Thursday, February 16, 2012

150 Layoffs in the GTP Towanda Plant

From the Towanda Daily Review:

TOWANDA - Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. announced Wednesday that it is eliminating 150 positions at its Towanda plant.  The reduction in employees is occurring because the plant has experienced a dropoff in sales in its wire and phosphor business, according to a press release from the company. 
"The phasing out of incandescent light bulbs and technology changes that require less phosphor in fluorescent lamp manufacturing" has a resulted in a decrease in sales in GTP's wire and phosphor business, GTP said in its press release. 
The positions being eliminated are all associated with the plant's production of wire products, which are used in a variety of industries, primarily lighting, said Craig Rieder, director of human resources at GTP.  The elimination of the positions is expected to begin in September 2012 and be completed by February 2013, the release said.

As I often tell clients who are laid off, if you are currently working but on light duty with restrictions due to a work injury, and then you're laid off, you need to contact a competent workers' compensation attorney immediately.  Your wage benefits should be immediately reinstated upon lay off....even if the work injury is an old one.  Call me if you have any questions.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Worker gets two years for injecting semen in lunches

From The Towanda Daily Review:

A former worker at the Procter & Gamble paper plant in Wyoming County who injected his semen in the lunches of co-workers was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday by a federal judge in Scranton who called the man's actions despicable and disgusting. 
Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Conaboy also imposed a $1,000 fine and two years' supervised release on Joseph Bartorillo, a 60-year-old Larksville man who pleaded guilty to tampering with consumer products, a federal crime that carries up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 
The two-year prison sentence was part of a plea agreement negotiated by defense attorney Demetrius Fannick and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Olshefski. 
Mr. Bartorillo, who lost his job at P&G after 20 years with the company, is expected to enter a guilty plea to pending state charges in Wyoming County, Mr. Fannick said. Judge Conaboy said victims in the case have indicated civil suits may be filed. 
Mr. Bartorillo was given until March 5 to report to federal prison. He told Judge Conaboy he was "deeply embarrassed and ashamed." 
The first hint of Mr. Bartorillo's perversion surfaced in the summer of 2010, when the first victim noticed pinholes in the foil covering yogurt containers. Months later, she overheard a coworker complaining her yogurt appeared tampered with and smelled foul. Police were called and a state police laboratory analysis revealed the yogurt had been contaminated with human semen, and DNA was extracted. 
Hidden cameras were later set up in the lunchroom by the FBI. On May 31, 2011, the victims spotted the pinholes again and a review of the tapes showed Mr. Bartorillo in the lunchroom injecting something into the yogurt. 
Mr. Bartorillo later told authorities he brought the semen from home and injected it into the yogurt.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Penn. Regulators Approve 5.7% Decrease in Workers’ Comp Costs

From The Insurance Journal:

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has approved a 5.7 percent decrease in overall workers’ compensation costs that will result in $160 million in savings for Pennsylvania employers.
Regulators said employers can expect a 5.7 percent rate decrease, on average, in 2012. However, some will see rates go up, some will see no change, and others will see rates go down beyond the 5.7 percent. This will vary according to type of business, as well as the employer’s specific claims history.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I have a bad feeling about this one....

Could tractor-trailer rigs almost as long as Boeing 737s be driving on a highway near you? If a new transportation bill proposed by House Republicans passes, the answer is yes, and the safety ramifications would be astronomical, say congressional opponents of the bill and the AAA Auto Club. 
The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act introduced Tuesday by Republicans would authorize about $260 billion over five years to fund federal highway programs.The legislation also contains a controversial provision allowing heavier tractor-trailer trucks on highways by increasing the federal weight limit from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds. In some cases, it would allow 126,000-pound trucks onto highways. 
The legislation also allows the largest rigs, which comprise two and sometimes three trailers, to be as much as 10 feet longer -- a total length of more than 100 feet. 
While statistics from 2010 show overall traffic fatalities declining across the nation, truck crash fatalities actually increased 9%, to 3,675, according to statistics from the Truck Safety Coalition.