Thursday, December 17, 2009

Human Resource Executive Online, December 15, 2009, Tuesday

Human Resource Executive Online

December 15, 2009, Tuesday

Human Resource Executive Online

Women Reshape Union Agenda

Women make up nearly half of the union membership and that is having an impact on issues that come up at the bargaining table. There's more of an emphasis on work/life issues, paid sick leave and paternity leave, experts say.

By David Shadovitz

If the past 25 years are any indication of what lies ahead, women should soon represent the majority of the nation's union workers.

A recent report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington found that women made up 45 percent of union membership in 2008, up from 35 percent in 1983. Should that rate continue at its current rate, women will represent the majority of union workers by 2020, according to CEPR researchers.

Already, the demographic shift is having a profound effect on union agendas, experts say, and employers should expect that to hasten as women become an even larger portion of union membership.

In the report, The Changing Face of Labor: 1983 -- 2008, CEPR researchers note that women increased as a percentage of the union workforce at a much faster pace than the workforce as a whole during the past 25 years -- 9.8 percent versus 2.6 percent.

Despite this, the study found, the unionization rate for women -- the share of all women employees who are union members or represented by a union at work -- actually declined over that same period. In 2008, 12.9 percent of women were members of unions, compared to 18 percent in 1983.

After white men (38.1 percent), white women (31 percent) represented the second largest group of union workers today, according to CEPR. Black women made up 6.6 percent of union workers, while Latina and Asian women represented 4.8 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.

Like most experts, Michael Lebowich, a partner with Proskauer Rose in New York, wasn't surprised by the overall findings.

"Given the shift in the workforce, it isn't surprising to see the number of women grow," he says. "If women represent more of the makeup of the workforce, it's going to represent more of the makeup of unions."

So it's only natural, he adds, that this is going to influence what's being discussed at the bargaining table.

"There's clearly more of a focus on work/life balance issues such as paid leave at the bargaining table as a part of the discourse unions are pushing at the national level these days," Lebowich says. And employers should expect these issues to become an even more prominent part of the union agenda in the years ahead.

John Schmitt, a senior economist with the CEPR and co-author of the report, agrees. "I have to believe these issues will be even more a part of union contract talks in the years ahead than they are today," he says.

Anecdotally, Schmitt says, he's already seeing issues such as paid sick leave and paternity leave become even more important parts of contract talks.

Experts believe a major reason women are rapidly becoming a more dominant demographic in unions is labor's shift away from manufacturing toward those fields with a heavy concentration of women workers, such as services and education.

The CEPR report found that only 10 percent of unionized workers are now in manufacturing, down from 30 percent in 1983.

Ileen A. DeVault, a professor of labor history at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Ithaca, N.Y., notes the growth of the service sector has contributed to the transformation. But it's also true that women are much more likely to move into non-service-sector jobs than they were a quarter of a century ago.

"We no longer think of the sex segregation of jobs as we've done in the past," says DeVault, as women breaking through the barriers of occupations previously dominated by men.

DeVault also points out that unions are doing a lot more to attract women and minorities to their ranks. "On a national level," she says, "the AFL-CIO over the last five years has made huge efforts to present itself as a more diverse labor movement."

But just as unions have modified their agendas to address the concerns of women, she says, so too have employers. When it comes to work/life issues, she says, "I think this is one place corporations have moved faster than unions.

"I think unions, unionized companies and companies worried about unionizing are all paying attention to these issues -- issues affecting both male and female workers -- and ways to address them," she says.

DeVault contends that if companies don't address these issues, then unions will. "It's going to come down to who is going to think these issues through first and be the most convincing," she says.

Lebowich agrees that those unions that are succeeding are the ones that recognize they're "playing to a new audience" and are able to modify their messages.

Unions are also beginning to name women to leadership positions, experts say, though some feel that effort is not nearly as extensive as it should be. Despite the changing demographics, DeVault says, "there continues to be a huge gap between women members and women leaders."

According to the CEPR report, women weren't the only demographic to experience gains as a percentage of the union workforce. Latinos climbed to 12.2 percent in 2008, from 5.8 percent in 1983, while Asians increased to 4.6 percent in 2008, from 2.5 percent in 1989.

Black workers, meanwhile, represented about 13 percent of the unionized workforce in 2008, a share that has held fairly steady since 1983.

December 15, 2009

Copyright 2009© LRP Publications

Business Wire, December 15, 2009, Tuesday

Copyright 2009 Business Wire, Inc.
Business Wire

December 15, 2009, Tuesday

Cummins Engine Business President Jim Kelly to Take New Role in Early 2010

Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) announced today that Engine Business President Jim Kelly will leave current his role in March 2010 in order to lead a number of key cross-business strategic projects.

Kelly joined Cummins in 1976 and was named to his current position in May 2005. His successor will be named in the very near future.

"Jim has been instrumental in the Engine Business' success and transformation over the last two decades, and for nearly five years he has effectively led the business during a period of both record growth and the most difficult reces-sion in decades," said Cummins President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Linebarger.

"Earlier this year, Jim expressed his desire to retire and for a smooth leadership transition in the Engine Business. I am extremely pleased that he has decided to remain with Cummins awhile longer in order to help us tackle some im-portant enterprise-wide initiatives."

Under Kelly's leadership, Cummins became the first engine maker to meet the 2010 emissions standards in 2007 with the 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel engine for the Dodge Ram pickup truck. The Company's North American heavy-duty truck engine market share also doubled in the last four years, and Cummins has significantly grown its engine presence in markets around the world during Kelly's tenure.

Kelly, who has been a Cummins Vice President since 1993, has served as plant manager at two of Cummins' high-est-profile manufacturing operations - the Jamestown, N.Y., and Columbus, IN, engine plants - and has held leadership roles in virtually every segment of the Engine Business.

"Jim's steady, thoughtful, results-oriented approach - combined with his competitiveness and deep knowledge of the diesel engine industry - has been especially valuable in keeping the Engine Business focused on remaining strong during the current downturn," Linebarger said. "His understanding of the business now will to help us address a number of cross-business issues that are critical to our long-term success."

Kelly, a native of Albany, N.Y., earned his bachelor's degree in history from Middlebury College and his master's degree in labor and industrial relations from Cornell University. He and his wife, Terri, currently reside in Columbus, IN.

About CumminsCummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of more than 500 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 5,200 dealer locations. Cummins reported net income of $755 million on sales of $14.3 billion in 2008. Press releases can be found on the Web at .

Forward-looking disclosure statementInformation provided in this release that is not purely historical are for-ward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including state-ments regarding the company's expectations, hopes, beliefs and intentions on strategies regarding the future. It is im-portant to note that the company's actual future results could differ materially from those projected in such for-ward-looking statements because of a number of factors, including, but not limited to, general economic, business and financing conditions, labor relations, governmental action, competitor pricing activity, expense volatility and other risks detailed from time to time in Cummins Securities and Exchange Commission filings.


GRAPHIC: Jim Kelly (Photo: Business Wire)

LOAD-DATE: December 17, 2009

The New York Times, December 9, 2009, Wednesday

The New York Times

December 9, 2009, Wednesday

The New York Times

Council Passes Curbs on Greenhouse Gases

The City Council on Wednesday approved a weakened version of an initiative to help reduce the city’s emissions of greenhouse gases, scrapping the most far-reaching requirement, which the real estate industry had called too costly.

The legislation requires owners of New York City’s largest buildings to pay for energy audits, undertake lighting upgrades and take other steps to reduce energy consumption. Under the final version, however, the owners are not required to follow through with renovations that the audits indicate would make the buildings more energy efficient.

Still, the measures, which are crucial to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s goal of shrinking New York’s carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2030, put the city at the forefront of efforts nationwide to improve the energy efficiency of buildings.

Jeffrey Harris, vice president for programs at the Alliance to Save Energy, a national group that lobbies on energy issues, called the legislation “a very significant step forward” in testing the combination of mandates and incentives that could work at a national level to encourage lower energy use in commercial and residential buildings.

“We need to find out more what works,” he said. “I hope we get lots of local jurisdictions to copy or adapt what New York City is doing. This is the time for bold experiments in building performance.”

Mr. Bloomberg said the legislative package represented the biggest step the city could take to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas linked to global warming, and called it “a crucial step in slowing climate change.”

The four bills approved by the Council are expected to reduce the city’s total carbon dioxide emissions by slightly less than 5 percent through the next two decades and eventually save $700 million a year in energy costs. They focus mostly on residential and commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet — about 22,000 buildings that account for almost half of all buildings-related carbon emissions from boilers, furnaces and the power plants that supply their energy.

The measures require large buildings to pay for energy audits every 10 years. Large buildings will also have to pay for “retro-commissioning,” an inspection of their heating, cooling and other energy systems to correct any waste, similar to a car tuneup.

Large commercial buildings will also be required to switch to more energy-efficient lighting, which usually accounts for about 20 percent of their energy use.

The new laws call for large commercial and residential buildings to participate in a program that will create a profile of their energy and water efficiency and make it public, which energy experts say is tantamount to disclosing the mileage per gallon for cars so consumers can compare performance.

Also, commercial building owners will have to install systems under which each tenant’s energy use is measured separately, to provide an incentive for tenants to conserve.

“We’re literally making our world-famous city skyline greener,” said Christine C. Quinn, the Council speaker.

But there was considerably less enthusiasm among labor leaders and others.

Jeffrey Grabelsky, director of Cornell University’s construction industry program, called the dropping of mandatory retrofits “a disappointing retreat” and said cities must be more ambitious in using mandates and financial incentives to make a dent in energy use and generate jobs.

Aviation Week, December 8, 2009, Tuesday

Aviation Week

December 8, 2009, Tuesday

Aviation Week

A recent study by Cornell University, claimed to be the first and only comprehensive study of organizing under the Railway Labor Act, may add a new twist to the arguments in favor of labor’s support of a proposed rule by the National Mediation Board (NMB) on how unions are elected.

Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of Labor Education Research for Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, told the NMB yesterday in a one-day hearing on the subject that the data clearly show that without the proposed rule by the NMB, “voter suppression will continue to interfere with the laboratory conditions the NMB is supposed to provide workers voting under the RLA.”

She said that in other industries where only the votes cast count, voter turnout averages 88%. But under the RLA, voter turnout is quite low on average because while unions focus on getting potential new members out to vote “yes,” employers try to suppress voter turnout by confusing voters about the procedures, or by asking them to destroy their ballots.

She said voter suppression takes many forms, such as threatening bankruptcy, making some positive changes in pay or benefits to make employees temporarily happy, initiating layoffs, and sending misleading information about the election procedures. In nearly half of all RLA elections Cornell studied, five or more anti-union tactics were used, and in 27% of them, 10 or more tactics were used.

The board also heard testimony from Marianne Bicksler on behalf of Delta flight attendants and the Association of Flight Attendants. Bicksler, who was an inflight supervisor at Delta in 2001, said that as the AFA organizing effort gained momentum, Delta hired a consulting firm specializing in suppressing union elections, and counseled supervisors to “intimidate” flight attendants. “We were taught how to confuse them,” she said, including actions such as how to block union tables from the lounge area. Supervisors who were not aggressive enough were counseled, and offered bonuses as part of a strategic “union-avoidance objective,” Bicksler said. Delta management encouraged the Give A Rip campaign against the AFA, which encouraged flight attendants to “give a rip” about the company and rip up their voting ballots. Cornell’s Bronfenbrenner noted in her remarks that “this is not just a Delta issue. We found that employers used this tactic with at least one or more voters in 67% of our sample.” She said this tactic is most disturbing because “once the ballot has been torn up, it represents a no vote even if the voter changes his or her mind.”

It was the Transportation Trades Dept. (TTD) that sought the proposed rule from the NMB, and President Edward Wytkind said the system has fostered a culture of voter suppression. He also said the proposed rule in on way changes mediation procedures, so it will, therefore, have no bearing on strike actions. “It is time to permit airline and rail workers to vote on the question of unionization under the same democratic standards used in all other elections – from union elections conducted under other labor laws to congressional elections.”

