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Seen At 11: Dos And Don’ts When Faced With Workplace Violence

November 19th, 2013

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — What would you do if a gunman started shooting in your workplace?

As CBS 2′s Maurice DuBois reported, workplace violence is becoming an all too common scene — a disgruntled employee, an ex-spouse or a dissatisfied client come backs to settle the score with a gun. Two million people are victims of workplace violence each year, with hundreds killed.

Experts say that number is on the rise.

LINK: NYPD active shooter recommendations

“If we see bad economic times and you see a lot of layoffs or plants closing, then you’re going to see workplace violence,” said Paul Viollis, a workplace violence prevention specialist.

Most people, however, don’t know how to react when faced with such danger.

It happened to City Councilman Charles Barron, D-Brooklyn. A gunman opened fire in the council chambers 10 years ago.

“He’s just shooting, and so everybody’s saying, ‘Charles, get down, get down,’” Barron said.

“It was the most traumatic moment of my life.”

Barron survived because he made it to the nearest exit. But most people don’t chance it and hide behind office furniture, often with dire consequences.

 

 

 

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UC Med Center Strike Set; Essential Employees Barred From Walkout

November 19th, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — About 22,000 patient care and service workers at five University of California medical centers and nine campuses plan to stage a one-day strike on Wednesday to protest what they say are unfair labor practices by the university, a union spokesman said Tuesday.

Todd Stenhouse, a spokesman for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299, which represents those workers, said employees are holding the walkout in reaction to what he alleged was a campaign of illegal intimidation and harassment by UC administrators of service and patient care workers during a two-day strike at UC medical centers in May.

UC officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment but previously have denied that the university engaged in unfair labor practices and simply asked employees ahead of time if they were going to honor the strike in May but did so only for planning purposes.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge David I. Brown issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday barring 49 employees who perform essential functions from striking on Wednesday.

 

 

 

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Will County union workers hit picket lines

November 17th, 2013

Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1028 went on strike Monday morning.

As many as 1,000 workers in a wide variety of Will County offices were eligible to walk off the job. The workers are going on strike after 15 months of negotiations failed to produce new contracts for the workers.

Employees were planning to picket more than 20 sites in the county, said AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall.

“County workers want the same thing every working person wants, fair pay and health care we can afford,” AFSCME Local 1028 president Dave Delrose said in a press release.

Will County officials say the county budget is tight, and they can’t afford to offer more to union workers than they already have.

The two sides can’t agree on cost of living raises and insurance premium payments for the workers.

 

 

 

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Plant ‘Explodes’, Possible Bomb Found, It’s All A Drill

November 15th, 2013

MOUNT OLIVE TWP. – The first call was for a large explosion at a chemical plant in the International Trade Center.

Then came a report of an unattended package, possibly a bomb, left outside a dumpster near the WalMart at the ITC Crossings Mall.

Then followed the third incident; a call to another big store at the mall, alerting them that they were next.

None of it really happened but about 40 representatives of area companies analyzed their disaster response readiness at a tabletop drill at the Mount Olive Middle School on Friday, Nov. 8.

The drill was part of a daylong program organized by Mount Olive Township, the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce and the Givaudan Community Advisory Panel.

Experts helped business representatives to review their incident management systems and outlined the process that businesses and emergency responders need to know when a crisis occurs, including the hierarchy of emergency command.

Scale model buildings were laid out along narrow streets on a long table top. Business leaders had no advance word about the nature of the drill. A spectrum of first responders talked about their roles as the mock crisis unfolded.

 

 

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Campus Health Workers Vote to Strike Again

November 12th, 2013

Unionized patient care workers will demonstrate after a year of negotiations with the UC system

University of California health and maintenance workers from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees 3299 voted to strike for the second time this year with 96 percent support from union members.

The strike comes after over a year of stalled negotiations between the UC system and workers represented by AFSCME, which includes 13,000 health workers throughout the system’s ten campuses. The two parties have been unable to reach a contract agreement due in part to an increase in mandated pension contributions for employees from 5 percent to 6.5 percent, which will mean less take-home pay initially.

The union’s president, Kathryn Lybarger, believes that the UC administration has used unlawful practices to coerce employees into working for low wages and reduced benefits, leading the union to file a complaint with the Public Employment Relations Board.

“Our members have engaged in good faith bargaining and offered meaningful compromises designed to build ladders to the middle class and make UC facilities safer for students and patients,” Lybarger said. “UC’s response has been to illegally intimidate and bully the front-line workers who serve the public.

Representatives from the UC system contend that a PERB hearing does not indicate any wrongdoing on the health system’s behalf, as the board is required to look into all labor disputes.

UC Vice President of Systemwide Human Resources and Programs Dwaine Duckett gave a statement on behalf of the administration, which issued its final offer on wages over the summer.

 

 

 

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Faith-based groups learn to prepare for emergencies

November 12th, 2013

Local emergency first responders worked with faith-based organizations on Tuesday to help prepare them to deal with emergencies.

Health officials, law enforcement, and the American Red Cross taught workshops to help train churches and other groups to be ready for emergency situations. The scenarios included things like an active shooter situation, workplace violence, and helping with public health situations.

Officials say planning ahead is key.

