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Study suggest a ‘good job’ for black workers is hard to find

12.03.13

NOVEMBER 2013, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Study suggest a ‘good job’ for black workers is hard to find

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, October 14th- According to a study released by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), a Washington DC based left-leaning economic think-tank, black workers today are better educated than they were three decades ago, but are still less likely to be in a ‘good job’ now than they were in 1979. The CEPR report examines the job quality of black workers in the United States and evaluates several policies that could help to reverse this trend.

“Econimists expect that increases in education and work experience will increase workers’ productivity and translate into higher compensation. But, the share of black workers in a ‘good job’ has actually declined,” stated Janelle Jones, a co-author of the report. The report defined a ‘good job’ as one that pays at least $19 per hour (the inflation-adjusted median wage for male workers in 1979), has employer-provided health insurance, and has some type of employer-sponsored retirement plan.

The report “Has Education Paid Off for Black Workers?,” describes the stagnation and decline in black labor market-outcomes since the end of the 1970s. According to the report, the poor outcomes reflect an overall decline in workers’ bargaining power, which has disproportionately affected black workers, as well as ongoing discrimination against workers of color.

In 1979, just one-in-ten black workers had a four-year college degree or more. By 2011, one-in-four black workers was a college graduate. There was also a large drop in the share of black workers without a high school degree, falling from almost one-third in 1979 to just one-in-twenty in 2011.

The black workforce is also older today than in 1979. At the end of the 70s, the median age of the employed black worker was 33, today the median age is 39 years old.

“Over the last three decades, black workers have made an enormous, often unrecognized, investment in upgrading their education and work skills, but the economy has turned against workers across the board, leaving even college-educated black workers with little to show for these investments,” added Ms. Jones.

The CEPR report suggest that while the share of ‘good jobs’ in the economy as a whole has also fallen, the drop among black workers has been significant, especially for black males. Between 1979 and 2011, the share of black men in good jobs fell from 26.4 percent to 20.9 percent. While the share of black women in good jobs did rise from 14.5 percent in 1979 to 18.4 percent in 2011 but black women are still less likely to have a good job than black men. The erosion of the value of the minimum wage and the decline in unionization rates was also found to contribute to the lack of good jobs within the black workforce.

The study researchers found that black workers at every age and education level are less likely to be in a good job today than they were in 1979 and are less likely to be in a good job than comparable white workers.

United Parcel Service and IBT agreement not yet ratified

12.03.13

NOVEMBER 2013, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

United Parcel Service and IBT agreement not yet ratified

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, October 16th- Not all of the members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union employed by the United Parcel Service (UPS) Inc., a nationally package delivery company, have totally voted to ratify the successor Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that was negotiated between the two parties in early summer.

The IBT represents approximately 249,000 of the 323,000 UPS employees, including full and part-time workers. Around 235,000 of those are covered by the master contract agreement between the company and the IBT. Local 773 in Allentown represents workers employed by UPS in the Lehigh Valley.

In June 2013 the two parties agreed to a new five-year national master CBA that included wage increases as well as health and pension benefits.

That part of the CBA has since been agreed to however, what has yet to be settled is the sixteen supplement agreements throughout the nation.

The supplement agreements cover mostly the regional healthcare benefit packages between the IBT members and UPS. The company wanted the IBT to handle the provisions of the healthcare insurance benefits. Therefore, the supplements must be negotiated separately and approved by the rank-and-file before the CBA can take effect.

As of October 11th, only two supplements throughout the nation have not been ratified by the membership. The Central Region supplement, which covers Local 773 members as well as IBT members throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania, has been approved by the membership. Also, the Metro Philadelphia supplement has also been ratifed by the IBT/UPS members.

UPS package delivery competitors including Federal Express (Fed/Ex), a mostly nonunion shipping company, has suggested that customers may need to worry about their package delivery for the upcoming holiday season.

