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CWA Union files complaint against LifePath Inc.

02.10.10

FEBRUARY 2010, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

CWA Union files complaint against LifePath Inc.

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

BETHLEHEM, January 17th- The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Union District 13 filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia alleging a Lehigh Valley employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).

According to the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge filed on January 13th, 2010 by the District 13 of the CWA, Board Street in Philadelphia, LifePath Inc., High Point Boulevard in Bethlehem, violated Section 8 (a), subsections (1) and (5) of the NLRAct.

The complaint does not state how many workers are employed at LifeBath Inc., which provides specialized support services for mentally and physically disabled persons.

According to previous news stories published in the newspaper, CWA Local 13500 organized the employees of LifePath Inc. approximately 29 facilities that are located throughout the Lehigh Valley in 2007. In September, 2007 the NLRB conducted a election to determine if employees of the company wanted to be represented by the CWA for the purpose of collective bargaining. The union was successful winning the election with 166 voting in favor of becoming union members and 138 voting against. Under NLRB rules, at least fifty percent plus one of the eligible employees voting in the secret ballot election must support being represented by a labor organization.

The voting location for the LifePath workers was at the High Point Boulevard facility. Each group home had around three eligible to vote employees for a total of around 467.

The CWA alleges in their ULP “since on or about January 7th, 2010, the Employer has failed and otherwise refused to supply information requested by the Union necessary for the administration and enforcement of the collective bargaining agreement and to otherwise participate in a timely manner in the grievance process. Specifically, the Employer has refused to comply with relevant and necessary information requests submitted by James Byrne, CWA Representative, to Karen Werkheiser, Human Resources (HR) Director, on or about January 7th, 2010, pertaining to the discharge of Nicosia Henry.”

The complaint was filed by Attorney Nancy Walker, South Board Street in Philadelphia, on behalf of the Union.

The company representative named on the ULP to be contacted is Karen Werkheiser, indentified as LifePath Inc. HR Director.

In January, 2008 the CWA filed a complaint against the employer alleging LifePath violated the NLRAct when the employer terminated a union member alleging she was fired because of her protected activity on behalf of the CWA.

According to the NLRB, the agency is investigating the allege violation of the NLRAct and will determine if there is merit in the complaint.

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