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Cutting Saturday mail service will impact annual food drive

03.13.13

MARCH 2013, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Cutting Saturday mail service will impact annual food drive

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, March 2nd- This year could be the last National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Union annual food drive to be held on a Saturday if in fact the United States Postal Service (USPS) cuts mail delivery to five days a week.

The USPS announced in February it wants to end Saturday mail service to save money. Mail delivery will be from Monday to Friday.

The NALC with support from the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation have conducted the annual food drive, which customers of the USPS are asked to place non-perishable food donations near their mailboxes so that the letter carriers can collect them while they deliver mail, since 1992.

The food collected each year is used to replenish food banks which helps feed the 50 million Americans, one-third of them childeren, who live in families that lack sufficient food.

In 2012, more than 70 million pounds of food was collected by members of the NALC.

However, the elimination of Saturday mail service could decrease the amount of food collected and volunteers needed for the event. Thousands of volunteers from labor organizations participate in the one-day food drive.

Moving the event to another day of the week could prove costly because many of the volunteers work during the week and will be unavailable or be forced to take a day-off from their regular job.

Approximately 1,600 NLAC Braches nationwide are involved in the food drive, which is held on the first Saturday of each May.

The elimination of Saturday mail delivery adds to the impact of the USPS actions of closing of 13,000 post offices, cutting hours of operation, shuttering hundreds of mail processing centers, and lowering the standards for mail delivery to the country’s homes and businesses.

SEIU files additional complaint against Keystone Job Corp

03.13.13

MARCH 2013, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

SEIU files additional complaint against Keystone Job Corp

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, February 22nd- The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Pennsylvania Social Services Union (PSSU) Local 668, Main Street in Dickson City, filed at least one more labor complaint against a regional job training organization with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia alleging they violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

In the previous edition of the newspaper, it was exclusively reported that the SEIU filed several Unfair Labor Practices (ULP’s) against Management Training Corporation, which does business as Keystone Job Corp Center. The company is headquatered in Centerville, Utah. The complaints were filed on the same day, December 26th, 2012, and filed on behalf of the SEIU by Kimberly Yost, SEIU Local 668 Business Agent.

The SEIU represent workers employed by Keystone Job Corp Center. The Union has three separate bargaining units at Keystone, which includes maintenance, dietary, transportation, residential advisor, instructors, counselors, nurses and other professional employees.

The most recent ULP was filed on January 28th, 2013 and alleges Keystone Job Corp Center violated the NLRAct when management held a meeting with a bargaining unit worker and alleged several students had made allegations against her, which the employee denied. The union member was told she could write a statement of the allegation and she was informed she would receive a verbal warning regarding the statement allegedly made.

The employee refused to provide a statement because she denied anything was said inappropriately to any student.

Lori Thuringer, Human Resource Manager of Keystone Job Center, later sent an e-mail to the employee requesting a statement and suggested discipline was made because she refused to provide a statement.

A grievance was filed on behalf of the employee and processed, but Keystone Career Transition Readiness Counselor Heather Rebarchak later e-mailed the only way for the employee to avoid potential discipline was for her to withdraw the grievance.

On January 31st, a manager of Keystone Job Corps filed a ULP against the SEIU alleging the union failed to bargain in good faith.

Carpenters Union members the latest to protest Mohegan Sun

03.13.13

MARCH 2013, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Carpenters Union members the latest to protest Mohegan Sun

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, February 28th- More nonunion trades-people have been hired for the $50 million construction project at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Plains Township, which is building a new hotel and convention center. The project was devided into two parts, the construction of the hotel and the construction of the convention center.

In the previous edition of the newspaper Kevin McHugh, Business Manager of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Union Local 489, told the newspaper a nonunion out-of-the-area contractor was hired instead of a signatory contractor of Local 489 for some of the project. But, a signatory contractor of the union was hired for other work that usually is done by ironworker members.

In December members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 163 in Wilkes-Barre picketed outside of the Mohegan Sun for several days protesting the hiring of a Missouri-based contractor for the electrical work.

Mohegan Sun responded by setting-up two gates to the construction site, one for nonunion workers and one for union tradesmen. IBEW members were then forced to picket only the nonunion worker gate, so not to cause delays in the construction schedule after other union construction members began not to cross the information picket line.

Members of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters Union Local 645 Pear Street in Scranton, have been holding a banner stating Mohagan Sun officials should be ashamed of themselves for not hiring local construction workers to proform work usually done by Local 645 members.

Mike Rozitski, President of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council labor federation told the newspaper he is disappointed nearly every construction union affiliated with the labor organization are not being hired for some of the work construction.

Mr. Rozitski said when the main casino building was built in 2005, a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) was used. But, Mohegan Sun would not sign a PLA for these projects.

Mr. Rozitski told the newspaper several months ago he would encouraged union members, their families, and supporters, to travel a little further to Mount Airy Casino to gamble because local unionized construction workers were hired for the casino construction.