However, according to Patrick Connors, a member of the IBT/UPS National Negotiating Committee who represents the Central Region Teamsters, the talk about any disruption of service this holiday season in nonsense.

Mr. Connors told the newspaper it is unlikely the two supplements that have yet to be settled would result in any kind of workstoppage or job action by IBT members.

No “right-to-work” legislation rally to be held at Yuengling brewery

12.03.13

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

No “right-to-work” legislation rally to be held at Yuengling brewery

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, November 4th- The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg has forwarded to the Secretary-Treasurer of the National AFL-CIO in Washington, DC, which the Pennsylvania based labor federation is affiliated, the results of the balloting of their Executive Council that supports the boycott of Yuengling beer products.

Several months ago Dick Yuengling Jr., the leader of the brewery of the D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. which is Pottsville based, stated Pennsylvania would attract more businesses if it was the twenty-fifth state in the union that had a “right-to-work” law on the books and Republican Pennsylvania anti-union Governor Tom Corbett is a great man.

Forbes Magazine has reported Mr. Yuengling’s worth is more than $1.3 billion and he supports legislation if passed would result in a decrease of wages for workers in Pennsylvania.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, census of Employment and Wages, on average workers in states with “right-to-work” laws earn $5,680 a year less than workers in states that have no such laws. Also, the rate of workplace deaths is 36 percent higher in states with “no-rights-at-work” laws.

The agency data also states some 92 percent of private-sector union workers have access to medical insurance through their jobs compared with 67 percent of nonunion workers. And 70 percent of private-sector union workers have access to guaranteed (defined-benefit) retirement plans through their jobs, compared with 14 percent of nonunion workers.

Yuengling is a nonunion brewer but their employees were once represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union but Mr. Yuengling spent thousands of dollars on anti-union consultants and the employees several years ago voted to decertify the union.

Mr. Yuengling said at a Pennsylvania Press Club appearance that Pennsylvania should adopt a “right-to-work” or “no-rights-at-work” policy that would make it more difficult for labor unions to organize and keep their membership. The “right-to-work” or “no-rights-at-work” measure would ban union security clauses in labor bargaining agreements.

His remarks have angered some within the labor community regarding adding Pennsylvania to the list of states with a “right-to-work” law on the books.

On November 9th a anti-right-to-work rally was scheduled at the Yuengling Brewery facility in Pottsville.

According to Richard Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, the The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO fourty-nine Executive Council members voted unanimously to boycott Yuengling products.

“We are pleased to have unanimous support from our Executive Council regarding requesting a Boycott from the National AFL-CIO for Yuengling products,” stated Mr. Bloomingdale.

The newspaper spoke to several Business Managers of labor organizations which represent workers employed within the building and construction trade industry, and was told that union signatory contractors have been hired for construction projects by Yuengling and they would not participate in the event.

Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate increases to 7.8 percent

12.03.13

NOVEMBER 2013, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate increases to 7.8 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, October 9th- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 7.8 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report, which was released approximately four week before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was at 8.7 percent.

There are fourteen Metropolitan Statistical Area’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA is tied with the Williamsport MSA for the fourth highest unemployment rate.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 9.2 percent. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 8.7 percent, the Philadelphia MSA is third at 8.0 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.0 percent. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.2 percent, the Lancaster MSA is third at 6.4 percent, while the Harrisburg MSA and the Pittsburgh MSA are tied for the fourth lowest at 6.8 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 7.7 percent, rising by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report, but dropping by four-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before.

There are 501,000 Pennsylvania residents without jobs, but that number does not include residents that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and stopped looking for work.

Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted workforce of 6,512,000 and 6,011,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 7.3 percent, dropping by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The national unemployment rate was down eight-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before.

