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Pennsylvania minimum wage falls below surrounding states, raising federal level becomes unlikely

12.02.14

NOVEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Pennsylvania minimum wage falls below surrounding states, raising federal level becomes unlikely

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, November 5th - With the election season over and the Republican party being successful in strengthening their ability to have legislation passed through both sides of the Pennsylvania General Assembly by gaining seats in both chambers of the legislature, raising the minimum wage for state workers becomes even more complicated and unlikely.

The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC supports increasing the federal bench-mark to $10.10 an hour, which President Obama has proposed.

The current minimum wage, which covers most workers employed within many industries excluding some retail and service establishments and farms and also employ students at wages of no more than 15 percent below the minimum with proper certification, is $7.25. The federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2009.

Some states have tired of waiting for the Republicans in Washington to support an increase and have began raising their bench-mark wage above the federal wage.

Maryland, New Jersey and New York have increased their minimum wage above the federal level, while Republicans in Harrisburg have successfully blocked raising the minimum wage in Pennsylvania, currently the same as the federal level of $7.25 an hour.

There are 19 state’s and the District of Columbia that have a higher minimum wage than the federal standard. New Jersey’s minimum wage increased in January to $8.25 an hour.

However, in Pennsylvania raising the wage has been blocked by Republican legislators and their business supporters. Republican Governor Tom Corbett, who lost to Democrat Tom Wolf on November 4th denying him of a second four-year term, made it clear he did not support raising the benchmark. Mr. Corbett stated the higher was would harm Pennsylvania’s economy despite that the wage in surrounding states is higher.

But, according to data released by the Department of Labor in July, job growth in the 13 states that have increased their minimum wage has been more robust than states that have not. Average job growth in states that have increased the benchmark was 0.85 percent this year while in states that have not increase their wage was 0.61 percent.

Mr. Wolf made it clear he would support rasing the benchmark and before his victory stated he will push for the increase if elected.

Meanwhile, on October 10th the United States Conference of Mayors urged Congress to raise the wage to $10.10 and mobilized existing support from mayors across the county who favor the increase.

More than 70 mayors signed the a letter supporting the raising of the federal minimum wage.

Raising the wage would give approximately 28 million across the county a wage hike.

Members of the right-wing pro-business groups recently stated, without facts, that minimum wage increares are “Union lifesavers.”

They argue that raising the wage enables labor union organizers to approach a nonunion employer struggling to pay the new wage and assist them in unionizing their workers by signing a “neutrality agreement” in return for the union will then use collective bargaining waiver within the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct) to allow the employer to pay less than the minimum. The action would be against the law and would subject the labor organization to legal ramifications. The measures will increase the minimum wage in San Francisco to $15 an hour by 2018.

On November 4th voters overwhelming approved raising the minimum wage for workers in the Bay Area of California. Voters passed two initiatives in Oakland and San Francisco by huge margins that will increase the wages for 190,000 workers in that area.

With the Republicans gaining enough seats in the United States Senate that will allow them to hold the majority beginning in 2015 for at least the next two years, it is extremely unlikely the federal benchmark will be increased.

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

12.02.14

NOVEMBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News


MSA’s unemployment rate drops, but remains highest in state

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, November 1st- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania and according to the recently released data but the rate has decreased by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania for nearly six consecutive years.

According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.7 percent. The last report was released approximately one month before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 8.8 percent. The current unemployment rate for the MSA is the lowest since October 2008 when it was also at 6.7 percent.

The main reason the MSA’s unemployment has declined during the past year is because of the decline of the workforce, not because the job market has improved. The MSA’s civilian labor-force is 7,400 lower than twelve months ago. Also, one year ago there were 256,200 civilians employed within the MSA while currently there are 255,300 employed within the civilian workforce.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.7 percent, also decreasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,347,000 with 360,000 not working, dropping by 7,000 from the previous report. Pennsylvania has 5,987,000 civilians with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by one and six-tenths of a percentage point over the past twelve months, mainly because of the decrease of the labor-force due to workers having exhausted their unemployment benefits.

Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate was reported to be at 5.9 percent, decreasing by two-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.4 percent, the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest unemployment rate at 6.0 percent while the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate in the state at 5.8 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.2 percent. The Lancaster MSA and the Lebanon MSA are tied for the second lowest at 4.5 percent while the Harrisburg MSA has the third lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.7 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 273,500 civilians, dropping by 600 from the previous report. There are 18,200 civilians without employment, decreasing by 500 from the previous report. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,975,500 with 177,800 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,235,900 with 64,400 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 426,300 with 24,800 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 62,700 civilians and 3,500 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 63,700 civilians with 3,200 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 65,300 and 4,200 of them are not working.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.1 percent, dropping by seven-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Lackawanna County has a civilian labor force of 103,600, with 6,300 jobless.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.7 percent. Luzerne County has a labor force of 155,400 with 10,400 jobless. Wyoming County’s unemployment rate is 6.5 percent.

New region ‘e-commerce’ facility being built by Wal-Mart

12.02.14

NOVEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

New region ‘e-commerce’ facility being built by Wal-Mart

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, October 19th- The largest anti-union retailer in North America is planning to build a new ‘e-commerce’ facility in the Lehigh Valley where shoppers can purchase goods by phone.Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced plans that instead of building a new store in the United States of more than one a day, it will build more high-tech warehouses that will ship purchases to customers rather than through their brick and mortar stores.

The world’s largest retailer unveiled they would cut the number of supercenters it plans to build in coming years and invest in e-commerce, the fastest growing sector in the retail business in the nation.

Wal-Mart will open 70 or fewer supercenters in 2015, down from the 120 built this year. Also, the anti-union retailer will slash how many ‘Neighborhood Market’ stores and Wal-Mart Express stores it opened in 2014 next year.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart which is Pennsylvania’s largest private employer, is building a new giant distribution center near its current facility, which is also close to Amazon’s in Bethlehem.

The “fulfillment e-commerce centers” will ship goods straight to consumers that have been purchased through the internet.

The site of the e-commerce center was a former Bethlehem Steel mill facility and is within what is called a “Special Development Zone” by Pennsylvania. Wal-Mart will receive a tax break for each of the next ten years.

It is estimated that Wal-Mart will get a more than $6 milion tax break it would have paid to Pennsylvania over the period if the new facility was build out-side the “Special Development Zone”. Wal-Mart made more than $16 billion in 2013.

LEHIGH VALLEY MSA’s unemployment rate remains at 5.9 percent

12.02.14

NOVEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

MSA’s unemployment rate remains at 5.9 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, October 11th- 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 5.9 percent, unchanged from the previous two reports. The unemployment rate for the MSA is the lowest it has been since September 2008 when it was also 5.9 percent.

The MSA includes Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County, New Jersey. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was at 7.6 percent. There are fourteen MSA’s in Pennsylvania and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the fourth highest unemployment rate.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA continues to have the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 6.8 percent. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA has had the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania for almost five consecutive years. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.5 percent, and the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest at 6.0 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.2 percent. The Lancaster MSA has the second lowest at 4.6 percent while the Lebanon MSA is third at 4.7 percent. The Harrisburg/Carlisle MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate at 4.8 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.8 percent, rising by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report, and decreasing by one and six-tenths percentage points from twelve months before.

There are 367,000 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 6,344,000 and 5,976,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 6.1 percent, dropping by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report. The national unemployment rate was down one and one-tenth of a percentage point from twelve months before.

Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 7.1 percent, increasing by two-tenths of a percentage point from the month before.

Lehigh County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.1 percent, increasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Northampton County has a unemployment rate of 6.2 percent, rising by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report.

Teamsters win FedEx election, petitions NLRB for more

12.02.14

NOVEMBER 2014, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Teamsters win FedEx election, petitions NLRB for more

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, October 17th- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union Local 229 in Lackawanna County, filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia requesting they conduct a election after getting more than 65 percent of the workers at the Pocono FedEx facility to sign union authorization cards.

