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Archive for the 'Labor' Category

Labor group plans rally, dinner

April
29

The Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body will hold its annual rally Thursday, April 30 in Valhalla to commemorate workers who have died on the job, and later will sponsor a fund-raising dinner for a memorial.
Five local workers — Wayne Bleidner, Luis De Oliviera, Kenneth McGrath, Bruce Plunkett, and David Vasquez — will be remembered at the rally at Kensico Dam Plaza, starting at 4:45 p.m.
The dinner takes place from 6:30-9:30 p.m at the Colonial Mansion Caterers, 139 N. Broadway, in North White Plains. State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins will receive the labor group’s Outstanding Public Service Award. Mike Trinchi, the group’s former labor liaison to the United Way, will receive the group’s Labor Service Award.
For more information, contact Carol Craft at 914-698-7988.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 11:50 am |
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Rally planned to protest budget cuts

March
4

Labor and community groups plan to rally at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 5, in front of the Michaelian Office Building at 148 Martine Ave. in White Plains to oppose state budget cuts. The groups planning to attend include the Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body, the Working Families Party, Mount Vernon United Tenants, and state Sen. Andrew Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
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Atlas Air dispatchers vote to join Teamsters

February
3

Thirty dispatchers at Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo have voted to join Teamsters Local 210 in New York City. The dispatchers cast ballots from Jan. 12 through Monday in a union election coordinated by the National Mediation Board. The dispatchers join flight crewmembers who voted late last year to join the union. The two air carriers are subsidiaries of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. in Purchase.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
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Atlas Air dispatchers to vote on union representation

January
8

Dispatchers at Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. are scheduled to vote on whether to unionize. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the union seeking to represent about 25 dispatchers, said that workers can begin voting on Monday. Voting ends Feb. 2. Atlas, a Purchase-based air cargo carrier, operates the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747 all-cargo aircraft.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Thursday, January 8th, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
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SEIU claims victory in hospital organizing vote

December
12

Business staff at Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle and Mount Vernon Hospital voted 4-to-1 today to join United Healthcare Workers East, Local 1199 of Service Employees International Union, a union organizer said yesterday.
The vote was 106 to 24, with seven votes challenged, said Minerva Solla, vice president with the union’s organizing department. There will be 216 workers in the unit, she said.
Local 1199 also represents more than 900 service and technical workers at the New Rochelle and Mount Vernon hospitals.
Officials from the National Labor Relations Board, which oversaw the election, could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Friday, December 12th, 2008 at 7:06 pm |
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Hospital workers to vote on joining SEIU

December
11

About 180 business staff at Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle and Mount Vernon Hospital will vote tomorrow on whether to join United Healthcare Workers East, Local 1199 of Service Employees International Union.
If successful, it would be the second group of hospital business workers that Local 1199 has organized in Westchester County this year, said Minerva Solla, vice president with the union’s organizing department.
In March, about 100 workers at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers voted to join the local, she said.
Hospital business staff include a wide range of job categories, including cashiers, coders, computer operators, clerk/typists, dietary clerks, data entry clerks, medical records staff, and switchboard operators.
The balloting will be overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. If the workers agree to representation by the local, they would subsequently form committees and start to negotiate a contract with management.
Solla said the Saint Joseph’s workers signed a contract with management several months after the vote.
Local 1199 also represents more than 900 service and technical workers at the New Rochelle and Mount Vernon hospitals.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Thursday, December 11th, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
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Union ratifies Verizon contract

September
19

More than 90 percent of the Verizon Communications workers represented by the Communications Workers of America union have voted to ratify a three-year labor contract with the telecommunications giant, according to the union’s Web site.

The agreement covers more than 50,000 workers at Verizon, including 1,100 Verizon workers in Westchester and Putnam counties and about 300 workers in Rockland County.

Workers will receive 10.87 percent pension and wage increases under the contract.

Union negotiators and Verizon reached agreement on the contract on Aug. 10, averting a potential strike by the union.

