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NEWS
March 20, 2014 | By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Columnist
ON ITS website, H&M tells potential hires how much they'll be treasured by the behemoth company. "It's important that you feel appreciated and treated well in every way," the Swedish low-priced, high-style fashion retailer assures those who join its 105,000-plus global workforce (whose benefits package is so rich, it even includes pet insurance). "In the long run it's your well-being that is the key to our success. " If only the company's construction people cared as deeply about the well-being of H&M's neighbors.
NEWS
March 18, 2014 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
FOR the past two years, Sean Caldwell, of Mount Airy, has been struggling to support himself and raise his children on his $8-an-hour part-time salary on the maintenance crew at McDonald's at Broad and Allegheny, in North Philly. It just hasn't been nearly enough - so he scrounges for whatever else he can. Caldwell, 35, started a neighborhood lawn-mowing business and takes other odd jobs, such as cleaning out garages, but when he did his 2013 taxes he still saw that he'd made only $9,000.
NEWS
March 16, 2014 | BY ASHLEY KUHN, Daily News Staff Writer kuhna@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
The looming expiration of almost half of SEPTA's workers' contracts nearly put 825,000 weekday transit passengers in limbo at the start of the coming work week - but Transportation Workers Union Local 234's City Transit Division announced yesterday that its members plan to work without a contract instead of striking. Local 234's city division consists of 4,700 operators and mechanics who make up nearly half of SEPTA's workforce. Their contract expired at 12:01 a.m. today. Local 234 is also negotiating new contracts for SEPTA employees in the suburban Frontier and Red Arrow divisions, whose contracts expire the first week of April.
NEWS
March 15, 2014 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Barbara Smith Johnston, 81, of Cherry Hill, a social worker for Ancora Psychiatric Hospital in Hammonton, N.J., and the Merchantville School District, died of complications from a stroke Thursday, March 6, at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. Mrs. Johnston chose social work for a career, daughter Jennifer said, because she wanted to be "an advocate for those who may not have a voice. " Born in Hampton, Va., Mrs. Johnston was the valedictorian of the class of 1951 at Huntington High School in Newport News, Va., and earned a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1955 at Virginia State University.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
SHERRY WEST, an unlicensed employee at the "house of horrors" abortion clinic once run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell, was sentenced yesterday to five to 10 years in state prison for third-degree murder. West is the eighth of 10 convicted defendants to be sentenced in connection with the clinic, where babies were routinely born alive then killed, and where prescription drugs were illegally dispensed in "pill-mill" fashion. During a brief sentencing hearing before Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner, West, 54, of Newark, Del., shook her head, cried and protested that she did not act maliciously in the 2009 death of clinic patient Karnamaya Mongar, 41. The woman was given too much Demerol during an abortion procedure at the West Philly clinic, fell unconscious and died after being rushed by ambulance to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
BUSINESS
March 12, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The union that represents workers at UIL Holdings Corp.'s flagship utility is the same union that represents workers at Philadelphia Gas Works, which UIL has agreed to buy for $1.86 billion. There the similarities end. Moses Rams, president of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 470-1, which represents about 500 workers at United Illuminating Co. in Connecticut, said the labor group has constructive relations with UIL, leading to a six-year contract in 2012 that was ratified by 90 percent of workers.
NEWS
March 8, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
Timing their protest to Mayor Nutter's annual budget address, scores of unionized municipal workers marched outside City Hall today to decry a lack of a labor contract and the proposed sale of PGW. Jeering union protesters last year prevent Nutter from addressing Council, prompting him to deliver the budget message later in the day from a heavily guarded the Mayor Reception Room. The protesters dispersed about 10:30 a.m. and some entered City Hall, where a number were admitted to the Council chambers gallery for Nutter's speech without their signs and a with a warning against outbursts.
NEWS
March 6, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
JOE Mastropaolo wouldn't let a little thing like turning 100 keep him from the pool tables or the dance floor. He might not have been Minnesota Fats, but he could run a table with the precision of a much younger man, and proved it frequently after turning the century mark on Jan. 6, 2013. As for dancing, he might not have been Fred Astaire but he could cut a rug, as they used to say, with the best of them, and always made it a point to dance with every lady in the house. "He didn't want anybody to feel left out," said his daughter, Rita Ferrara.
NEWS
March 5, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
IF PEOPLE IN the Melrose Park Gardens neighborhood had a problem like vandalism, drug dealing, etc., they wouldn't call the cops directly. They would call Ed Roberson. Ed had the cellphone number of the captain of the 35th District and he would make the calls. Because Ed was recognized as a longtime leader of the community and one who cared deeply about its welfare, he would invariably get the action he sought. At election time, Ed invited candidates to meetings he organized at churches or other locations to talk with the voters.
NEWS
March 2, 2014 | By Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Al Tiller was in a state of despair on Jan. 7, when yet another hospital worker came into his room. He was homeless. Estranged from his daughter. Hadn't had a drink in a week. And his hands - on their way to losing parts of six fingers, the result of frostbite - "looked like something out of Halloween . " The worker sat down. "She said, 'I know you from somewhere,' " recalled Tiller, 61. They started tossing out names from the Southwest Philadelphia community where both had lived.
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