There are 11,316,000 civilians nationwide without employment but that number also does not include workers that have exhausted their unemployment and stopped looking for work.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 441,800 civilians and 34,300 have no employment. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest seasonally adjusted labor force at 3,036,300 with 243,100 not working; and the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,265,400 with 86,200 without jobs. The Harrisburg-Carlisle MSA has the fourth largest civilian labor force at 287,600.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 8.9 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the month before. Carbon County has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 32,800, the smallest within the MSA, with 2,900 unemployed, unchanged from the previous report.

Northampton County and Lehigh County have the same unemployment rate at 7.7 percent. Lehigh County’s unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report and dropped by nine-tenths of a percentage point from one year before. Lehigh County has the largest civilian labor force in the MSA with 188,200, decreasing by 500 from the month before. Lehigh County has 14,600 civilians unemployed, rising by 400 from the previous report.

Northampton County’s unemployment rate rose by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and decreased by nine-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. Northampton County has a civilian labor force of 158,000. There are 12,200 civilians unemployed within the county, rising by 600 from the previous report.

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO supports Yuengling boycott

12.03.13

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

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO supports Yuengling boycott

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, September 29th- The Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg has forwarded to the Secretary-Treasurer of the National AFL-CIO in Washington, DC, which the Pennsylvania based labor federation is affiliated, the results of the balloting of their Executive Council that supports the boycott of Yuengling beer products.

Recently, Dick Yuengling Jr., the leader of the brewery of the D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. which is Pottsville based, stated Pennsylvania would attract more businesses if it was the twenty-fifth state that had a “right-to-work” law on the books and Republican Pennsylvania anti-union Governor Tom Corbett is a great man.

Michigan became the twenty-fourth state in the nation to pass the anti-union legislation in early December 2012.

Approximately 20 states had introduced “no-rights-at-work” bills in 2012 but they were bogged down in committees. However, banning of union security clauses in Michigan have given backers, mostly profiteers and their supporters in the legislature, renewed hope that similar legislation could be passed in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Forbes Magazine has reported Mr. Yuengling’s worth is more than $1.3 billion and he supports legislation if passed would result in a decrease of wages for workers in Pennsylvania.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, census of Employment and Wages, on average workers in states with “right-to-work” laws earn $5,680 a year less than workers in states that have no such laws. Also, the rate of workplace deaths is 36 percent higher in states with “no-rights-at-work” laws.

The agency data also states some 92 percent of private-sector union workers have access to medical insurance through their jobs compared with 67 percent of nonunion workers. And 70 percent of private-sector union workers have access to guaranteed (defined-benefit) retirement plans through their jobs, compared with 14 percent of nonunion workers.

Yuengling is a nonunion brewer but their employees were once represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union but Mr. Yuengling spent thousands of dollars on anti-union consultants and the employees several years ago voted to decertify the union.

Mr. Yuengling said at a recent Pennsylvania Press Club appearance that Pennsylvania should adopt a “right-to-work” or “no-rights-at-work” policy that would make it more difficult for labor unions to organize and keep their membership.

The “right-to-work” or “no-rights-at-work” measure would ban union security clauses in labor bargaining agreements.

Before Indiana passed the anti-union legislation in 2011 and Michigan in 2012 the last state to successfully pass right-to-work laws was Oklahoma in 2001.

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO sent ballots in early September to the fourty-nine Executive Council members of the labor federation requesting they vote on whether Yuengling Products should be placed on the National AFL-CIO Boycott list.

According to Richard Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, the group voted unanimously to support the Yuengling boycott, which would ask union members and their families to not purchase Yuengling products.

“We are pleased to have unanimous support from our Executive Council regarding requesting a Boycott from the National AFL-CIO for Yuengling products,” stated Mr. Bloomingdale. The National AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler has received Mr. Bloomingdale’s letter regarding the unanimous vote result.

Mr. Yuengling also stated that anti-union Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is a “great man” who is trying to do the right thing.

Mr. Corbett is currently serving the third year of a four-year term in Harrisburg and has supported many anti-union initiatives while being the Pennsylvania Governor.

