Wednesday, June 29, 2011


The results of the National voting of IUE-CWA Locals is now up on They are reporting that IUE-CWA Local nationally have ratified the proposed new 4 year agreement by a 70% to 30% margin.

IUE-CWA and UE members voted to ratify 2011-2015 national agreements with General Electric.
IUE-CWA members voted 70 percent to 30 percent to ratify a new four-year national agreement.
UE locals in Erie, Pa., and Fort Edward, N.Y., also voted to ratify, but the percentages have not been reported. At IUE-CWA, 34 locals representing nearly 8,000 members participated in the nationwide voting. “I am pleased that our members recognize the value in this agreement,” said IUE-CWA GE and Aerospace Conference Board Chairman Bob Santamoor. “These were difficult negotiations in a difficult economic climate. Members evaluated the package as whole and found it acceptable.”

No. 26 Kent State Baseball’s Lyon Making Case To Make USA Baseball Collegiate National Team

NEWPORT, R.I. -- Kent State junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) is making a case to make the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team's final 22-man roster.

Lyon, who was named to the Collegiate National Team as an alternate earlier this month, survived USA Baseball's first round of cuts and will have the opportunity to grab a spot on the final roster as the squad continues its tour of the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL). The backstop began his summer competing for the NECBL's Keene Swamp Bats, batting .364 with nine RBIs, five runs scored, two home runs and a double among his eight hits in five games. The Collegiate National Team must trim its roster to 22 players by July 1. The highlight of the squad's season is a five-game series (July 3-8) against the Japan Collegiate All-Stars.

"He's done very well and impressed a lot of people," said seventh-year Kent State head coach Scott Stricklin, who is serving as an assistant coach for the Collegiate National Team under Missouri head coach Tim Jamieson. "He's hitting the ball hard and doing a fantastic job of managing a pitching staff of four or five guys who will be first-round draft picks."

Lyon, a 2011 American Baseball Coaches Association (READ MORE

Friday, June 24, 2011

IUE-CWA Reaches Tentative Agreement with General Electric

After four weeks of intense negotiations, IUE-CWA has reached tentative national agreements for about 16,000 workers at General Electric. Ratification votes are expected to be held next week.
The four-year packages, bargained jointly by the unions' Coordinated Bargaining Committee, include gains in wages and pensions, while holding increases in workers' share of health care costs to 2.5 percentage points.
IUE-CWA represents the majority of workers, with more than 8,000 members at GE. "I congratulate our negotiating committee on working hard to reach an agreement that addresses critical issues for both our union members and the company," IUE-CWA President Jim Clark said.
Describing the talks as "hard-fought negotiations," IUE-CWA GE Conference Board Chairman Bob Santamoor said, "We've made significant strides from where we started to reaching a deal that we can bring back to the members. The contract also offers a special early retirement window for long-service employees, a key issue for our union members."
Regarding health care, the agreements call for hourly GE workers to pay 24 percent of the cost of their coverage, up from the 21.5 percent they have been paying since 2007. Salaried GE workers began paying 35 percent of their health care costs last year.
If ratified, the new contract will give workers a $5,000 cash payment in July, followed by wage increases of 2.25 percent next June, 2.5 percent in 2013 and 3 percent in 2014. Workers would also receive eight cost-of-living increases worth $1.13 per hour over the life of the contract.
In addition to across-the-board pension improvements, Clark said the company is making an unprecedented commitment that it will not propose any pension plan freezes in the 2015 negotiations.
The contract also includes improvements in job security language, retiree health care, vacation, sick and personal time, vision and dental plans, and disability benefits.
The proposals are under review this week by each union's negotiating committee. The IUE-CWA committee voted Wednesday to send the agreement to members for ratification, which must be complete by June 30.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Photo of the Day

This little kitten was found abandoned in the Gardeau area, and was only two weeks old when found. The SPCA asked Kim to help it survive, and it it now thriving under her gentle care.

GE union workers to vote June 29 on proposed contract

By JIM MARTIN, Erie Times-News

General Electric Co. officials said they had to control costs.
Union leaders said they wanted to improve the standard of living for 15,200 GE workers nationwide, including 3,300 at GE Transportation in Lawrence Park Township. And they insisted they wouldn't sell out retirees or future employees in the process.
Both sides were claiming victory Monday after reaching a tentative four-year labor agreement Sunday in New York City.
Members of four different unions have until June 30 to ratify that agreement. Locally, members of Local 506 of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers will vote June 29 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Iroquois High School.
They will vote on a contract that would put a $5,000 signing check in each member's pocket.
The proposed agreement also provides for pay hikes of 2.25 to 3 percent in the final three years of the contract. And the deal includes additional vacation, sick and personal days.
But workers weren't the only ones to gain ground.
Union negotiators agreed to concessions that address some of the company's .....READ MORE

