Monday, October 20, 2008

Judge Haight Hears from All Sides

Update 10/23: A larger courtroom has been secured for the hearing. The hearing will be held in Judge Duffy's courtroom 26A and begin at 10:30 a.m.

Federal District Judge Charles S. Haight has scheduled a hearing to be held on October 24, 2008. The Court will hear oral arguments on the issue of remedy for the contempt charge against the NYC District Council.

On February 20, 2007 after years of costly litigation, The District Council was found GUILTY OF CONTEMPT by the United States Court Of Appeals for violating provisions of the Consent Decree when they “bargained away the job referral rules” with the 2001 contract change.

Federal prosecutors have argued that changing the union's job referral system without government approval, will encourage more job site corruption by "cash" contractors.

Prosecutors say that the changes give construction contractors far more leeway to hire whichever carpenters they want, irrespective of length of unemployment. The old system generally required them first to hire the carpenters who had been unemployed the longest.

Prosecutors say corruption will be easier under the new system because contractors will have more power to pressure unemployed carpenters to do their bidding.

"Because contractors can handpick virtually 100 percent of the work force at a job site, carpenters are now beholden to contractors for job opportunities," the government wrote. "Carpenters who are at the mercy of employers for job assignments know that if they stand up for the enforcement of union rules or legal requirements or refuse to work off the books or for cash when asked by a contractor, they run the risk of being laid off."

Gary Rothman, the councils lawyer, defended the revamped system, saying it was part of a contract, signed in 2001, that is good for the city's carpenters.

Many rank-and-file carpenters say the current job referral system is unfair because it has left many of them unemployed for months at a time, while favored carpenters find steady work.

The hearing will be open to the public and begin at 10:30 a.m. in Room 6A, 500 Pearl Street. The Court will hear counsel in the following order:

10:30 a.m.
Government, 30 minutes
District Council, 30 minutes

11:30 a.m.
Building Contractors Association 15 minutes
Association of the Wall-Ceiling, 15 minutes
Carpentry Industry of N.Y., 15 minutes
Cement League, 15 minutes
General Contractors Association, 15 minutes

12:30 a.m.
Lunch Break, One hour

1:30 p.m.
General Contractors Association of N.Y., 15 minutes
Eugene Clark, 15 minutes

Replies
2:00 p.m.
Government, 30 minutes
District Council, 30 minutes

3:00 p.m.
All other parties, 10 minutes each, in same order as above

4:00 p.m.
Government – Final Submission, 15 minutes

2 comments:

  1. The Local 157 blogspot should also give us an insight into the need for open and uninhibited exposure of possible illegal and detrimental actions by Union Officials. Had the issues raised been not posted in public and had the UBC moved to censor the blog than the possible illegal actions would have gone unchecked and unchallenged. The result would have only benefited those that hide behind the cover of gag orders to continue their questionable activities.

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    hesslei....

    consumer generated media

    ReplyDelete
  2. raginagainstdadynastyOctober 26, 2008 at 12:53 AM

    THE REQUEST SYSTEM SHOULD BE DONE AWAY WITH AND SO SHOULD THE EIGHT HOUR DAY,SEVEN IS ENOUGH,HIRE MORE MEMBERS AND SPREAD THE WEALTH, BRING BACK DOUBLE TIME O.T. ENFORCE OUR CONTRACTS AND AGGRESSIVELY AND LEGALLY ATTACK THE NON UNION ENTITIES PERFORMING WORK IN OUR NATION

    ReplyDelete

I would ask that if you would like to leave a comment that you think of Local 157 Blogspot as your online meeting hall and that you wouldn’t say anything on this site that you wouldn’t, say at a union meeting. Constructive criticism is welcome, as we all benefit from such advice. Obnoxious comments are not welcome.