Posted by Jay Loomis on Friday, September 19th, 2008 at 12:26 pm |
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1,400 local Verizon workers prepared to strike next month

July
24

About 65,000 employees of Verizon Communications Inc., including 1,400 in the Lower Hudson Valley, are prepared to strike once a five-year contract expires after midnight on Aug. 2.
Members of the Communications Workers of America this week authorized their leadership to call a strike if a new deal can’t be reached. The local CWA unions include Local 1103 in Port Chester, representing 1,100 Verizon workers in Westchester and Putnam, and Local 1107 in New City, representing 300 Verizon workers in Rockland.
The CWA workers include field and central office technicians, and business office staff. They do not include workers at the Verizon Wireless regional headquarters in Orangeburg.
The last time a contract expired in 2003, the union agreed to work until a deal was reached. The union struck for nearly three weeks in 2000.
CWA staff said pensions, health benefits, and access to employment in new job fields are key issues in the talks.
Verizon spokesman John Bonomo described the union vote authorizing a strike as a standard procedure in contract talks. He declined to comment on specific issues.
“Our interest is certainly to negotiate in good faith and to get a timely and fair contract,” he said.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Thursday, July 24th, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
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Yonkers company owes $55,000 for wage violations

April
7

A Yonkers paper products company and one of its officers have agreed to pay 16 current and former workers $55,000 in back wages after the U.S. Labor Department alleged the company violated wage and hour laws for two years.

AHN Corp., which labor officials said had its business at 430 Nepperhan Ave., and Haytham Abuali, agreed to make the payments, which include interest.

The labor department said in its lawsuit the company violated minimum wage and overtime laws from September 2004 through September 2006. The company also did not keep accurate records, the labor department said.

Phone records do not contain a listing for AHN or Abuali. Court records do not indicate that either the company or Abuali had a lawyer in the lawsuit the labor department filed in U.S. District Court in White Plains.

“Workers in low-wage industries are just as entitled as anyone else to be paid properly for all the hours they work,” said Sonia Rybak, an assistant district director with the labor department.

An order signed by Judge Charles L. Brieant prohibits the company and Abuali from any future violations of the law. The company and Abuali agreed to the judgment without admitting or denying the allegations in the lawsuit.

If the defendants do not make the payments Brieant will appoint a receiver with the power to seize and liquidate the company’s assets to make the payments. The judge also ordered the company to advise the workers of their rights.

John Chavez, a labor department spokesman in Boston, said it was unclear how much of the money owed was for regular wages and how much was for overtime.

The law requires that workers receive one and one-half times their hourly rate for all hours over 40 in a week.

Court records show the individuals are entitled to amounts ranging from a low of $945.96 to a high of $8,415.94.
The company is required to make the payments in monthly installments of $9,166 each.

Posted by Allan Drury on Monday, April 7th, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
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Playland park to sponsor jobs fair Saturday

March
4

Westchester County’s Playland amusement park will sponsor a job fair Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.

Playland, in Rye, maintains seasonal employment from April through September. Positions to be filled include ride operators, cashiers, custodial, beach and pool, maintenance, lifeguards, clerical and emergency medical technicians.

Applicants must be at least 16 years old, or 18 for certain positions. Applicants younger than 18 who complete an application prior to the event must have the form signed by a parent or guardian to be considered for an interview. Those under 18 who wish to complete their application at the job fair must bring a parent or guardian to the event to sign the form so an interview may take place.

To apply during the job fair, bring a completed application, a valid photo identification and Social Security card. Applications can be obtained by calling 914-813-7010, or via e-mail at playlandjobs@westchestergov.com. You can also download and print an application by logging on to www.ryeplayland.org.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Tuesday, March 4th, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
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Union president stepping down

December
5

Robert McCracken, the president of Local 1103 of the Communications Workers of America, is stepping down from the job after 29 years. He will be replaced by Joseph Barca, the vice president since 2003. The local represents 1,500 Verizon Communications Inc. workers in the region. It also represents about 500 other workers, including technicians at Nyack Hospital, librarians in Rye and government workers in Connecticut. The CWA is in the early stages of negotiating a new contract with Verzion, the phone company in Manhattan.