In the previous edition of the newspaper, it was reported that the IBT in Washington DC, has began to attempt to organize FedEx ground Freight employees by conducting a national campaign to gain enough signatures of workers to petition the NLRB to conduct a representation election.

FedEx is a competitor of UPS, which employees are represented by the IBT. The Union represents all drivers and warehouse workers. Also, the IBT has a separate CBA with UPS for their drivers of UPS Freight company, which was once called the Overnite Trucking Company. Overnite was once the largest nonunion trucking company in the nation.

The majority of FedEx workers are nonunion. The pilots of the company voted to be represented by the Airline Pilots Association (APA) International Union several years ago.

Meanwhile, IBT Local 107 in Philadelphia won the right to represent 47 drivers at FedEx East Philadelphia terminal in Croydon, Pennsylvania after the workers voted 26 for to 18 against being represented by Local 107 on October 14th in a NLRB conducted election.

Local 229 and workers of the Pocono facility of FedEx have met several times over the past several months and each time more workers signed authorization cards that request the NLRB conduct a election. Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct), at least 30 percent of the workforce unit must sign the cards before they can request an election.

A labor organization must receive 50 percent plus one of the participating eligible to vote employees in a NLRB election to become their bargaining representative.

Charlie Miller, Business Representative of Local 229, told the newspaper the IBT wants a local to get at least 70 percent of the FedEx workers to sign cards before they petition the NLRB.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton MSA’s remains the highest within Pennsylvania at 6.8 percent

12.02.14

OCTOBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

MSA’s remains the highest within Pennsylvania at 6.8 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 1st- The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) continues to have the highest unemployment rate among the 14 MSA’s within Pennsylvania and according to the recently released data the rate is unchanged from the previous report. Prior to this report the MSA’s unemployment rate decreased for the thirteenth consecutive month. The MSA has had the highest unemployment rate within Pennsylvania for nearly six consecutive years.

According to labor data provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Center for Workforce Information and Analysis in Harrisburg, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is 6.8 percent. The last report was released approximately one month before. The Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Luzerne, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties of Pennsylvania. Twelve months ago the unemployment rate for the region was 8.9 percent. The current unemployment rate for the MSA is the lowest since October 2008 when it was 6.7 percent.

The main reason the MSA’s unemployment has declined during the past year is because of the decline of the workforce, not because the job market has improved. The MSA’s civilian labor-force is 7,800 lower than twelve months ago. Also, one year ago there were 256,700 civilians employed within the MSA while currently there are 255,200 employed within the civilian workforce.

The unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 5.8 percent, rising by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month. Pennsylvania has a seasonally adjusted civilian labor force of 6,344,000 with 367,000 not working and 5,976,000 with employment. Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate decreased by one and six-tenths of a percentage point over the past twelve months, mainly because of the decrease of the labor-force due to workers having exhausted their unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, the nation’s unemployment rate was reported to be at 6.1 percent, decreasing by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report.

The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 6.5 percent, the Philadelphia MSA has the third highest unemployment rate at 6.0 percent while the Erie MSA and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA are tied for the fourth highest at 5.9 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.2 percent. The Lancaster MSA has the second lowest at 4.6 percent while the Lebanon MSA has the third lowest at 4.7 percent. The Harrisburg MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 4.8 percent.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre MSA has the fifth largest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 274,000 civilians, dropping by 500 from the previous report and decreasing by 7,800 during the past twelve months. There are 18,700 civilians without employment, unchanged from the previous report. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest labor-force in Pennsylvania at 2,977,000 with 180,100 not working; the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor-force at 1,235,600 with 65,600 without jobs; and the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor-force at 426,800 with 25,400 not working.

