February 4, 2015 |
Union carpenters and Teamsters angling to regain their jobs at the Convention Center had their hopes thwarted Monday when a hearing examiner for the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board said the board did not have jurisdiction to handle a complaint filed by the two unions. The unions, which have been staging protests outside the Convention Center for months, lost the right to work there in May, when they did not sign a new customer-satisfaction agreement by a deadline set by the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority board.
February 2, 2015 |
Pity the beleaguered Comcast phone reps. Sure, their jobs aren't up there with logging or roofing - the kind that usually make lists as the most dangerous in America. Besides, let's be clear: We're talking about call-center jobs that aren't even always in America. Isn't the Internet a wonder? But judging from my swamped inbox after last Sunday's column about a three-week Comcast flub, and last week's strange tale of a customer whose name was replaced on his account with a seven-letter epithet, "Comcast phone rep" is starting to look like a gig worth hazardous-duty pay. Unless you're immune to psychological pain, how often can you blithely tell people that you're really, truly sorry the company missed an appointment, can't seem to fix a billing error, or insist on transferring fed-up clients to "customer retention" when they just want to cancel?
January 26, 2015 |
Nearly everything went smoothly with Louis Moravec and Susan Thauer's holiday-week move from one Philadelphia neighborhood to another. The truck and crew arrived on time to take their belongings from Queen Village to Northern Liberties. The gas and power were functioning at their new home. Even Dec. 30's weather cooperated. The lone exception? Their Comcast cable and Internet service. Moravec had timed an appointment to have it connected on the morning of Dec. 31, and Thauer took off work to await the technicians.
January 10, 2015 |
A nonprofit advocacy group representing New Jersey charter schools filed an ethics complaint this week accusing a Rutgers University professor of abusing her title and improperly using her university affiliation to lobby against charter schools. Julia Sass Rubin, an associate professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, denied the accusations, describing them as an attack on academic freedom and an attempt to silence her. The New Jersey Charter Schools Association, a nonprofit group that advocates for charters, has long butted heads with Save Our Schools New Jersey (SOSNJ)
October 11, 2014 |
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania's Judicial Conduct Board will investigate a complaint that Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery may have violated ethics rules if he sent sexually explicit e-mails from his personal account to a state employee, according to a letter from the board. In the Tuesday letter, the board agreed to "conduct an inquiry into the matters" raised in a complaint filed last week by Harrisburg activist Gene Stilp. In his Oct. 2 complaint, Stilp cited news accounts that McCaffery in 2008 and 2009 sent e-mails containing pornographic content to an agent in the state Attorney General's Office.
October 8, 2014 |
A Luzerne County judge said Monday that he would rule soon on proposed sanctions against Albert Whitehead, a Fairmount man who has admitted violating a non-disparagement agreement with Sundance Vacations, a Wilkes-Barre company that markets prepaid lodging packages through an annual sweepstakes it promotes at Sixers and Flyers games and other events. Whitehead, 73, appeared Monday before Judge Michael Vough, who heard testimony on whether the former timeshare and vacation-club salesman has access to funds to pay about $13,000 in Sundance's costs for its efforts to enforce the non-disparagement agreement.
October 6, 2014 |
Wendy and Ryan Rowe had one goal when they visited Sundance Vacations' offices in King of Prussia on a hot day in July 2009: getting a voucher for the free cruise the company promised in return for listening to its sales pitch. Whatever else Sundance offered, they were braced for a hard sell and planned to say no. But they left with something extra, anyway: a signed contract with the Wilkes-Barre lodging-package marketer. One salesman called it a "savings account on vacations" - an appealing idea to newlyweds already planning a family.
September 11, 2014 |
SEVEN PARENTS have accused the state Department of Education of failing to investigate poor conditions at Philadelphia public schools. The claims are contained in a lawsuit filed yesterday by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia on behalf of the parents and the local organization Parents United for Public Education. The suit says that 825 complaints were submitted to the department last school year regarding inadequate conditions and that the state is required to probe each claim.
August 26, 2014 |
Karen Mackay of Pitman saw some red flags before she bought a puppy almost two years ago from a dog broker in Salem County, particularly an inoculation record that didn't seem to come from a veterinarian. But Mackay adored the collie and decided to take it home for the holidays that December. By the time they got there, the dog, which Mackay had been told was in treatment for routine kennel cough, was vomiting and had diarrhea. "I should have known better," said Mackay, who has owned other dogs, including a collie mix. This month, the broker, Jessica Durkin of Salem, was sued by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office on behalf of four other dog owners who allege Durkin sold them sick puppies, including one so ill that the family had it euthanized.
August 2, 2014 |
Saying it had no jurisdiction to handle the case, the National Labor Relations Board dismissed two complaints filed by members of Teamsters Local 107 against their union leaders, accusing them of failing to protect their work at the Convention Center. The two men, Edwin Taylor and Michael Conway, said leaders of Local 107 local did not represent members' interests when they did not sign a new Customer Satisfaction Agreement by the May 5 deadline imposed by Convention Center management, causing union members to lose their ability to work in the center.