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House of Representative Lou Barletta meets with labor


MARCH 2011 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

House of Representative Lou Barletta meets with labor


REGION- March 2nd- United States House of Representative Lou Barletta (Republican - 11th Legislative District) met with members of the labor community on February 25th at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 87 building in Dunmore.

Approximately fourty-two members of the labor community attended with most being union officials.

Mr. Barletta has represented resident of the 11th Legislative District in Washington, DC since January. He defeated incumbent Democrat Paul Kanjorski in November 2010.

Mr. Barletta use the opportunity to give many of the conservative talking points including cutting the federal budget, replacing the national healthcare legislation, cutting at the United States national debt, and defending cutting taxes to the rich.

Mr. Barletta answered questions for around one hour and stated he needed to leave to attend another event.

Keith Hill, former President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Union Local 1647, which represents employees at the Tobyhanna Army Depot, and a Political Director for AFGE International Union, challenge Mr. Barletta why he supported cutting taxes for rich Americans when there are huge federal deficits caused mostly by two wars that were underfunded by former Republican President George W. Bush and the Republican led Congress.

“I had nothing to do with that. That happened before I got there,” stated Mr. Barletta.

Mr. Hill voiced his displeasure with Mr. Barletta’s remarks and asked why the government does not audit the Federal Reserve because the taxpayers had to pay the bill for the billions of dollars spent on bank bailouts several years ago.

Drew Simpson, a Representative of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Union Local 645 and until recently President of the Scranton Building and Construction Trades Council labor federation, asked Mr. Barletta why he voted for legislation that would have weakened the federal Davis-Bacon Act. The legislation failed.

Mr. Barletta responded he voted for the legislation knowing it would not pass and the Davis-Bacon Act would not be weakened. Mr. Simpson told the newspaper, Mr. Barletta’s remark only shows he will vote in Washington the way his party wants him to.

Mr. Barletta stated he had several problems with the David-Bacon Act including why less-skilled workers receive the same pay as more skilled construction workers on federal funded construction projects.

However, Joe Padavan, President of the United Steelworkers of America (UWA) Union Local 15253, which represents construction workers, said less skilled workers are paid less than higher skilled workers in their labor contract.

Mr. Barletta stated he is in Washington to represent the residents of 11th District not just his party.

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