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USPS jobs to stay in region until at least February 2014

11.11.12

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

USPS jobs to stay in region until at least February 2014

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 18th- The United States Postal Service (USPS) has postponed moving the operations of the Scranton processing center until at least February 2014.

Kevin Gallagher, President of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Local 101 in Scranton, stated he is still hopeful the USPS will yet decide against moving the Northeastern Pennsylvania mail processing operations in 2014.

The USPS announced last year it would consolidate 48 mail processing centers throughout the nation in 2012 including moving their operations from Scranton to the Lehigh Valley. The plan would save the agency nearly $1.2 billion a year, according to information provided by the USPS.

The elimination of the Scranton facility would impact approximately 200 jobs, mostly members of Local 101. However, the USPS stated it plans no layoffs but the effected workers would need to travel to the Lehigh Valley processing center for employment.

The USPS first stated it would close about 250 processing centers after their plan is fully implemented. Overall, approximately 5,000 workers would be affected by the consolidation. The plan was to consolidate 92 mail processing centers in February 2013, and 89 more in 2014. There are currently around 487 mail processing centers in the United States.

The agency stated the move of consolidation of mail processing centers is intended to be a cost saving plan. The reason for the cutbacks is because of declining mail volume caused by customers no longer using the mail service.

However, the USPS is losing money mainly because of an 2006 law that forces the agency to fund the pensions of workers 75 years into the future. The USPS estimated that the post office department would have made a profit in 2010 and 2011 if not for the provision of the pension issue.

The National Association of Letters Carriers (NALC) Union and the APWU represent the majority of the USPS workers with a combined membership of nearly 410,000 workers.

Mr. Gallagher stated the agency notified the APWU that 10 motor velicle driver jobs in Lackawanna County would be eliminated and a independent contractor would be hired. The drivers haul mail from the processing center in Scranton to post offices throughout Lackawanna County.

APWU Local 101 requested information regarding the move but the agency has not yet provided the material.

United Steel Workers files multiple labor complaints against Cascade Tissue

11.11.12

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

United Steel Workers files multiple labor complaints against Cascade Tissue

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 19th- The United Steel Workers (USW) Union filed multiple labor complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia alleging a Pittston employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

The newspaper discovered the Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs) while reviewing complaints and petitions filed at the NLRB.

The USW filed at least six ULP’s against Cascade Tissue, 901 Sathers Drive in Pittston over a 10 day period.

All complaints were filed on behalf of USW Local 1448, which represents approximately 220 Cascade Tissue employees at the Pittston facility, by Liz Bettinger. Ms. Bettinger is a Staff Representative for the USW. The plant is a paper mill and paper converting manufacturing facility.

The USW alleges the employer has failed to bargain collectivly and in good faith with the Union. “More specifically, on or about June 25th, 2012, and at various times thereafter, the above named Employer, by its agents and representatives has unilaterally and without bargaining, changed the disciplinary notification procedure,” states the first ULP that was filed on October 1st, 2012.

The other five ULP’s were filed on October 10th, 2012, also by Ms. Bettinger, and alleges the Employer has violated the NLRAct by repudiating multiple clauses in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the parties.

Also, a complaint alleges a USW member was denied his rights under the NLRAct.

Awards presented to labor community members by United Way

11.11.12

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

Awards presented to labor community members by United Way

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 19th- The United Way of Wyoming Valley’s Labor Participation Department presented the “Unsung Labor Hero Awards” at their recently held annual United Way Kick-Off event. The award is the way the organization recognizes those union members who provides special assistance in a vaiety of ways to the agencies of the Wyoming Valley United Way and the community at-large.

According to Walter Klepaski, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) United Way of Wyoming Valley Community Services Liaison, this years three recipients of the Unsung Labor Hero Award personify and serve as an example of the great monetary and voluntary work humbly being done throughout the area by the labor community.

Mr. Klepaski added he hopes that the award serves as a way to show that the time and effort being put forth by members of organized labor in supporting their community is not going unnoticed by him and the United Way.

This year’s recipients were Gil Cooney, a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1776 Union retiree and President of the NEPA Retirees Alliance District 3; James Murphy, President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union Local 401; and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 163.

Thomas Raub, President of IBEW Local 163 and Michael Kwashnik, Business Manager of IBEW Local 163, represented their union and received the award at the event.

Mr. Cooney has been a supporter of the United Way since 1947, going back to the time when he first represented the Boot & Shoe Workers Union and solicited funds for the community organization. He currently is a generous donor and is serving as a co-chair for a special fund raising campaign among union retirees.

Mr. Murphy has also been a generous donor and is part of the Labor Leadership Giving Society, at the Platinum Level, which is $1,000 or more. He helps annually toward the Greater Wilkes-Barre Labor Council/United Way Christmas project, soliciting for donations from IBT shops to fill 500 stockings for needing kids.

Local 163 Apprenticeship Program for the past 5 years has provided members to help with the annual NALC Food Drive each May. Also, each year IBEW volunteers help postal carriers unload donated food collected by NALC members.