But Jack Gallagher, an attorney for Delta, said the argument that it is inappropriate for an employer such as Delta to tell its employees not to vote for unionization is “patent nonsense” when unions “marshal all kinds of resources” to garner support. Gallagher argued that the AFA, as well as the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) clearly could not convince a majority of their respective workers to join either union, and therefore resulted in pushing for this sweeping rule change.

Perhaps most importantly, Gallagher asked at the end of his statement that if the NMB does not withdraw its current proposal, it could amend it to not apply to any previously announced mergers, thereby not affecting the outcome of AFA or IAM unionization efforts.

Also speaking on behalf of airline management, Robert Siegel of O’Melveny & Myers, representing the Air Transport Association, kept his remarks focused on the “wholly deficient process that the board has put in place for its consideration of the NPRM.”

The ATA believes two of the three board members are rushing through the proposed rule without proper debate. As NMB Chairwoman Elizabeth Dougherty herself claims, she was excluded from internal deliberations, and the other two members only brought her into the process at the end. Siegel said the way it was handled the proposed rule “severely damaged the board’s hard-earned and long-standing reputation” as being impartial.

Siegel also said the board appears to have predetermined how it will act because it included a full legal argument to justify the proposed rule and rebut any preliminary objections when it issued the proposal.

As to the proposed rule change itself, Siegel said that if a union is elected without majority support, it cannot truly represent the employees it purports to count as members. But the losers will not just be unions and carriers and employees, he said, “but also the board itself — which will have jettisoned its hard-earned reputation as an honest broker and disinterested referee, and thus will have jettisoned its ability to insure the labor relations stability that Congress intended it to provide.” The ATA will submit its full legal argument to the board on Jan. 4.

Joanna Moorhead, general counsel for the national Railway Labor Conference echoed those sentiments, saying her concern is with the process of issuing the rule. She said the board has long been known for its measured and deliberative style, and whenever it has considered a “sweeping change,” it only proceeds with agreement of all three members. She called for the board to rescind its proposed rulemaking and launch a “full evidentiary process.”

But John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, noted that it is time to move on this “important update” to laws of the 1930s. He noted that in Canada, unions win representation if they can simply show a majority of authorization cards seeking an election. And although the NMB is not being as radical, its proposal is a long overdue step, Prater said.

He also said it is disingenuous for opponents of the proposed rule to try to tie mediation and representation issues together. The board’s duties in these two areas are distinctly different, he said.

Robert Roach, head of the IAM, asked how anyone could argue against change. Quoting Martin Luther King, Roach said, “The time is always right to do what’s right.” He said the argument by some that 75 years of law should not be changed, is not an argument.

Randy Johnson, senior VP for labor integration and benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, argued for a decertification mechanism in the proposed rule that mirrors the certification process. The airline representatives have over the past several weeks made the same argument as Johnson, that if a majority of employees can choose a union, then they should have an equal right to decide to eject a union.

Photo: IBT

New York Times, December 8, 2009, Tuesday

New York Times

December 8, 2009, Tuesday

New York Times

Obama Proposes Tax Incentive to Hire Workers

President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed a tax incentive for small businesses that add workers, even as Congress struggles to figure out how such an idea would work.

Lawmakers have been working for several months to develop a tax credit for businesses that hire workers, but they have been unable to figure out how to do it in a way that won't be abused.

Neither Obama nor his top advisers offered details Tuesday. They didn't say how big the tax break would be nor how it would be administered. Obama pledged to work on the issue with Congress.

''I believe it's worthwhile to create a tax incentive to encourage small businesses to add and keep employees and I'm going to work with Congress to pass one,'' Obama said.

Congress is running out of time to pass a jobs package this year, and the process will be even more complicated if the administration doesn't come up with details. Moreover, the Senate is preoccupied with the health care debate, making any action less likely.

Obama's other tax proposals were more familiar to lawmakers. He proposed extensions and enhancements of several tax breaks that were part of the economic stimulus package passed in February, including enhanced tax write-offs for companies that buy new equipment.

Obama also proposed eliminating capital gains taxes on small business stock, if it is purchased in 2010 and held for at least five years, expanding a tax break enacted in the stimulus package.

Majority Democrats in Congress, wary of an unemployment rate that stands at 10 percent as they enter an election year, said they would work with Obama to pass a jobs bill.

Republicans said Democratic efforts to pass a new jobs bill shows the last stimulus package was ineffective.

''We need to give the private sector confidence with permanent, long-term tax relief and immediate steps to rein in our skyrocketing deficits,'' said Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, chairman of the Republican Study Committee. ''Temporary tax relief won't overshadow the long-term concerns of anxious employers.''

Said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., ''It makes a good phrase, 'Let's have a tax cut for job creation.' But how it's actually done is something they have not been able to define after almost a year of talking about it.''

Some tax experts said it would be difficult to fashion a tax credit that efficiently provides an incentive to small businesses to add workers. Do you offer a tax break for simply increasing payroll, or do companies have to hire more workers? How long must companies keep the workers? How would the requirements be enforced?

''You're trying to subsidize people for doing things they wouldn't otherwise do, but we don't know what they would otherwise do,'' said Eugene Steuerle, a Treasury Department official in the Reagan administration who is now co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

John H. Bishop, an economist and a professor at Cornell University, has helped develop a proposal for a tax credit for companies that increase the amount of their payroll subject to Social Security taxes. Since only the first $108,600 of a worker's pay is subject to Social Security taxes, executives couldn't get the credit by giving themselves big bonuses, he said.

Some companies could get credits simply by raising the pay of existing workers, but that would help the economy, too, Bishop said. Bishop's proposal, modeled after a similar tax credit enacted in the 1970s, has been circulating on Capitol Hill for several months.

''It does exactly what we want,'' Bishop said. ''It focuses on hiring Americans to work now.''

Las Vegas CityLife, December 3, 2009, Thursday

Las Vegas CityLife

December 3, 2009, Thursday

Las Vegas CityLife

Oh no, you didn't just go there

In its labor dispute with Wayne Newton, the local musicians union goes straight for the throat -- literally


You Don't Know What You've Got (Until You Lose It): The title of Wayne Newton's latest show at the Tropicana is "Once Before I Go," but the critics are saying, "Just go already!" From the Las Vegas Sun's Joe Brown ("It sounded like the Vegas Chainsaw Massacre") to the former L.A. Times entertainment blogger Richard Abowitz ("I find it painful to hear someone so incapable of singing perform for 90 minutes") to CityLife's own David McKee (" ... it offers all the pleasure one associates with a root canal, as Newton trashes his reputation and voice alike"), the critics are unanimous: Wayne's world is crumbling.

Games That Lovers Play: Now the local musicians union is happily exploiting the critical bash-fest to draw attention to its more than three-year-old labor dispute with Newton. On Nov. 16, the Musicians Union of Las Vegas Local 369 launched, which trumpets Newton's place on the unfair list of its parent union, the American Federation of Musicians. Newton earned that dubious distinction in 2006, when contract negotiations broke down and Newton replaced striking musicians with non-union players. Being on the unfair list means the federation forbids member musicians from working for Newton. But the real knives are on the website's "What The Critics Say" page, which highlights reviewers' more acerbic lines about Newton's latest show at The Tropicana.

The crux of the dispute: The union says Newton refuses to sign a contract in which players are paid separately for rehearsals. Newton's camp says the union rejected a generous contract for a six-hour day that includes brief rehearsals before and after shows.

"When we have a primary employer on the unfair list, we're obliged to keep up visibility of the issue," says Local 369's Secretary-treasurer Thom Pastor of the website. Otherwise, he explains, the dispute can be considered abandoned and Newton can claim good standing with the national union again. "We wanted to be friends, but it gets to the point where we have to make our position clear. We're morally obligated to take a stand against this person who is used to getting his own way." Pastor says the website is still a work in progress, and will eventually include the union's full grievances against Newton -- but will also grow to include unflattering financial information about Mr. Las Vegas.

Kathleen Newton, Wayne Newton's wife and representative, is disgusted by the site. "I've never been so embarrassed by a group of people. They don't have the facts on their side, so they're resorting to petty attacks."

Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast: But the union goes one further than merely dishing up acid outtakes from critics. In backhanded fashion, it dishes up some of its own, offering recorded snippets from live shows that reveal The Wayner at less than his best -- whether it's gasping his way through "Fly Me to the Moon," swallowing syllables on "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You" or nearly wheezing through "MacArthur Park," in which his voice cuts out like a broken mic.

Is the union playing dirty? Pastor plays it straight. "It's not intended to be negative toward Wayne," he says. "We're just giving the public a chance to make an assessment for themselves."

Kathleen Newton says the outtakes are from a period at his Stardust stint when acid reflux had ravaged Newton's voice. She says posting the song snippets is illegal and promises to "go after [the union]" in court. Pastor says the recordings fall under a previous contract with Newton, in which Newton could record shows and make them available to union musicians to catch mistakes.

Summer Wind: Labor relations expert Ken Margolies, director of organizing programs at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations Extension, says the union's website is a novel form of union muscle-flexing.

"It's directed at least as much at other performers as it is at Wayne," he says. "The union is saying, 'This is what could happen if go you this route. We have some pretty confrontational ways to deal with the situation.' They can't just say, 'It's just one show.' The biggest thing at stake is if [Newton] gets away with it." That is, forging an exceptional contract that makes the union look weak.

Years: The union charges that Newton has pulled some dirty tricks of his own over the years. In January 2006, the union filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations board accusing Newton and his management of soliciting non-union replacements for striking musicians and for orchestrating an illicit campaign to decertify the union. Newton did not admit to violating labor law, but as part of a settlement, did agree to post notices for 60 days advising employees of their right to organize and promising not to interfere with them.

Red Roses For a Blue Lady: Why all the fuss over rehearsals? The union says today's industry standard is to pay musicians per show and per rehearsal -- arrangements it's struck with The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera; Newton's fixation on the old, six-hour schedule is behind the times.

"If Wayne is behind the times, then hallelujah," says Kathleen Newton. "Because he's the only performer to have a 21-piece orchestra when everyone else is going to taped music and synthesizers."

Danke Schoen: You have to wonder whether piling on with critics might hurt the union's chances at reconciling with The Wayner. Pastor admits he doesn't see a resolution on the horizon.

"We don't think there's an incentive for [Newton] to come to the table in good faith," he says.

Local President Frank Leone offers the same assessment -- though with a touch of the critic himself. Making nice with the union would mean better musicians for Newton's show, which certainly couldn't hurt, he says.

"He needs all the help he can get," says Leone. "And as far as backing bands, he'd be a lot better off with American Federation of Musicians professionals."

But labor relations expert Margolies says there have been plenty of bitter, drawn-out labor battles that have been patched up. "It's never impossible to go back to the table," he says.

Shangri-La: Could be. But the prospects of reconciliation might not be helped by parting shots like this: "The show is supposed to be about memories of his career," says the union's Leone. "Why not leave the audience with memories of when he could sing?"

But Kathleen Newton has a few of her own: "It's sick to do this to a man who's made it a part of his life to love and take care of musicians. Musicians have paid for their homes and their children's education because of Wayne Newton. This is all about Frank Leone and his group of goons who think they can strongarm us."

Last updated on Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 12:09 am (AM 930), December 1, 2009, Tuesday (AM 930)

December 1, 2009, Tuesday (AM 930)

Beth Livingston was interviewed by Les Sekely discussing male gender role attitudes in the workplace.

Real Estate Weekly, November 18, 2009, Wednesday

Copyright 2009 Hagedorn Publication
Real Estate Weekly

November 18, 2009, Wednesday

Mechanical contractors tap Al Gettler as EVP.

A nationwide search to find a successor to Ray Hopkins as executive vice president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of New York (MCA New York) has ended with the appointment of Alexander Gettler.

A 20-year veteran of the construction trades industry, Gettler will take the reins from Hopkins when he retires in December after 26 years in the post.

Gettler began his career in labor relations and association management with the General Contractors Association of New York as the assistant director of labor relations. In this capacity, he represented member firms with 15 New York City construction unions.

He then became the executive director of the Association of MasterPainters and Decorators before returing to the GCA to direct its labor relations function, representing management in over 150+ grievances per year and acting as chief spokesperson in collective bargaining negotiations with 15 different heavy construction unions.

For the past three years, Gettler has been the vice president of Industrial Relations and Director of Human Re-sources for the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) where he has been credited with developing a new labor relations strategy and successfully negotiating aNational Residential Agreement with the United Association.

In addition, Gettler served as the secretary of the National Automatic Sprinkler Industry, Pension and Welfare Funds with assets in excess of $4 billion, as well as acting as a Trustee on several other Taft-Harley Funds.

Gettler has also taught various courses in employee benefits at New York University, Fairleigh Dickinson, and the College of Insurance.He earned his MBA in Economics from New York University and a Bachelor's Degree in Labor Relations from Cornell University. He also holdsthe Certified Employee Benefit Specialist accreditation.

LOAD-DATE: December 15, 2009

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Marketing Weekly News, December 5, 2009, Saturday

Copyright 2009 Marketing Weekly News via
Marketing Weekly News

December 5, 2009, Saturday

HEADLINE: Siegel+Gale Chairman and CEO Alan Siegel Joins John Jay College Foundation Board

John Jay College of Criminal Justice announced the appointment of Alan Siegel to the John Jay College Foundation Board. Mr. Siegel is Founder and CEO of Siegel+Gale, one of the world's premier strategic branding companies.

"Over its 40-year history, Siegel+Gale, led by Alan Siegel, has demonstrated that successful brands live or die through the customer experience they deliver, and that this extends far beyond advertising or communications," says Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College. "Alan's genius is his ability to distill the essence of an organization into its own distinctive 'voice' that then translates into every medium - powerfully, clearly, and simply. This skill has never been more needed than it is today. His wealth of knowledge and expertise will be invaluable as we develop our strategic plan for the future growth of John Jay."

Alan Siegel is a founder of the Plain Language movement. Siegel+Gale's "Simple is Smart" philosophy has applied the art and science of simplicity to create branding programs that have helped many of the world's best-known organizations excel.

"John Jay is an impressive institution that has enormous appeal to young people who want to build careers as public servants in Justice and Social Services. Jeremy Travis has grown the college to an impressive stature, and there is no stopping him. I very much look forward to supporting and helping to accelerate the College's upward trajectory," says Mr. Siegel.

As consultant, teacher, and commentator, Mr. Siegel's influence extends to creating strategic branding programs for organizations such as 3M, American Express, AARP, the National Basketball Association, Caterpillar, The Girl Scouts, Xerox, CBS, Phoenix House, and The Legal Aid Society. He also serves on the boards of numerous business and cultural organizations, including the Museum of Arts and Design, the Authors Guild Foundation, Hamptons Inter-national Film Festival, Turnaround for Children, Business for Diplomatic Action, Lapham's Quarterly, and the Ameri-can Theater Wing, where he is a TONY Awards voter.

He is the author of an extensive series of personal guides for The Wall Street Journal, including the bestseller, The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and Markets (Lightbulb Press), as well as Writing Contracts in Plain English (West Publishing) and Simplified Consumer Credit Forms (Warren Gorham & Lamont). One of the world's foremost collectors of fine photographs, he is also the author of One Man's Eye: Photographs from the Alan Siegel Collection, which was published by Harry N. Abrams in October 2000, and Step Right This Way: The Photographs of Edward J. Kelty, published by Barnes & Noble in October 2002.

In December 2006, Jorge Pinto Books published Alan Siegel on Branding and Clear Communications by Louis J. Slovinsky as part of its Working Biographies series.

A graduate of Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Mr. Siegel also attended New York University Law School, the School of Visual Arts, and Alexei Brodovich's Design Laboratory.

If you would like to speak with Alan Siegel, or for more information about Siegel+Gale, please contact Davia Te-min, Susan Ollinick, or Christine Summerson of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or

Keywords: Advertising, Basketball, Entertainment, Science, Siegel+Gale.

This article was prepared by Marketing Weekly News editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2009, Marketing Weekly News via

LOAD-DATE: November 25, 2009

Buffalo News, November 20, 2009, Friday

Copyright 2009 The Buffalo News
All Rights Reserved
Buffalo News (New York)

November 20, 2009, Friday

HEADLINE: Uncertain future for New Era's local plant; Either site in Derby or Alabama will close


New Era Cap Co. is cutting back its U.S. manufacturing and will soon choose which one of two manufacturing plants to keep open -- in Derby or Demopolis, Ala.

The Buffalo-based hat and apparel manufacturer says it needs only one plant, not the three it currently operates, to meet reduced consumer demand. New Era has already determined it will close a plant in Jackson, Ala., in the first quarter of next year.

The company will also shut a distribution center in Mobile, Ala., probably in the second quarter of 2010. New Era's Delaware Avenue headquarters and a distribution center in Harrisburg, Pa., are unaffected.

New Era is famous for its Major League Baseball hats but also has diversified its product line.

The company said the recession has cut into demand, most significantly for custom-design hats sold in smaller lots to retail stores. Customers are holding back on spending, and a number of stores that sold New Era's specialized hats have folded amid the recession, said Peter Augustine, New Era's president.

Company executives say they will compare the performance of the Derby and Demopolis plants on measures such as efficiency, cost, quality and on-time delivery to decide which one to keep. The plant that loses in the process is expected to be shut in the second quarter of 2010. Augustine would not specify how soon a decision would be made but indicated the company does not want the sense of "uncertainty" created by the process to last longer than necessary.

New Era's Derby plant is about 20 miles south of Buffalo and has 334 workers, about 30 percent of whom are on layoff. The Demopolis site has 355 workers, including laid-off employees.

New Era opened its Derby factory in 1960 and added the Demopolis location in 1998, when the company began a production push into the South. The two plants are similar in size.

Workers at both sites are represented by the Communications Workers of America. The Derby plant workers joined the CWA in 1998, while the workers at the Demopolis site voted in favor of CWA last year.

The two Alabama facilities being closed are both represented by the Teamsters union. The Jackson facility has 322 employees, while the Mobile warehouse being closed has 70 workers. A Teamsters representative could not be reached to comment on the planned closings.

Apart from the U.S. manufacturing sites, New Era also has products made in China and Vietnam.

David Palmer, the CWA's director for upstate New York and New England, said CWA representatives from the Derby and Demopolis plants and the company will start discussions next week about New Era's review. He said New Era's plans to reduce its U.S. manufacturing are a fallout from a poor economy. "It surprised me that the business fell off as much as it did."

Palmer said labor relations between the CWA and the company have improved greatly since an 11-month strike at the Derby factory ended in 2001. The company has stressed it will assist workers who are displaced from whichever factory it decides to close, he said.

"They're going to do it the right way, but it's still going to be painful," he said.

The plant chosen to be kept open is expected to eventually increase its employment by about 100 jobs, once the economy improves and production levels pick up again, Augustine said.

Chris Koch, New Era's chief executive officer, said it will be a very difficult decision.

"It's no secret that I grew up in Derby and that's the plant I spent a lot of time in," said Koch, whose family founded New Era in Buffalo in 1920. Despite his personal connections, Koch said New Era has to evaluate which of the two manufacturing operations will best serve its needs.

And he noted that while Demopolis may not be where New Era started, the company has had operations there for 11 years. "It's not like we just moved there," he said.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer said he spoke to Koch this week about the company's problems. "I said, 'Look, my num-ber one concern is keeping the jobs in Western New York,' and that I would do anything I could to be helpful," Schumer said.

"I pushed for Western New York, and he seemed very sympathetic, but he certainly made no commitment," Schu-mer added.

Art Wheaton, director of labor studies at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Buffalo, said it would make sense for the company to keep the Derby plant open.

"You're closer to your headquarters," Wheaton said.

Three years ago, New Era moved its corporate headquarters back from Derby to downtown and opened its flagship retail store at the same location.


LOAD-DATE: November 20, 2009

The New York Times, November 19, 2009, Thursday

The New York Times

November 19, 2009, Thursday

The New York Times

The Case for a Job-Creation Tax Credit

John H. Bishop, a professor at Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School, was co-author of a recent proposal on temporary job-creation tax credit published by the Economic Policy Institute.

Last week, President Obama announced that he was convening a jobs summit meeting, where policy makers would discuss how to reduce the country’s high unemployment rate. One idea that has received attention lately — and which I heartily support — is a job-creation tax credit, which would make it cheaper for employers to hire new workers.
John H. Bishop

The federal government has not tried this kind of policy since the 1970s. But the record of that policy gives hope that a temporary tax credit could help solve our unemployment problems today.

Here’s how the credit could work, at least according to the proposal I wrote with Timothy Bartik at the Upjohn Institute: Employers would have to expand their payrolls on net to qualify for the credit, in order to prevent companies from simply firing and rehiring people. They would then receive a 15 percent rebate on any increase in their 2010 wage bill over their 2009 level. Firms would also receive a 10 percent rebate for the increase of their 2011 wage bill over the 2009 wage bill.

Based on Daniel Hamermesh’s thorough review of econometric research on labor demand, Dr. Bartik and I have estimated that this temporary credit would increase employment by 2.8 million by the end of 2010. We also estimate that it would cost the federal government less than $6,000 per full-time equivalent job.

Assuming these numbers are right, they make the policy an extremely cheap, efficient way to bolster the job market, especially relative to some other proposals, like public works projects.

The credit accomplishes so much so quickly because it enables the private sector to figure out which jobs make sense for the long run. Crucial decisions about whom to hire and for what kind of work are not made directly by the government. Rather, they are radically decentralized to the 6.5 million employers who would still pay 85 percent of the cost of taking on a new worker; who select, train and supervise the new hires; and whose vision defines the purpose of their firm’s expansion.

A similar two-year temporary credit – called the New Jobs Tax Credit — was established early in 1977, and studies have found it successful.

Firms that increased employment by 2 percent or more in 1977 and 1978 received a New Jobs Tax Credit of about $7,000 (in inflation-adjusted terms) for each additional worker they employed. It took awhile for employers to learn about the credit, but by 1978, most knew of it and one-third were receiving it.

From January 1977 to January 1979, employment rose 11.1 percent, a record-breaking pace for peacetime. Unemployment rates fell nearly 2 percentage points. The chart below plots changes in the employment-population ratio — the share of the working-age population that has a job — from 1969 to the present. Notice the recovery stalling out in 1976, the acceleration of growth during 1977-78, when the credit was operating, and the abrupt slowdown in the growth after its expiration.
John Bishop

One particularly impressive part of the policy’s track record is that employment did not collapse when the tax credit ended. For 15 months unemployment remained stable, and the employment-population ratio stayed at its up-to-then record level.

The implication of these trends is that eventually, firms were going to start expanding and hiring new workers. The tax credit probably induced some of these employers to expand a little earlier than they otherwise would have, ushering in a faster jobs recovery.

What does the success of the tax credit in 1977-78 imply about the likely impact of a new credit now?

The current pool of underutilized labor and capital is huge, much larger than it was 33 years ago, so we expect the proposed credit for 2010-11 to have a much larger impact on employment.

Now, some might argue that a 15 percent discount on a new hire won’t be enough to encourage employers to take on more workers, because companies might still feel demand for their goods and services is too weak to justify expansion.

Where will the demand come from for the products and services the extra workers produce?

We expect demand to come from a few sources: 1) spending by new employees; 2) extra spending by growing firms; 3) abroad; 4) lowered prices causing more real demand; and 5) investments made now rather than later.