Monday, June 20, 2011

GE, unions agree to tentative labor contract

By ROBB FREDERICK, Erie Times-News

Negotiators for the General Electric Co. and its 15,200 union workers have agreed to a tentative labor contract, company officials said late Sunday night.
The plan will affect pay, pension and health benefits for those workers, including 3,200 employees of GE Transportation in Lawrence Park Township.
Details of the agreement were not available Sunday night.
The unions have until June 30 to ratify the contract, the company said.
Local organizers likely will meet today and Tuesday to consider whether or not to accept it, said Roger Zaczyk, the president of Local 506 of the United Electrical Radio & Machine Workers, in Lawrence Park. He would not discuss the contract when reached by phone Sunday night.
Negotiators had been meeting in New York City since May 23. Sunday put them under extra pressure: The previous 4-year contract expired at midnight.
The talks involved two national unions, including the UE, and several smaller local groups. Their members are spread across 80 GE work sites.
"This was a hard-fought negotiations," said Bob Santamoor, the chairman of the International Union of Electronic Workers/Communications Workers of America conference board. "We've made significant strides from where we started to reach a deal that we can bring back to the members."
Much of the late bargaining centered on health costs. GE had wanted to move union employees to a higher-deductible insurance plan called Health Choice. That plan would replace the unions' existing $15 co-pay with a higher deductible and would require employees to pay more once the deductible was met.
It is not yet clear how that point was settled.
The company did withdraw its demand that retirees pay for up to 10 percent of their prescription drug plan, the UE reported. GE also increased its wage offer, which included a lump-sum payment in the first year of the contract, followed by pay increases in each of the following three years.
The company had argued that high labor costs were making its rail business less competitive. Erie's GE employees are paid twice as much as those at Caterpillar Inc., which also makes locomotives, the company had said during negotiations.
GE moved to cut those costs even before the contract was in hand. In May, the company announced that it will build a $96 million locomotive plant in Fort Worth, Texas, creating more than 500 jobs in a primarily nonunion environment.
GE Transportation has added nearly 1,000 workers in recent months. But local union officials worry that more work could be shifted to Texas.
The agreement reached Sunday "also contains several disappointments," John Hovis, the UE general president, said in a statement, which was released by GE. "However, given the current economic climate, overall it's an agreement we can support."
ROBB FREDERICK can be reached at 870-1733 or by e-mail.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

GE contract negotiations come down to the wire

By JIM MARTIN, Erie Times-News

In the end, it came down to health care, pensions and retiree benefits.
That became apparent by the time the General Electric Co. had laid the last of its cards on the bargaining table Friday in New York City, where the Connecticut-based conglomerate has been negotiating for nearly a month with unions representing 15,200 workers.
The company's four-year labor agreement with those workers, including 3,200 at GE Transportation in Erie, expires at midnight tonight.
Daily updates, posted on the website of the United Electrical Radio & Machine Workers, one of the main unions involved, suggested Saturday that there were still differences to be resolved.
According to the UE, the company has proposed:
- Moving union workers to the Health Choice insurance plan that already applies to nonunion employees. The Health Choice plan would replace a $15 co-pay with a higher-deductible plan that would require employees to cover a certain percentage of health-care costs once those deductibles were met.
Wayne Burnett, business agent for Local 506 in Erie, said he didn't need....READ MORE

Lyon's Roar

Lyon’s two homers, seven RBI’s lead Swamp Bats over Westerners, 13-3
Posted on June 16, 2011 by ksbnotebook
KEENE, N.H.– Catcher David Lyon (Emporium,PA/Kent St.) clocked a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning, a three-run homer in the eighth inning and drove in seven runs total to lead the Keene Swamp Bats over the Danbury Westerners, 13-3, in New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) action on Thursday night at Alumni Field in front of 841 fans.
Keene improves to 3-1 on the season. Danbury falls to 3-1 overall.

Photo of the Day

Was looking for elk on Winslow last night. Saw many but the sunset is what really caught my attention

Monday, June 13, 2011

Potter County men jailed on murder charges

Body of Eldred man was found in small stream
Bob Hooftallen, Publisher
Jonothan Prather has been charged with first degree murder for the killing of Samuel Miller, 18, of Eldred. Prather admitted to shooting Miller 8 times with a .22 caliber rifle after carefully planning the murder.Avery "Bud" Buckingham of Austin admitted to assisting in the murder of Samuel Miller of Eldred. According to police, Buckingham conspired with Jonothan Prather who shot Miller eight times with a .22 rifle. Buckingham has admitted to knowing the murder was going to take place and to helping dispose of the body.Two Potter County men were arraigned and jailed Monday morning for murdering an 18-year-old Eldred man.The bullet riddled body of Samuel E. Miller, 18, of Eldred, was found in Prouty Creek, 3.5 miles south of more at

Sunday, June 12, 2011

GE negotiations move into final week, critical phase

By JIM MARTIN, Erie Times-News

The conversation is about to change.
For nearly three weeks, unions representing 15,200 workers at General Electric Co., including about 3,200 from GE Transportation, have been laying their cards on the table.
So far, the unions have presented more than 90 specific proposals, said Roger Zaczyk, president of Local 506 of the United Electrical Radio & Machine Workers in Lawrence Park Township.
Officials from the Fairfield, Conn.-based company have been talking, too, but GE has yet to submit any specific proposals of its own.
"That is the way our process works," said Susan Bishop, GE's lead spokeswoman for contract negotiations....READ MORE

Photo of the Day

Mountain Laurel is in full bloom. Get out and see it before it is gone.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Photo of the Day

Enjoying the River Walk in San Antonio

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Photo of the Day

This is a photo of the famed B-17 "Flying Fortress", made famous over Germany in WWII. This one is on display at the parade grounds of Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas