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Sep 12

2022

Union complaint filed against Geico

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Geico employees attempting to organize a union at the company’s Amherst office have filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. At issue are two emails the company sent to employees that organizers said amount to “union busting.” In the first email, sent Aug. 12, Mindy Seibold, the regional vice president for Buffalo, and Pete Rizzo, a company vice president, warned employees against speaking with Geico United organizers visiting them at home. Because of the pandemic, organizers previously told Investigative Post, many Geico employees are working from home, meaning that union organizers have been knocking on[...]

Posted 2 weeks ago

Sep 11

2022

Monday Morning Read

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Subscribers to DailyPost received our recommended reading Sunday morning, along with a recap of Investigative Post’s reporting of the previous week. You can subscribe here. Michael Petro of The Buffalo News wrote an informative story on the expected push by the Pegulas for public funding to renovate KeyBank Center. The building is long in the tooth and needs upgrading. The trouble is, after forking over $850 million to build a new stadium for the Bills, no public officials seem interested in subsidizing the Pegulas again. The couple hasn’t helped their case by running the Sabres into the ground since they bought the[...]

Posted 2 weeks ago

Sep 8

2022

Belatedly, City Hall has an ethics board

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 The city’s ethics board has been resurrected from the dead. Investigative Post reported last month that the ethics board hadn’t met in two and half years because the mayor and Common Council had failed to appoint enough board members to comprise a quorum. Last week, Mayor Byron Brown submitted five nominees for the ethics board to the Common Council for approval. All five were approved Tuesday without debate or discussion, bringing the ethics board to its charter-prescribed membership of seven.  Before Tuesday, it had just three members — one short of a quorum. The five newly appointed members are: John[...]

Posted 2 weeks ago

Sep 7

2022

Geico workers organizing in Amherst

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 Workers at Geico, one of Western New York’s largest employers, are attempting to organize a labor union, an effort that, if successful, would be the insurance company’s first-ever union. But workers told Investigative Post that Geico is attempting to stop their organizing, an effort that could bring union representation to some 2,500 employees. Two emails sent by company vice presidents last month show the company attempting to dissuade workers from signing a petition for a union election. In one email, the company officials even suggested that employees should call the police on their coworkers if they ask them to sign[...]

Posted 2 weeks ago

Sep 6

2022

Podcast: Reporting the Amazon story

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On Tuesday, Investigative Post reported on the huge subsidy package Amazon is receiving to build a warehouse in Niagara County. Amazon will receive $124 million in tax breaks from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, plus state tax credits of at least $2 million. In exchange, Amazon will employ 1,000 people, most earning $15 an hour. Reporter Dale Shoemaker sat down with Garrett Looker, host of our podcast series, to discuss the reporting. You can watch the interview via our YouTube channel or listen to it as a podcast. Our intent is to publish a podcast a week. Coming up[...]

Posted 3 weeks ago

Sep 4

2022

Monday Morning Read

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We’ve launched a redesigned website. It builds off the strength of our previous website — easy navigation and a clean, uncluttered design — and adds more visuals and features that point readers to our best work. Our upgrade was informed by market research performed in partnership with the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. They surveyed recipients of WeeklyPost, who said, among other things, that they wanted more graphics, photos and video clips embedded into stories, and guides to direct them to stories by topic. I find the websites of most news outlets to be cluttered messes. We[...]

Posted 3 weeks ago

Sep 2

2022

Inside Amazon’s massive subsidy in Niagara

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Robert Taylor, a lifelong Niagara County resident, is thinking about moving south. Probably Florida. But Taylor isn’t chasing the warm weather and low property taxes that have drawn tens of thousands of other Northerners to the South. Rather, he’s running away from something.  Amazon.  The online retail giant plans to open a 3-million-square-foot warehouse less than a mile from his Packard Road home in the Town of Niagara. Amazon plans to employ 1,000 people at the warehouse and hundreds of cars and trucks will travel to and from the facility daily. The warehouse will be a “first mile” distribution center[...]

Posted 3 weeks ago

Aug 31

2022

Buffalo cop in hot water again

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Last summer, Buffalo Police Officer Richard Hy — a.k.a. the “Angry Cop,” notorious for posting satirical videos online — is accused of letting his anger get the best of him. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in state Supreme Court, Curtis Lee Dean, of Buffalo, claims Hy intentionally backed his patrol car into Dean’s motorcycle at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Edward Street in June 2021. Dean was riding with a group of motorcyclists, whom Hy decided to pursue several blocks through the city’s West Side, according to a WGRZ News report on the incident.  Some riders took off to[...]

Posted 3 weeks ago