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Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate decreases to 7.9 percent

08.28.13

AUGUST 2013, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

ATU Local 1603 alleges bus operator violated NLRAct

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM
REGION, July 15th- The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1603, P.O.
Box 2034, Lehigh Valley, filed several labor complaints with the The
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region Four office in Philadelphia alleging
a local bus operator violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRAct).
The ATU filed the Unfair Labor Practice’s (ULP’s) against
Brandywine-Lehigh Transportation LLC, State Street in Mertztown, Pennsylvania, which
operates a bus facility in Center Valley and provides transportation services
for the Southern Lehigh School District.
The newspaper discovered the ULP’s while reviewing ULP’s and
Representation Petitions filed at the NLRB Region Four office.
According to a complaint filed on May 31st, 2013, Local 1603 alleges
since on or about May 28th, 2013 the company refuses to bargain in good faith
by conducting a secret ballot poll of bargaining unit employees to determine
their support for the Union. ATU Local 1603 is the recognized bargaining r
epresentative for bus drivers and other related employees at the Employer’s
facility in Center Valley.
The ULP alleges the Employer’s allegation of good faith reasonable doubt
as to the Union’s majority staus is unsupported, the complaint states.
The ULP’s were filed on behalf of the Local 1603 by Allentown Attorney
Quintes Taglioli.
The ULP’s state the number of workers employed by Brandywine-Lehigh
Transportation at the Center Valley facility is 100.
The second complaint was filed on June 19th, 2013 and alleges the
Employer terminated Jadell Rehrig because of her membership and activities on
behalf of ATU Local 1603 and at all times since has refused to hire her.
According to the ULP, the Union had a Collective Bargaining Agreement
(CBA) with First Student Inc., which provided bus service for the Southern
Lehigh School District. In August 2012 Brandywine-Lehigh Transportation
commenced bus service operations for the Southern Lehigh School District replacing
First Student Inc.
The Employer hired the majority of employees of First Student Inc. and
Ms. Rehrig was one of the employees. CBA negotiations commenced between the
two parties and Ms. Rehrig attended one of the meetings and thereafter she
was terminated, the ULP alleges.

AUGUST 2013, LEHIGH VALLEY Edition of The Union News

Lehigh Valley’s unemployment rate decreases to 7.9 percent

BY PAUL LEESON
THEUNIONNEWSABE@AOL.COM

REGION, July 12th- 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 7.9 percent, decreasing by two-tenths 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 8.5 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 9.3 percent. The Johnstown MSA has the second highest unemployment rate at 8.9 percent while the the Philadelphia MSA is third at 8.1 percent.

The State College MSA has the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania at 5.7 percent. The Lebanon MSA and the Lancaster MSA are tied for the second lowest rate at 6.2 percent while the Harrisburg MSA is third at 6.8 percent. The Altoona MSA has the fourth lowest unemployment rate 6.9 percent.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Pennsylvania is 7.5 percent, dropping by one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous report and decreasing by four-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before.

There are 488,000 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 6,521,000 and 6,033,000 of them have employment.

The national seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was reported to be 7.6 percent, increasing by one-tenth from the previous report. The national unemployment rate was down six-tenths of a percentage point from twelve months before.

The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton MSA has the third largest labor force in Pennsylvania with 438,400 civilians and 34,800 have no employment. The Philadelphia MSA has the largest seasonally adjusted labor force at 3,023,200 with 245,400 not working; and the Pittsburgh MSA has the second largest labor force at 1,262,300 with 87,100 without jobs.

Northampton County has the lowest unemployment rate in the MSA at 7.7 percent, dropping by two-tenths of a percentage point from the previous report. Carbon County has the highest unemployment rate in the MSA at 9.3 percent, decreasing by three-tenths of a percentage point from the month before. The unemployment rate in Lehigh County is 7.9 percent, dropping by one-tenth of a percentage point form the previous report.