Here’s how the process would look:

1. Some firms expand.
2. The new hires spend much of their earnings.
3. We expect roughly two-thirds of employers will grow enough to earn a job-creation rebate. These rebates will improve cash flow and stimulate demand for raw materials and the supplies used to make finished products. Labor-intensive expansions will require less borrowed capital, so banks will be more willing to help with financing.
4. The credit lowers the cost of having American workers provide a service or make a product. American firms will therefore be more competitive as exporters and domestic suppliers.
5. The temporary 15 percent reduction in the marginal costs of labor at so many companies will temporarily reduce prices and improve the quality of services provided. Both of these responses increase the demand for real output — and the workers who produce it.

Temporary tax credits for job creation make it cheaper for companies to invest in labor-intensive expansion. It’s like putting workers on sale for two years. And the policy imparts a very motivating message to companies: don’t wait until after the economy comes roaring back. Hire now the talented people you could not attract in 2007. Get a jump on your competition.

* Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
* Privacy Policy
* 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018

ABC News, November 18, 2009, Wednesday

ABC News

November 18, 2009, Wednesday

ABC News

Unions Get Snarky With Big Banks

Questions Abound Whether Big Labor Is Gearing Up to Encourage Bank Employees to Form New Unions

As Bank of America continues its search for a new CEO, one of the nation's most powerful unions is giving it some unsolicited help: Since last week, the Service Employees International Union has been running online ads announcing a CEO vacancy at a "big bank" that may "reward failure with big $" and does not require a "basic understanding of the economy."

The ads, which the union says have attracted more than 300,000 clicks since Friday, are designed to pop up on some Google search results pages when the user searches the terms "Bank of America" and "BAC."

"What we're saying is they don't just need a new CEO," said Stephen Lerner, who directs the SEIU's finance reform campaign. "They need a new business model that isn't based on excessive risk, massive compensation for a few people and ripping off consumers."

Bank of America declined to comment on the ads, but accused the union of having "misrepresented Bank of America's relationship with its customers and its associates" in the past.

The SEIU's snarky salvo is one of many fired by unions at major banks this year. Earlier this week, the SEIU staged a protest at Goldman Sachs' Washington, D.C., headquarters, arguing that the bank's multi-billion dollar bonus pool could be used to prevent foreclosures.

In October, the SEIU teamed up with its former parent labor federation, the AFL-CIO, and other groups for a demonstration denouncing bank greed at the annual American Bankers Association conference in Chicago.

Last spring, the Teamsters Union and the SEIU fomented a successful shareholder campaign to strip retiring Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis of his title as bank chairman.

While the unions insist that their actions are aimed primarily at encouraging regulation to address problems facing the average American worker -- like foreclosure and dwindling retirement accounts -- some say the unions have another goal in mind: attracting and unionizing bank employees.

"If you're talking about the SEIU especially, I see this as their effort to take what is a popular, political issue and turn it to their advantage as it relates to their efforts to organize workers who are in these big banks who typically have not had exposure at any great extent to organized labor," said Dennis Kuhn, an associate professor of business law at Villanova University.

Big Bonuses Anger Rank-and-File Bank Employees
The shrinking of the U.S. manufacturing sector, a key source of union membership, helped drive down the total proportion of U.S. wage and salary workers belonging to unions to just over 12 percent from a high of more than 30 percent in the 1950s.

Unions have been able to make up some of the ground they lost in the manufacturing sector by appealing to service sector employees such as hotel workers and hospital staff. Kuhn said that bank employees could be next -- and furor over out-sized bonuses for top bank brass may be what brings rank-and-file bank employees into the union fold.

The unions could target everyone from bank tellers to those who process credit card applications, he said, because they're fed up with the disparity between their compensation and that of their company executives.

"You're likely to find a reasonably positive response from the people who are toiling in at the operations of a bank and not realizing much in the way of return of their efforts, at least not in their minds," Kuhn said.

Legislation pending before Congress should further boost any union efforts to organize bank employees. The Employee Free Choice Act would make it easier for workers to organize unions, Kuhn said.

"You have a very hospitable political environment coupled with an issue that garners headlines from every newspaper," he said. "So this is what they're working to exploit."

But the country's two major union groups, the AFL-CIO and SEIU, are playing coy when it comes to the question of unionizing bank employees.

Lerner told that banks should not "stand in the way" if workers want to form unions, but stopped short of saying that the SEIU, which last year was reported to have considered bank unionization, would lead such efforts.

"The SEIU thinks that we cannot have an economic recovery unless workers have a right to form unions. (Then) we can start raising wages so we can stimulate the economy so people make a decent living -- part of that for bank workers and all workers is restoring the right to form a union and we don't think banks should stand in the way if workers want to unite together to organize a union to make their lives better," Lerner said.

Bank Unions: A Red Herring?
Daniel Pedrotty, head of the AFL-CIO's office of investment, called the unionization question a "red herring."

"It's a way to try to confuse the issue," he said.

Part of the reason the AFL-CIO is involved in demonstrations to encourage bank regulation, he said, is because bank investments directly affect current union members: Trillions of dollars of union members' pension and retirement funds are invested in financial products, he said, including stock in the big banks.

"We're a labor federation -- yes, we're about organizing," he said. "We're about even more than that. We're about an economy that works for everyone."

Union experts say the unions' broader banking-related goals -- like fighting foreclosures and providing consumers more protection against bank fees -- fit with the unions' history of social activism.

The unions have staged "plenty of protests about the war, environmental issues, politics. There have been plenty of instances where they've called for regulation," said Philip Dine, the author of the 2008 book, "State of the Unions: How Labor Can Strengthen the Middle Class, Improve Our Economy, and Regain Political Influence."

They were critical, he added, in helping President Obama win the 2008 election.

"Labor waged its biggest political effort" to help Obama get elected, he said.

Little Organization Among Bank Employees
Right now, unionization at U.S. banks is rare and the few banks that do have collective bargaining agreements with employees may be at a disadvantage to their peers: A March study by the investment banking firm Griffin Financial Group reported on one unionized bank that had salary and benefits costs that were 7 percent to 8.5 percent higher than its peers and also spent more on legal and human resources expenses.

The pushback they would get from banks may make unions think twice about organizing there, some say.

"Banks will fight tooth and nail to keep unions out," said Lowell Turner, professor of international and comparative labor at Cornell University. "Unions have to be strategic about where they put their organizing resources."