Labor movement often split during political campaigns

12.03.13

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

Labor movement often split during political campaigns

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 1st- The main-stream media and conservative radio, television and newspaper political analyst often when discussing labor organizations refer to the group as “big labor” suggesting the labor community as a group supports political candidates that are always Democrats and the same person. However, the gubernatorial race in New Jersey again has shown that opinion to be nonfactual.

The corporate controlled media for decades suggests in a negative way that labor organizations always have the same reasons for supporting political candidates. But after more than two decades of publishing, this newspaper has found that opinion to be inaccurate.

Currently in the New Jersey Governor’s race, the affiliated unions of the New Jersey Building and Construction Trades Council are supporting Incumbent Republican Governor Chris Christie, while the state’s public sector unions which have contracts with New Jersey, are supporting Democrat Barbara Buono. Mr. Christie is reported to have a more than 34 point lead over his Democratic opponent.

The reason for the division is because of Mr. Christie’s push for the used of unionized construction workers after Hurricane Sandy for rebuilding the damage.

Next years Pennsylvania Govenors race in Pennsylvania promises to divide the labor community as well, at least within the Democratic party primary. There is little to no chance any labor organization will support current Pennsylvania Republican Governor for another term because of his political policies toward unions. Nearly all of his legislative initiatives involve union represented workers being eliminated.

Support by labor for the Democratic candidates for Governor of Pennsylvania next year will be split and their main goal will be to unite for the November 2014 election.

In Northeastern Pennsylvania the three groups of the labor community, the building trades, the public sector unions and the industrial trade unions, often support different political candidates for different reasons.

New AFSCME unit still without contract agreement

12.03.13

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

New AFSCME unit still without contract agreement

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, September 30th- The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union District Council 87 are planning to conduct a informational protest at a regional nursing home to bring attention to the lack of progress in negotiating a first-time contract agreement. In fact, the employer refuses to even recognize AFSCME as the bargaining representative of their employees despite the union easily winning the right to represent the workers in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four in Philadelphia conducted election. At press-time no date had been chosen for the protest event.

In the previous edition of the newspaper, it was reported that Matt Balas, Business Representative of AFSCME District Council 87 in Dunmore, which represents AFSCME members throughout nine counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania, stated management of the Manor and Pavilion at St. Luke’s Village Nursing Home on Stacie Drive in Hazleton indicated they have no intention of negotiating for a first-time labor agreement for the newly created bargaing unit.

The newspaper in previous articles reported that AFSCME was successful in winning a representation election conducted by the NLRB at the Manor and Pavilion at St. Luke’s Village Nursing Home and the union was not able to get a meeting with management representatives to begin bargaining for a first-time labor contract.

In previous articles published in the newspaper it was reported that AFSCME Council 87 filed a representation petition with the NLRB on March 18th, 2013 requesting the agency conduct a election to determine if full-time and regular part-time Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN’s) and other professional employees of the nursing home wanted to be represented by the union. District Council 87 represents other St. Luke’s employees including aids and food service workers.

The operators of the Hazleton nursing home hired a lawfirm to represented them that specializes in attempting to delay representation elections. Despite the spending of tens of thousands of dollars on anti-union attorney’s and employment consulting firms, the operators of a local nursing home were unsuccessful in convincing their employees from voting for AFSCME.

Mr. Balas told the newspaper the union is planning a mass informational protest at the nursing home which will involve union members of labor organizations from the region. AFSCME hopes that the protest will result in getting the employer to the bargaining table to negotiate.

Pennsylvania Association of Letter Carriers hold convention

12.03.13

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

Pennsylvania Association of Letter Carriers hold convention

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, September 29th- The Pennsylvania Association of Letter Carriers, which is affiliated with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Union, recently held their convention in Pittsburgh. The NALC represent postal mail carriers of the United States Postal Service (USPS).

