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Allentown Public-Housing Workers Authorize Strike

Allentown, PA – The workers who maintain Allentown’s 950 public-housing apartments voted unanimously Aug. 22 to authorize a strike. They “have been seeking a fair contract… for nearly a year,” Teamsters Local 773, which represents the about 20 workers, said in a statement. The Allentown Housing Authority wants to triple or quadruple workers’ health-care costs, it added, and has “also proposed that union members receive a wage increase of 2% per year, while nonunion personnel is set to receive a 3% increase.” The workers’ previous contract expired Dec. 31. The union said it had twice accepted compromises proposed by a Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board fact-finder, but management had rejected them both times, which Housing Authority Executive Director Daniel Farrell did not dispute in an interview with the Allentown Morning Call. “These are extremely dedicated workers who are on call 24/7,” Local 773 business agent Darrin Fry said. “They come to work in all kinds of weather to clear sidewalks and lots, repair water breaks and serve the residents. They don’t deserve to be treated this way.” Another negotiating session is scheduled for Aug. 31. Read more

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