The Williamsport MSA has the smallest labor-force in Pennsylvania with 62,600 civilians and 3,600 of them have no jobs. The Altoona MSA has the second smallest labor-force with 63,700 civilians with 3,300 without employment and the Johnstown MSA is third with a labor-force of 65,600 and 4,300 of them are not working.

Lackawanna County has the lowest unemployment rate within the MSA at 6.8 percent, unchanged from the previous report. Lackawanna County has a civilian labor force of 104,300, with 7,100 jobless.

Luzerne County has the highest unemployment rate within the MSA at 7.3 percent. Luzerne County has a labor force of 156,300 with 11,400 jobless. Wyoming County’s unemployment rate is 7.0 percent.

AFGE pushing for members while BRAC review is possible

12.02.14

OCTOBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

AFGE pushing for members while BRAC review is possible

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 2nd- While the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Union Local 1647, which represents employees of the federal government at the Tobyhanna Army Depot in Tobyhanna Township in Monroe County, is attempting to get more of the depot workers to become members of the bargaining unit, they also have a possible Base Retention and Closure (BRAC) review hanging over their head.

In April a campaign to keep the military facility operating was kicked-off with the formation of a Blue Ribbon Task Force. Similar organizations have been formed in the past when a BRAC review was being conducted in Washington DC with the possiblility that the facility could be downsized or be closed altogether.

In the previous edition of the newspaper, it was reported Local 1647 had held a “pig roast” recuiting event on August 20th attempting to enroll more workers to join the AFGE.

Because veterans affairs facilities and other federal agencies are mandated by law to be a open shop, meaning employees don’t belong to a union unless they actively join, workers employed by the government at Tobyhanna must first sign enrollment forms before they become Local 1647 members.

According to Edward Sabecky, a member of Local 1647 Executive Board, AFGE Local 1647 currently represents approximately 1,200 workers of the 3,000 that could be AFGE union members employed at the Tobyhanna Army Depot.

In early 2013, Local 1647 had around 2,300 members of the 5,100 Tobyhanna employees. However, some of the those workers were actually employed by contractors that provided indutrial trade and electronics workers. The International Association of Machinists (IAM) Union Local Lodge 1717, represented many of those workers. The workers were downsized because of military cutbacks after most troops left Iraq and Afghanistan.

The AFGE National Veterans Affairs Council recently conducted a national recruiting drive and signed-up their 100,000th member. The milestone was reached on August 25th when AFGE Local 2382 in Phoenix signed-up a new member.

After the “pig roast” event around six workers signed cards expressing their desire to become members of Local 1647.

The union indicated that because of the possiblity of a BRAC review, more workers should take advantage of becoming a union member and be part of a larger group that has the ears of federal legislators and community leaders that can lobby with them to help keep Tobyhanna opened and operating.

Enough signatures gained for Northeastern chapter of CLUW

12.02.14

OCTOBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Enough signatures gained for Northeastern chapter of CLUW

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 2nd- Enough people have signed-up to become members of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Washington DC sanctioned Coalition of Union Women (CLUW) for a regional chapter to be formed.

The newspaper has exclusively published several news articles in the past several editions regarding the attempt of a Northeastern Pennsylvania chapter of CLUW being formed. However, before a chapter could be awarded enough people must become members of the organization. The minimum amount needed before a chapter would be awarded is 25, according to Melissa Matoushek, a Staff Representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 87 Union in Dunmore, which represents AFSCME members throughout nine counties of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The first meeting of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter was held in August at the AFSCME District Council 87 building on the O’Neill Highway in Dunmore, Lackawanna County.

CLUW is a organization within the labor movement that is sanctioned by the AFL-CIO. The organization was formed in 1974 and currently has more than 75 chapters throughout the nation and a membership of approxiamtely 20,000 women and men.

CLUW’s primary goal is to be a resource to all union represented women to develop action programs within the framework of the labor community to deal with women objectives in the workplace. The basic objective of CLUW is to promote affirmative action in the workplace, increase participation of women in their labor unions, organize the unrepresented, and engage women in the political and legislative process.

Ms. Matoushek told the newspaper that approximately 27 people have become members of CLUW, including several men. At least 24 of the people that have signed-up to join the organization are women, mostly members of labor organizations throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. She will apply for a charter over the next several weeks, Ms. Matoushek told the newspaper.

Anyone wanting to join the organization or needs more information can contact Ms. Matoushek at (570) 352-8006. Her e-mail address is: nepacluw@gmail.com.

CHS Inc. continues to purchase medical businesses

12.02.14

OCTOBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

CHS Inc. continues to purchase medical businesses

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 1st- The Community Health Systems (CHS) Inc., the Tennessee-based largest for-profit hospital chain and medical providing company in the nation, foot-print is getting even bigger in Northeastern Pennsylvania by purchasing a Scranton-based ambulance service.

It was recently announced that Commonwealth Health Emergency Medical Services, a division of CHS, agreed to buy Community Life Support Systems of Scranton. The company provides ambulance service throughout Lackawanna County and currently employs several hundred employees. The workers are nonunion and will be employed by one of the most anti-worker medical company in the nation.

CHS owns of operates at least eight hospitals and medical facilities throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania including the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital in Wilkes-Barre; the Mid-Valley Hospital in Peckville; the Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton; the Regional Hospital of Scranton, which was formerly called Scranton Mercy Hospital; and the Tyler Memorial Hospital in Tunkhanncock. The company also owns several smaller medical facilities in the region.

CHS Inc. is widely known as being anti-union and has had a bad working relationship with most of the labor organizations that represent their workers employed at CHS facilities, including at the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

Nurses employed at the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital are represented by the Wyoming Valley Nurses Association (WVNA) which is affiliated with the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professional (PASNAP) Union of Conshohochen, Pennsylvania. PASNAP only recently was able to reach an agreement with CHS on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the Registered Nurses (RN’s) they represent. The nurses were without a new CBA since April 30th, 2013 when the previous labor agreement expired.

Meannwhile, CHS has been hit with several injunctions during the past fifteen months for violating federal labor law.

In July, a United States District Court Judge of Northern Ohio issued a ruling against CHS requiring CHS to recognize and bargain with the National Nurses United, the union that represented the RN’s at the Affinity Medical Center of Massillon, Ohio. The company has been hit with similar injunctions in 2013 in California.

CHS became the largest for-profit hospital conglomerate in 2014 when it purchased a Western Pennsylvania health system. CHS now owns or operates at least 200 hospitals throughout more than 29 states in the nation.

In 2013, CHS also purchased the Lackawanna Ambulance company in Lackawanna County, meaning the company’s foot-print into providing ambulance service in the region is expanding.

State AFL-CIO fearful of complacency in election

12.02.14

OCTOBER 2014, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

State AFL-CIO fearful of complacency in election

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, October 4th- While most the labor community has endorsed Pennsylvania Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, including the Pennsylvania American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) labor federation in Harrisburg, the federation is fearful that union members and their families will see the huge lead he currently has in the polls and not vote in the November election.

Mr. Wolf currently hold nearly a 20 percent lead in most polls over incumbent anti-union Republican Governor Tom Corbett. The labor community has put a high prioity on defeating Mr. Corbett on November 4th and denying him of a second four-year term.

However, Richard Bloomingdale, President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is concerned that union members and their leaders will read the polls and not participate in the political campaign leading-up to the November election or worse yet stay at home on election day and not vote.

Should many union families not participate in the November 4th election believing Mr. Wolf is far ahead and will not need their vote to win, the down-ballot elections could be affected.

The Pennsylvania State Senate is considered to be up for grabs with the Republican party currently holding a 27 to 23 advantage, with at least four GOP senators often voting to support labor initiatives blocking Mr. Corbett and his supporters from getting anti-union legislation passed in the General Assembly.

“Regardless of what polls say, Tom Wolf will not win if his supporters get complacent and stay home on Election Day. We must make sure that all of our voices are heard,” stated Mr. Bloomingdale.