Posted by Allan Drury on Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 at 11:50 am |
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OSHA to co-sponsor health & safety fair Sunday

September
13

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is co-sponsoring the Hudson Valley Family Health and Safety Fair Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.

The free event will provide information to guard against health-and-safety hazards on the job, at home and on the road. It will feature workshops, health information and screenings, demonstrations, prizes and activities for children.

OSHA is co-sponsoring the event with the Rochester Institute of Technology, OSHA Education Center and the Voluntary Protection Programs Participants-OSHA Alliance.

Highlights include:

• Safety and health workshops in English and Spanish on chemical and electrical hazards, scaffolding, falls, trenching, machine guarding, traffic, landscaping, fire and tool safety and personal protective equipment.

• Workshops for young employees focusing on permitted and prohibited jobs and work hours, employee rights, and safe work in restaurants, retail and supermarkets.

• Health screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, weight, eyesight and mental health, as well as health and wellness information from area health and human service organizations.

• Information booths and demonstrations by public safety agencies on fire hazards, seat belt use and bike safety, including free car seat exchanges and bike helmets.

• Booths staffed by federal, state, county and local agencies to provide information about workplace regulations and laws.

Posted by Alison Bert on Thursday, September 13th, 2007 at 4:01 pm |
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80 openings at Reader’s Digest

August
30

Reorganization at Reader’s Digest Association Inc. has created new jobs and some staff turnover, and the Chappaqua publisher is now trying to fill 80 openings.

It’s a large number, Digest spokesman William Adler said, although the company had no comparison figures that could be considered typical. More than 800 people work at the headquarters and 6,000 worldwide.

Many of the openings are new to the headquarters. Weekly Reader Publishing Group moved this year to Chappaqua from Stamford, Conn., and not all the employees opted for the commute, Adler said. Reader’s Digest also has added sales jobs and positions in IT and various Web sites, including Every Day with Rachel Ray and Taste of Home.

The publisher also is looking to replace Christine Guilfoyle, who will leave next month as publisher of Every Day with Rachel Ray to be publisher of Conde Nast’s Women’s Wear Daily. The Digest said a successor would be announced soon.

The staff openings are driven in part by the Digest’s sale earlier this year to a private investor group led by Ripplewood Holdings. Chief Executive Officer Mary Berner recently completed hiring a new executive team, many from Berner’s former employer, Conde Nast’s Fairchild Publications.

“The heart of Mary Berner’s strategy for the company is high performance at all levels, and as part of that we’re targeting a goal of having high-performing individuals in every position in the company,� Adler wrote in an email.

Job seekers can contact the head of the recruiting team, Tracey Wilmot, director of talent acquisition, at tracey_wilmot@rd.com. The openings are listed at www.rd.com/careers.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Thursday, August 30th, 2007 at 6:11 pm |
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Work in IBM Global Services? Afraid for your job?

May
7

Robert X. Cringely, a noted technology columnist who writes “I, Cringely” for PBS.org, has written a weekly column that might be sending chills through IBM ranks. He said his sources are telling him that Armonk-based IBM Corp. will fire 100,000 or more Global Services staffers this year in the United States in a project called “LEAN.” Last week’s layoffs, which affected 15 people in Westchester County, and totaled about 1,300, according to the Communications Workers of America, are only the beginning, Cringely writes.Cringely writes: “For two years Big Blue has been ramping up its operations in India and China with what I have been told is the ultimate goal of laying off at least one American worker for every overseas hire.”Cringely believes the layoffs will occur before the end of 2007 and are a direct effort to boost IBM’s stock price.IBM declined to comment.Analyst Bob Djurdjevic, president of Annex Research in Phoenix and a longtime IBM watcher and expert, told Networkworld that he thinks Cringely’s ideas are “hogwash.”In the meantime, Cringely advises IBMers who work in Global Services to ask their managers directly if their jobs are targeted for elimination.We’d also like to hear from any IBM employee who has information about project LEAN and whether Cringely is off base or on target. Write to Julie Moran Alterio at jalterio@lohud.com or call 914-694-5228.