Squeezing the Employer to Start a Union
If unions do decide to organize bank employees, the demonstrations could be a good start.

"One of the things you sometimes see with activity like this is sometimes it is the beginning of signals of a corporate campaign," said Kevin Elliott, a senior vice president in charge of the labor practice at the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton.

Through corporate campaigns, he said, unions seek "to injure the reputation of the employer" as a means of pressuring them to allow unionization.

"The union squeezes the employer," Elliott said. "The employer says 'What do we have to do make this stop.' The union says, 'Give us more flexibility with organizing your workers.'"

Elliott said that while that's not something he sees happening with unions and banks right now, employers always have to be on guard for it. Banks may have to decide whether unions are, indeed, seeking to organize their employees or are just seeking to gain attention for their causes.

"If it's the former, you'd better get serious (and) make sure you're not going to be vulnerable," he said. "If it's the latter, then it is what it is."

Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures

The New York Pulse, November 13, 2009, Friday

The New York Pulse

November 13, 2009, Friday

The New York Pulse

Stella D’oro not the only cookie to crumble in the Bronx

By Christopher Livesay

Mike Filippou of Pelham Bay has experienced first-hand the decline of manufacturing in the Bronx.


In October, the Stella D’oro factory closed its Kingsbridge doors for good after the owners Brynwood Partners sold the cookie bakery to North Carolina-based Lance Snacks, putting Filippou and 137 other Bronx employees out of work.

An empty truck at an empty warehouse. The Stella D'oro factory is the latest casualty in a declining Bronx manufacturing industry.
“It was like déjà-vu,” he said.

In 1996, Filippou had worked for Bronx-based cookware manufacturer Farberware for nine years before the company outsourced production to Indonesia. Filippou said the company offered him a relocation package to follow the company abroad but he declined.

As the Stella D’oro bakery moves to a Lance factory in Ohio, workers have not been offered a similar deal, adding their numbers to an already discouraging 13 percent Bronx unemployment rate that has climbed faster and higher than the other four boroughs during the current economic crisis. The overall jobless rate in New York City is just over 10 percent.

According to a September report in the New York Manufacturers Register – published by Illinois-based Manufacturers’ News – New York has lost 32,451 manufacturing jobs over the past two years amid a 7 percent spike in unemployment.

“As with the entire nation,” wrote report author Tom Dubin, “the recession continues to affect New York’s core sectors.”

Yet the trend of manufacturers leaving the city for cheaper locations elsewhere began before the current recession.

A 2006 report by the same group shows that the Bronx lost 13 plants that year alone, contributing to a loss of 35,000 manufacturing jobs across the state. The report said that while 2006 output was at a four-year high in the city, it did not translate to increased employment.

“Manufacturing companies are finding ways to increase efficiency and trim costs through technology and outsourcing,” according to the report.

Workers at the Stella D’oro bakery in Kingsbridge were on strike for one year after owners Brynwood Partners announced they would cut wages, pensions, and holiday and vacation time. In July, the court found the company guilty of unfair labor practices and ordered that all employees be reinstated under original union contracts. Thereafter, Brynwood Partners announced it was selling the bakery to Lance Snacks.

“It is unfortunate,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz in a prepared statement, “that Brynwood Partners would move so quickly to close its Kingsbridge plant, simply because a labor dispute did not go its way.”

Brynwood spokeswoman Stephanie Pillersdorf cited high union wages as key to her company’s decision to sell the bakery. In a prepared statement, she said that Stella D’oro “would not have long-term viability paying workers $35 an hour in wages and benefits, and providing 10 weeks of paid time off per year.”

The new workers in Ohio will not be employed under a union contract.

During the recent housing boom, wages comparable to those of union manufacturing jobs were not hard to come by for manual labor in the city, according to Leslie Ramos, director of the Mayor’s Office of Industrial and Manufacturing Businesses. She said that “construction of luxury housing and buildings sustained a thriving workforce” prior to 2008.

Ken Margolies, Director of Organizing Programs at the Cornell School of Industrial Labor Relations, said that as recently as last year when the real estate sector tanked it was common to hear talk of a Bronx revival.

People fantasized about the kind of gentrification you saw in Greenpoint and Williamsburg,” he said. “The words ‘NoBo’ and ‘SoBo’ were thrown around. You don’t hear that anymore.”

Margolies said that the trend of manufacturers leaving the Bronx for cheaper destinations began decades ago as it did with most of New York City, however the Bronx has not recovered from this shift nor has it substituted these industries as effectively as other boroughs.

“There’s very high unemployment as a result,” he said. “There’s still some small-scale production, some garment related stuff, there’s a cigar factory, things like that. I would be surprised if any are unionized.”

Such jobs, says Margolies, are incapable of absorbing the growing wave of unemployed workers, especially those like Mike Filippou who are accustomed to union wages and benefits.

“There’s really nothing left in the Bronx for manufacturing,” he said.

As a lead mechanic, Filippou said he earned $21 an hour plus benefits at Stella D’oro. In order to make a comparable wage, he’s looking in Queens, Long Island, and New Jersey.

“I’m divorced; I have two kids; I pay child support,” he said. “But I’m a lucky one. I’m a mechanic and I can work somewhere else. Just think about someone in his fifties who’s been making cookies all his life. That’s a skill, but you can’t take it with you to your next job.”

Geoge Khassay, 51, worked at Stella D’oro for 23 years before he was laid off in October, just two years shy of his pension. He’s looking for a new job under the same union—the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Local 50—that would allow him to maintain his pension.

“It might take two weeks, three months, six months, even a year,” he said. “But I’m flexible. I’ll do all kinds of stuff. I’ll work while I wait.”

Khassay is also a professional musician and DJ and says he’s looking forward to spending more time with his music. He said he might have to take an additional job to make ends meet.

“I’d even work in retail,” pointing to the newly opened Gateway Center mall and the proposed retail plans at the Kingsbridge Armory, where so far workers are not guaranteed a living wage.

“Of course I’ve got two kids in college to worry about though,” he said.

“It’s going to be difficult to pay for the one in law school.”