In early August the USPS announced it has cut the financial losses to 2009 levels. However, the Republican controlled Congress is contemplating changes that could include ending Saturday mail delivery, likely to rural customers, increasing privatization and raising stamp prices.

The USPS wanted to eliminate six-day mail delivery in August 2013 but because of mandates passed by the United States House of Representatives the agency announced in April they would discontinue the plan. The USPS operates as an independent agency but is subjected to Congress oversight.

According to Thomas Gavin, President of NALC Branch 17, which represents USPS carriers in Lackawanna County, the main topic during the three-day event was postal legislation that will be on the agenda in Washington, DC this fall.

If Saturday mail service is cut to rural Americans, older people in those parts of the nation, which rely heavily on mail service, would be hurt.

A Republican-controlled House Committee approved a bill before summer recess that would cut mail delivery to rural Americans and calls on the agency to look at hiring private contractors and seeks to cutback on door-to-door mail delivery in favor of mass customers curbside and community boxes.

Under the proposal, people would need to visit one site for their mail, like is currently used in many apartment buildings.

Mr. Gavin stated many pro-business lawmakers seem determine to privatize and cut the unionized workforce of the USPS.

General Dynamics plants recall more laid-off workers

12.03.13

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

General Dynamics plants recall more laid-off workers

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, September 29th- The two manufacturing plants in the region that are operated by General Dynamics have continued to recall their laid-off union workers.In the previous edition of the newspaper, it was exclusively reported that the two General Dynamic plants in Lackawanna County recalled some laid-off workers.

Both plants have seen lay-offs during the past several years because of cutbacks in defense spending. General Dynamics has been the most effected of the big military contractors with the army withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The United Auto Workers of America (UAW) Union Local 1193 represent workers employed at the General Dynamics Land Systems plant in Eynon and has approximately 180 members on lay-off. The company recalled around 15 workers recently, the union stated.

With the recalled workers the UAW represents approximately 100 workers at the Eynon plant. The General Dynamics Land System plant recondition parts for the United States Army M1M1 battle tank.

Meanwhile, the International Association of Machinists (IAM) Union Local Lodge 847 represents the other General Dynamics plant located on Cedar Avenue in Scranton. The Scranton plant mostly produces military projectiles for the United States Army.

However, because of a contract to produce pipeline elbows for the natural gas industry, more laid-off workers have been recently recalled.

The newspaper previously reported the Scranton plant recalled approximately 30 Local Lodge 847 members since June. But on September 16th, another 12 laid-off workers were called back to work.

The IAM represents around 236 workers with more than 60 still on lay-off.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA’s unemployment rate increases, remains highest in state

12.03.13

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

MSA’s unemployment rate increases, remains highest in state

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 1st- According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the region’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 9.2 percent, increasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report, which was released approximately four weeks before. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 9.6 percent.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 7.7 percent, rising by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,512,000 with 501,000 not working and 6,011,000 with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by four-tenths of a percentage point over the past year.

The national unemployment rate is 7.3 percent, dropping by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The national unemployment rate fell by eight-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months ago. The unemployment rate does not include civilians that unemployment benefits have expired and stopped looking for work and the main reason for the decrease in the national unemployment rate was because thousands of workers have expired their unemployment benefits and are no longer counted as jobless.

There are 11,316,000 civilians in the nation reported to be unemployed. That number also does not include civilians that have exhausted their unemployment benefits and have stopped looking for work.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate in the commonwealth at 8.7 percent, the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest at 8.0 percent with the Williamsport MSA and the Allenotwn/Bethlehem/Easton MSA tied for fourth at 7.8 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.0 percent. The Lebanon MSA has the second lowest unemployment rate at 6.2 percent while the Lancaster MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.4 percent. The Harrisburg MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate at 6.8 percent, followed by the Altoona MSA at 6.9 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 285,200 civilians and 26,200 of them are without employment. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 3,036,300 with 243,100 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,265,400 with 86,200 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 441,800 with 34,300 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 64,600 civilians and 5,000 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 64,700 civilians with 4,400 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 68,600 and 6,000 of them are not working.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate within the MSA at 9.4 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and dropping by six-tenths of a percentage point from twleve months before. Luzerne County has a civilian labor force of 161,000, the largest within the MSA, with 15,100 civilians not employed.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 9.1 percent, rising by five-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report and four-tenths of a percentage point from one year ago. Lackawanna County has a civilian labor force of 107,700, with 9,800 jobless.