Posted by Julie Moran Alterio on Monday, May 7th, 2007 at 3:53 pm |
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IBM lays off 15 employees in Westchester

May
1

Armonk-based IBM Corp. laid off 15 employees today out of its roughly 7,500 in Westchester County, all engaged in information technology delivery.

“These actions were designed to keep operations competitive and to reduce structural costs,� said spokeswoman Gretchen H. McWhorter.

McWhorter said she did not have any information about whether additional employees outside Westchester were affected. 

She said the laid-off employees will remain on the payroll for a minimum of 30 days from today, after which they will receive their separation benefits. They are eligible for severance pay based on length of service, assistance in finding other jobs within IBM, outplacement assistance, education assistance and extension of benefits, McWhorter said.

IBM had higher revenues and profits in the first quarter ended March 31, with net income of $1.84 billion, or $1.21 a share, on revenues of $22.03 billion.

Posted by Julie Moran Alterio on Tuesday, May 1st, 2007 at 4:18 pm |
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Janitors gather in White Plains to protest ‘unfair labor practices’

April
26

About 40 janitors, members of Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, protested outside The Westchester mall in White Plains today to call attention to what the union alleges are unfair labor practices against workers who are employees of Control Building Services Inc.

Control Building, the janitorial division of Control Service Group Inc., based in Secaucus, N.J., provides janitorial services at The Westchester and the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown Heights.

The unfair practices, 32BJ said, include the firing of a janitor at the Jefferson Valley Mall on Monday.

The union alleged that the worker, Gladys Garnica, was fired for engaging in union activity that included leafleting on behalf of other Control Building employees at other malls who aren’t unionized.

In response to this and other alleged violations of the National Labor Relations Act, 32BJ filed an amended unfair labor practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday.

Attempts to reach officials at Control Service for comment weren’t successful. The company employees about 24 janitors at The Westchester and about 16 at Jefferson Valley Mall.

Posted by David Schepp on Thursday, April 26th, 2007 at 5:41 pm |
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Verizon Wireless seeks to expand local work force

February
12

Verizon Wireless is seeking qualified applicants to fill about 400 full- and part-time positions in sales and customer service throughout the New York metropolitan area. To meet the needs of the growing Hispanic population, the company is seeking some people who are bilingual and speak English and Spanish.

The company will hold its next job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday in Melville, Long Island, at the Huntington Hilton on 598 Broad Hollow Road. Applicants can also apply through the company’s Web site (www.verizonwireless.com/careers).

The company has about 3,000 regional employees in the New York metropolitan area, including its Orangeburg headquarters. Last year it hired more than 1,600 employees last year to keep pace with the growing demand for its wireless voice and data products and services, Verizon said.

Posted by Alison Bert on Monday, February 12th, 2007 at 6:37 pm |
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Chase to hire 227 bankers in region

January
29

Chase, the banking unit of financial-services giant JPMorgan Chase & Co., has announced plans to hire 485 personal bankers in New York state, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Nearly half of those hired will report to offices in Westchester, Connecticut, Rockland and New Jersey — 227 in all.

Chase operates 45 bank branches in Westchester and eight in Rockland. Its recent acquisition of Bank of New York has resulted in 61 additional offices in Westchester and 22 in Rockland.

Chase said 130 personal bankers will be added to both Chase and Bank of New York branches in Rockland and New Jersey, while 97 will be hired for offices in Westchester and Connecticut.

Chase declined to provide the exact number of hires in Rockland and Westchester counties specifically for competitive reasons, it said.

Personal bankers help customers with checking and savings accounts, credit cards, home-equity loans and mortgages.

In addition, each newly hired banker will be required to earn a Series 6 license, which allows them to sell mutual funds and annuities.

