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NEWS
November 2, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
AFTER DEBATING FOR hours, SEPTA and its largest union reached a tentative agreement on a months-long contract dispute. Sources close to the negotiations said the transit authority and Transport Workers Union Local 234 had signed a two-year labor contract late last night, avoiding a strike, though no further details were immediately available. Late last night, several SEPTA executives, including General Manager Joseph Casey and board chairman Pasquale Deon, joined the proceedings, signaling positive progress.
NEWS
October 29, 2014 | BY DAN GERINGER, Daily News Staff Writer geringd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5961
JOANN JACKSON-SMITH, who has driven a SEPTA bus for three years, went to her first Transport Workers Local 234 strike vote yesterday, and brought her daughters Jasmin, 13, and Jenevieve, 11, to give them a living civics lesson. "When you stand together as a group and fight for what you believe in, you stand strong," Jackson-Smith said after more than 1,000 union members voted unanimously to authorize a strike if negotiations with SEPTA management break down. "I've never done anything like this before," Jackson-Smith said.
NEWS
October 29, 2014 | BY PATRICIA MADEJ, Daily News Staff Writer madejp@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
A LACK OF protection from Ebola won't fly for subcontracted airport workers. Employees trying to unionize as well as representatives from SEIU, a labor union that represents more than 1.9 million workers in the U.S. and Canada, gathered at Philadelphia International Airport yesterday to voice concerns about potential exposure to the virus. "We need to replace fear with facts," said Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., who spoke at the event. "This virus doesn't know hierarchy. It doesn't know the CEO from the person doing the cabins in the airplane.
NEWS
October 29, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
ON THE AFTERNOON of June 4, 2011, one of the peregrine falcons nesting on the Girard Point Bridge was "flying around in distress," a falcon observer told a federal jury this week. Two workers were close enough to reach out and touch a nest box under the bridge, Art McMorris testified. "The bird continued to fly around, then it landed on an outrigger," a projecting beam, where it could watch both the nest and the workers, McMorris said. McMorris, of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, was hired to monitor the falcons by a general contractor on the bridge-refurbishment project.
NEWS
October 25, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Looking to better manage health-care costs, the Nutter administration is taking two big swings at tobacco. Come Jan. 1, Philadelphia will add a $500 annual premium to benefits costs for nonunion employees who use tobacco products, and a $15 surcharge for prescriptions filled at pharmacies that sell tobacco products. The charge on prescription co-pays is part of a plan being launched by the city in partnership with CVS Caremark, a pharmacy benefits provider owned by the parent company of CVS drug stores.
NEWS
October 23, 2014 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
William J. Kane, a labor union leader in the Philadelphia region and beyond, was "a master of human kindness, fought for the rights of workers across the country during his career, and created loving bonds with everyone that he touched," labor lawyer Joseph T. Cleary said Monday. Cleary, a partner at Cleary, Josem & Trigiani, is a lawyer for the Building and Construction Trades Council of Philadelphia and Vicinity. "If you could sum up his philosophy of life to his children and his friends - and these are his words - 'Just be, embrace life, the negative and positive.'," Cleary said.
NEWS
October 23, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
"THIS CASE is not about a bird. And it's not about illegal aliens," a defense attorney said yesterday in federal court. Instead, attorney Mark Cedrone told jurors in his opening statement, "This is all about whether he told a lie. " The "he" refers to his client, Mikhail Zubialevich, who is on trial with co-defendants Nikolaos Frangos and George Capuzello. The three men held varying positions as part of a work crew painting the double-decker Girard Point Bridge, which carries Interstate 95 across the Schuylkill in Philadelphia.
NEWS
October 22, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
DARLIENE BONNER demonstrated in her early teens that she wasn't about to let rules and regulations stand in her way. She was in middle school at age 14 when she decided she wanted to attend West Philadelphia High School because she thought it would give her the quality education that she wanted. Unfortunately, the school was outside the boundary of her South Philadelphia neighborhood and those pesky rules and regulations said she couldn't go there. Oh, yeah? Darliene challenged the school district and, although it's not known what her arguments were, they were obviously persuasive because she was admitted to West Philadelphia High School.
NEWS
October 22, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
A U.S. bankruptcy judge's decision last week to allow the Trump Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City to jettison a traditional defined-benefit pension and company-sponsored health insurance could spell the end of historically solid benefits for low-paid casino workers. Unite Here Local 54, the union targeted by Trump Entertainment Inc., Taj Mahal's parent company, said every worker in Atlantic City is under siege by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who controls Trump Entertainment through the roughly $290 million of debt he holds.
NEWS
October 18, 2014 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
Official assurances that the city is fully prepared to deal with Ebola collided Thursday with impassioned pleas from front-line health-care workers who said they need more and better equipment and far more training to safely care for patients infected with the deadly virus. During a City Council hearing that lasted nearly four hours, top leaders from the city's public health agencies, fire department, airport, and major hospitals said that while Ebola presents some unique challenges, they have been effectively controlling other serious threats such as anthrax, bird flu, and HIV for decades.
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