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Local 1776 and Its Members Give a Helping Hand to Our Veterans

(From left:) Wine Specialist and 1776 member Ethan Thomas, WMGK radio personality Jen Posner, WMGK radio host John DeBella, Acme member Jim McClosky, Local 1776 Executive Vice President Don McGrogan, Retired Acme Member and Vietnam Veteran Bill Jillard, Acme member Mary Owens, WMGK radio personality Dave Gibson and Local 1776 Director of Communications Tara Innamorato.  After an initial commitment to donate $3,000, Local President Young pledged to contribute an additional $2,000 to the VMC – making Local 1776 the largest donor among other sponsors.

(From left:) Wine Specialist and 1776 member Ethan Thomas, WMGK radio personality Jen Posner, WMGK radio host John DeBella, Acme member Jim McClosky, Local 1776 Executive Vice President Don McGrogan, Retired Acme Member and Vietnam Veteran Bill Jillard, Acme member Mary Owens, WMGK radio personality Dave Gibson and Local 1776 Director of Communications Tara Innamorato. After an initial commitment to donate $3,000, Local President Young pledged to contribute an additional $2,000 to the VMC – making Local 1776 the largest donor among other sponsors.

This Memorial Day, Local 1776 will be sponsoring a local radio station’s Veteran’s Marathon, which assists veterans who have bravely served our country.

The WMGK 201.9 Radiothon lasts for 12 hours to raise money for the area’s Veterans’ Multiservice Center (VMC).

As a sponsor of last year’s Radiothon, Local 1776 directly donated $3,000 to the VMC, and ran radio commercials recorded by Local members to promote the event to raise awareness.

One of the Local 1776 members helping with the commercials named Bill Jillard was a vet himself. For the commercial, he shared his story about serving our country in the Army during Vietnam, and how he continues that service by helping out in his community today. One way Bill serves as a union member is by urging Big Box companies to not just hire vets, but to ensure they provide good jobs and safe workplaces for them, as well as contribute to a better economy for vets to come home to after serving. To hear Bill’s commercial, click here. After 47 years of service at Acme markets, Bill is now enjoying retirement.

(From left): Wine Specialist and 1776 member Ethan Thomas, Retired Acme Member and Vietnam Veteran Bill Jillard, Acme member Jim McClosky, Acme member Mary Owens

(From left): Wine Specialist and 1776 member Ethan Thomas, Retired Acme Member and Vietnam Veteran Bill Jillard, Acme member Jim McClosky, Acme member Mary Owens

 

 

 

Local 23 Member Who Served in Army Now Fights Against Privatization, Volunteers In His Community, and Isn’t Slowing Down

Bill SchwartzTo continue honoring those who have fallen defending our country and its freedom as we approach Memorial Day, here is another Member profile, this time of Local 23 member Bill Swartz, who served in the Army:

For some folks, service to others – whether through the military or charitable endeavors – is just a way of life.

Local 23 member Bill Swartz is just that kind of guy.

At 76 years young, Bill is employed as a clerk for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) and still has the energy and makes the time to look out for other people.

In his earlier years, Bill began a career with GTE/Verizon and then answered President Kennedy’s call to service when he joined the army during the Cuban Blockade in 1961.  He attained the rank of Sergeant and was part of the Defense Atomic Support Agency which handled communications for all branches of the armed forces.  “When I was stationed in Arlington, I worked next to the National Cemetery,” he remembered fondly.

Bill returned to enjoy a 36-year career at GTE/Verizon, where he was a steward, an executive board member and served on the bargaining committee with IBEW Local 1637.  After retiring, he went to work for the PLCB “to make a little extra money.”   Under their contract with UFCW, the PLCB provides preferred hiring practices to veterans.  As a member of UFCW Local 23, Bill has been politically active in fighting against the privatization of that valuable state asset.  He really likes the job and recently decided to accept full-time hours.

Bill has a genuine love of working with people and volunteered at the Salvation Army, where he was assigned to the warehouse.  “That wasn’t what I had in mind,” he laughed, “I wanted to work WITH people,” so he went to work for his church, Our Lady of Mercy in Harbor Creek, PA.

“My wife and I have led the bereavement ministry in our church for over 20 years,” he said.  “They were so good to me after I lost my father that I wanted to give back.”

“Upon the death of a parishioner or family member, we assess their needs for the funeral, provide counseling for the ceremony, and arrange for the lector, greeters, altar servers and whatever else is required,” he explained.  With a kind, compassionate demeanor, he is exactly the right person to reach out to grieving families.

Until very recently, Bill was also the Church’s volunteer groundskeeper, maintaining 13 acres that includes a ball field, pond and picnic area. “I had to give that up when I went full-time at the store,” he laughed.

He has also been a regular volunteer at the Harbor Creek Food Pantry for many years.

With energy that belies his age, Bill shows no signs of slowing down.

“I’ve been a union man all my life,” he said, “and it’s been good.”

 

 

New Charge Against Hanover-Lebanon Cooperative Society Alleges Unlawful Anti-Worker Conduct

Co-op Charged with Intimidating and Interfering with its Workers’ Rights

nlrb-638x430Last week, the UFCW filed a federal charge with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that management at the Hanover-Lebanon Cooperative Society in New Hampshire unlawfully stifled workers’ rights to organize – including preventing them from talking about unions inside the store and intimidating workers who were discussing organizing a union. The Hanover-Lebanon Cooperative Society employs over 400 workers out of five retail locations and a commissary kitchen and does business locally as The Co-op Food Stores.

“Unions and co-ops are like peas and pods – they stem from the same core, they share the same values,” said co-op Member Len Ziefert. “It is antithetical for co-ops to oppose unionization, unions are employees working cooperatively.”

The member-owned co-op has been in the spotlight over the last year following the termination of two well-regarded employees. The fired workers sued co-op management, claiming they were fired as retaliation for speaking out about workplace conditions and for talking with union representatives. After the fallout from this lawsuit, members elected three new directors to the board who are focused on making the co-op more worker-friendly. While the wrongful termination case is currently still being litigated, this unrelated NLRB charge raises the question if anything has changed at The Co-op Food Stores or if co-op management continues to engage in anti-worker practices.

“By standing together in union, workers preserve their voice and true co-op principles,” said Reid Kotlas, a regular shopper. “The Co-op Food Stores should live up to the values of its member-owners and of the co-op movement and respect its workers’ rights to organize a union.”