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Union maintains strong adversarial role

The message to Westmoreland County (Pennsylvania) Commissioner Tom Balya was clear.

Don't mess with the SEIU.

In 1999, a nurse at the county-owned Westmoreland Manor drew a circle and slash through Balya's name on a campaign shirt to protest comments he'd made during contract talks with Local 585 of the Service Employees International Union. Although the nurse, a union member, accused Balya of threatening retaliation, he denied the accusation and refused to apologize.

The incident quickly blew over, but the union's love-hate relationship with Balya has continued and may overflow into negotiations with county officials later this year. Westmoreland County's contract with SEIU Locals 1199P and 688 -- the largest of the nine unions representing county workers -- expires in December. (MORE >>>)


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