Posted by David Schepp on Monday, January 29th, 2007 at 1:15 pm |
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Developers, union sign deal for projects

January
24

A festive atmosphere prevailed yesterday among business parties usually cast as rivals.

The developers of three major projects on the drawing boards in Yonkers and New Rochelle said they have a deal that would provide a leg up for a prominent labor union to organize employees after the projects are built.

The announcement was made at the Yonkers Public Library by officials of Struever Fidelco Cappelli LLC, who plan to develop Palisades Point and River Center Park in the city; Cappelli Enterprises, the developer of the Le Count Square project in New Rochelle; and Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union.

About two dozen union members wearing their signature purple coats and shirts also were on hand, as well as officials from Yonkers and New Rochelle government.

The projects combine commercial and residential development. Hundreds of new building service jobs — superintendents, janitors, doormen, and others — are expected to be created once the projects are completed. The projects are under review by government officials in both cities, and developers are hopeful for approval this year.

Yesterday’s deal was not a union contract, given that there are no new employees to represent. The deal recognizes Local 32BJ as the exclusive bargaining agent for new workers if a majority of them choose to join it through a card check process.

Local 32BJ now has about 4,500 members in Westchester, and 85,000 in total. Developers said they welcomed the arrangement as part of a growing relationship with labor.

“This is a good thing for all parties,� said Joseph V. Apicella, executive vice president for a division of Cappelli Enterprises.

“We were paying prevailing wages anyway, so it was really a no-brainer … We’re going to continue to have organized labor as a partner.â€?

Yonkers City Councilman Dennis M. Robertson and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson both received standing ovations from local members. Government officials said their communities benefit when residents can obtain jobs that provide good wages and benefits.

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Wednesday, January 24th, 2007 at 7:20 pm |
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Getting ahead the Latino way

January
22

The qualities that can help Latinos compete on the job can also hold them back, according to a new book co-authored by a Briarcliff Manor writer.
“The Latino Advantage in the Workplace — Use Who You Are to Get to Where You Want to Be,� (Sphinx Publishing, $19.95; thelatinoadvantage.com) explores some of the cultural ground that Mariela Dabbah covered in her previous book on helping immigrants find employment.

That book, “How to Find Work in the United States,� was written in Spanish and aimed at helping newcomers take the first step toward adapting to a new culture. “Latino Advantage� is written in English for an audience that includes second-generation Hispanics who are already employed and looking to take the next step up the career ladder.

Dabbah and co-author Arturo Poiré of New York consider various Latino cultural traits, such as adaptability, respect for authority, and a tendency to speak indirectly. (The authors say in the preface that the generalizations are necessary to help understand behaviors, and readers shouldn’t assume that the qualities are exclusively Latino.)

Those qualities are valued by employers. The book warns, however, that bosses can also exploit them. Latino workers may allow a natural tendency toward avoiding confrontation and deferring to authority to work at cross-purposes to their own advancement.

“You’re not even aware of them. You might undermine your career and not know why,� Dabbah said.

The book is filled with anecdotal examples of behaviors and, in the American spirit of self-improvement, exercises that allow the readers to explore their own mindsets.

“It’s a very down-to-earth, theoretical book,� Dabbah said. “It gives you the instruments to be aware of what you have and what you need to work on.�

She and Poiré, a senior human resources executive at a global financial corporation, worked on the book for about a year before its release last month. Poiré was one of the people that Dabbah had interviewed for her previous book, and the exchange led to subsequent discussions that produced the latest project.

“Latino Advantage� is already in its second printing. The two writers are working on a workshop program for corporations that uses the book’s principles. While aimed at Latinos, non-Hispanic managers will find its observations helpful as well.

Poiré said an Irish-American manager told him that some of the stories resonated with her.

“There are things that I’m reading here that are very powerful,� he recalled her saying. “It’s a very positive book. It talks about success and dreams.�

Posted by Jerry Gleeson on Monday, January 22nd, 2007 at 7:34 pm |
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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

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