Avenue in Scranton, attempt to organize workers employed by the MasTec Company, East Lackawanna Avenue in Olyphant, has been delayed because the union withdrew the petition.

On April 30th, IBEW Local 81 filed the representation petition requesting the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia conduct a election to determine if approximately 50 MasTec employees wanted to be represented by the union for the purpose of collective bargaining.

According to the petition, which was reviewed by the newspaper, the IBEW requested all technicians and warehouse employees participate in the NLRB election. The petition estimated that there was approximately 50 workers in the unit, however after a NLRB review, eighty-two workers were eligible to participate in the election.

The newspaper discovered the petition while reviewing labor complaints and petitions filed at the NLRB office. The Union News is the only member of the local media that reviews and publicizes the information.

Before a labor organization can file a petition requesting a election at least 30 percent of the employees must support the union and sign a petition or authorization card requesting the agency conduct the election.

According to the NLRB, a election was first scheduled for June 9th, however, because a federal judge struck down new election standards, that was intended to shorten when workers could vote whether they wanted to be represented by a labor organization for the purpose of collective bargaining, the new election date was moved to June 28th, 2012.

The first election was scheduled under the new standards but after the federal judge ruled that the agency could not approve the regulations, the company, the IBEW, and the NLRB needed to choose a new election date and the old standards were to be used.

The IBEW withdrew the petition days before the NLRB was to conduct the election because it feared workers of MasTec would vote against unionization. Under NLRB rules if the union lost the election it would need to wait for at least twelve months to try again. However, by withdrawing the petition Local 81 could “refile” in six months.

According to Eugene Arcurie Jr., Organizer and Treasurer of Local 81, company management began a anti-union campaign and he feared some of the workers were unsure if they wanted to be union represented.

Mr. Arcurie stated the union now has more time to speak to the workers about the benefits of unionization, counter what company paid consultants told them and see if management follows through on promises made to the workers.

More than 70 million pounds of food collected by NALC

07.15.12

JULY 2012 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

More than 70 million pounds of food collected by NALC

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION- REGION, June 14th- 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 15th, 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.

Walter Klepaski, the AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison for the United Way of the Wyoming Valley, the go-between the community based organization and the labor community, stated the food drive is helping to meet a critical need in communities across America.

“Most of the general public feel this is a United States Postal Service project and do not realize that it is a project that was started by and conducted by members of the National Association of Letter Carriers union. NALC members are not mandated to pick up food in addition to delivering the mail on Letter Carriers Food Drive Day, but rather volunteer to do so on one of their busiest mail delivery days of the year, the day before Mother’s Day,” said Mr. Klepaski.