Wyoming County has a unemployment rate of 9.3 percent, increasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Wyoming County has a civilian labor-force of 14,400, with 1,300 unemployed.

Representative Turzai continues push for liquor privatization

12.03.13

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

Representative Turzai continues push for liquor privatization

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, September 26th- The Pennsylvania General Assembly returned for the fall legislative session in Harrisburg and House of Representative Majority Leader Mike Turzai (Republican-28th Legislative District), has made it clear he will continue the agenda of the privatization of the states liquor stores. Mr. Turzai is also the Chairman of the Pennsylvania House Rules Committee.

The labor organizations that represent workers employed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), which currently operates the 600-plus state stores, have been reaching-out to their members and supporters requesting they get involved in contacting their legislators and the public about not privatizing the liquor system because their jobs would be put in harms way.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly recessed for the summer without passing any anti-union bills regarding the liquor store system.

The United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Union represents the majority of the workers which are employed as clerks and shelve stockers. UFCW Local 1776 represents the workers in the eastern part of Pennsylvania while UFCW Local 23 represents the western part.

The Independent State Store Union (ISSU) represent most lower supervisors of the system and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Union represent mainly office employees including the PLCB auditors.

The UFCW have requested that their members write letters to their local newspapers to not let Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett sell the publicly owned wine and spirit stores and let privateers steal the system away.

The current PLCB state store system often creates approximately $500 million annually in profits and taxes a year for Pennsylvania, but this year created $660,000 million.

One of the issues the UFCW wants their members to speak-out about is the growing problem of underage and binge drinking that privatization would likely increase. Around 90 percent of alcohol consumed by minors, is done in a binge-drinking fashion.

Should the system be sold-off around 5,000 good paying family sustaining jobs would likely be replaced with lower paying jobs.

Lackawanna County Sheriff candidate receiving labor support

12.03.13

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

Lackawanna County Sheriff candidate receiving labor support

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 1st- Republican candidate for Lackawanna County Sheriff, Dominick Manetti, has been endorsed by many of the labor organizations that represent workers employed within the building and construction trades and is hopeful the rest of the labor community supports him in November. Mr. Manetti is running to replace long-time Sheriff John Szymanski, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Mr. Manetti resides in Old-Forge and has been in the Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Office since 1983 and the Chief Deputy Sheriff, the second in command, since 1989.

According to Mr. Manetti, he was a member of the collective bargaining unit before taking over the Chief Deputy Sheriff duties, which is a management position and excluded from being a member of a labor organization. Prior to the Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Association, which represents the Deputy Sheriff’s, the employees were represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 406, which no longer exist.

There are currently 94 Lackawanna County Deputy Sheriff’s within the department, and fifty-five of them are part-time. If elected, he will manage the job duties and assignments of the Deputy Sheriff’s.

Mr. Manetti stated he has always believed that it is unfair to the part-time Deputy Sheriff’s that they receive less hourly pay than the full-time members of the department. “They have the same risks, and preform the same job. Why shouldn’t they receive the same pay?,” said Mr. Manetti.

He has been endorsed by the Scranton Building and Construction Trades Council and many of the affiliated labor unions including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Union Local 81, the Bricklayers Union Local 5, the Iron Workers Union Local 489, the Laborers Union Local 130, and the Painters Union District Council 21.

Mr. Manetti stated he was raised in a working class family, and is hopeful of the support of union people on Election Day, November 5th.