 

 

 

 

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L.A. County workers union votes to authorize possible strike

November 9th, 2013

Members of Los Angeles County’s largest employee union voted to give their leaders authority to call a strike, after months of contentious talks about wages, employee healthcare and working conditions.

“If we need to go there, we’ll go there, but I’m hoping we’ll be able to negotiate this at the table,” said Blanca Gomez, a children’s social worker who is on the union’s bargaining team.

The Service Employees International Union set up booths at work sites across the county to collect ballots, and tallied the results Saturday. SEIU Local 721 spokesman Lowell Goodman said the measure was approved by 95% of the “tens of thousands” of members who cast ballots, but declined to say how many of the local’s 41,493 voting members had participated.

In 2000 — the last time county employees voted to authorize a strike — workers walked off job sites in an 11-day series of “rolling strikes,” before then-Cardinal Roger Mahony intervened and asked both sides to come back to the table.

SEIU walked away from the bargaining table late last month, accusing the county of being unresponsive to its demands.

Healthcare has been a sticking point in negotiations. Employee health premiums are set to increase in January, which SEIU says will amount to a pay cut for many workers, even with the 6% raise over three years that the county is offering. Workers agreed to go without raises for the past five years to allow the county to weather the recession without layoffs or major service cuts.

 

 

 

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U.S. shopping malls increase security in time for holiday crowds

November 8th, 2013

NEW YORK (Reuters) – When a suicidal gunman entered a New Jersey mall on Monday night and opened fire, store manager Daisy Rodriguez locked the doors and hid in the back of her shop, nothing guiding her but instinct.

“I was panicked. I was scared. I was just shaking,” said Rodriguez, 21, a manager at Soma Intimates in the Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus. “They never trained us.”

The 20-year old gunman fired six shots before retreating to a basement to kill himself. No one else was hurt, but the incident renewed attention on security at shopping malls ahead of the holiday season.

With just three weeks to go before the busiest U.S. shopping day of the year – the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday — government security officials are ramping up efforts to better protect the nation’s approximately 109,500 malls and shopping centers.

“There has been a significant outreach to major retail outlets and other so-called soft targets to improve security,” said a Department of Homeland Security official, who was not authorized to discuss the outreach and requested anonymity.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has spent billions to improve security at federal buildings, airports and other potential targets.

Then, in 2007, when a teen gunman with an AK-47 assault rifle killed nine people, including himself, in an Omaha, Nebraska, shopping mall, attention turned to security at so-called soft targets – places where civilians gather without intensive security. Active shooter incidents at such places have tripled since 2010, law enforcement authorities say.

 

 

 

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Grocery Workers Union Request Federal Mediator Intercede In Negotiations

November 6th, 2013

WESTBURY, NY (11/06/2013)(readMedia)– The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 (UFCW), New York State’s largest grocery workers Union, has requested that the Federal government appoint a mediator to intervene in labor negotiations with Stop and Shop Supermarket. The UFCW is taking this action in an attempt avert a Union strike or company lockout that could affect over 5,500 employees. Local 1500 members employed by Stop and Shop are currently working without a contract due to the company’s refusal to sign a two week Union contract extension.

Affected employees are employed by Stop and Shop Supermarkets operating in Long Island, the five boroughs, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties.

“Stop and Shop Supermarkets’ refusal to sign the two week contract extension offered by the Union leaves consumers, workers and dozens of communities throughout the area holding their breath waiting to see if Stop and Shop will lock out its employees,” said Anthony Speelman, Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 1500 and lead negotiator for the Union’s Stop and Shop Negotiating Committee. “The Union is taking the responsible step of asking for a Federal Mediator to enter the negotiations in hopes of avoiding what would be an economically devastating work stoppage. The Union is also publicly committing to consumers that it will not call for a strike until a Federal Mediator has had an opportunity to help the parties reach an agreement. Stop and Shop must now step up and take the necessary responsible steps to resolve this dispute,” Speelman concluded.

The potential work stoppage by the workers is due to Stop and Shop management’s attempt to drastically reduce their employee healthcare benefits and, for some workers, eliminate them completely.

 

 

 

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Smart Water Is A Crime Deterrent Solution

November 5th, 2013

GREENSBORO, NC — Writing down serial numbers, engraving your name on your electronics is old school. Even if you are using that method for your possessions right now, do you have EVERYTHING logged, with pictures and in a safe place? Probably not.

2 Wants To Know went searching for a “today” solution. We found, well, a solution:Smart Water.

Smart Water is a water based crime deterrent made up of 26 earth metals. Each bottle has a different mixture making it unique to you and your stuff. Smart Water is what’s called a forensically encoded liquid. “Depending on how we use those elements we create a one in a billionth signature that protects assets. It allows police for the first time ever an identification of that particular asset. It could be your diamond ring, your rolex watch or a manhole cover, ” says Smart Water Company President Logan Pierson.

You don’t see or smell the odorless and colorless liquid, unless you use a black light. That’s really the beauty of Smart Water. All of your items can be protected by Smart Water, and the bad guys don’t have to know it.

You don’t need to coat your belongings with Smart Water, just a dab will do. It doesn’t rub off and only a microscopic amount needs to be left on the item for it to be picked up and for your Smart Water. So when your stolen items are found, there will be no question who they belong too.

 

 

 

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