Saturday, April 24, 2010

Portland Carpenters Local Seized After Poor Audit Results

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America seized control of Portland Local Union 247 after a March audit found serious deficiencies in the chapter's financial and employment records.

Local 247 is one of several local carpenters unions and has 1,218 members. The April 12 action by the national union does not affect the other locals.

In a letter to Local 247’s 1,218 members, Douglas McCarron, president of the national carpenters union, said it seized control after a March audit revealed problems with record keeping. Michael Draper, district vice president for the Western District, was given control over the union and its finances.

“It’s a big deal. It concerns us,” said Eric Franklin, communications director for the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, of which Local 247 is a part.

In his letter, which can be read here, McCarron outlined a series of problems with Local 247’s management.

  • Between 40 and 60 percent of receipts associated with Local 247’s two credit cards were not available. The cards were used up to five times a week at grocery stores such as Fred Meyer and Safeway.
  • In 2009, Local 247’s unnamed female office manager used 36.75 days of sick time and 34.125 days of vacation time, which was in excess of the amount of time included in her employment agreement. She also appeared to receive overtime pay during weeks when she was also claiming sick or vacation pay.
  •  The office manager failed to maintain regular office hours. A district representative for the national organization reported visiting the office at 8 a.m. March 16, 2010, the scheduled opening time. The office manager arrived at 8:20 a.m. but was not able to open the office until 8:45 a.m. because she had locked the office keys in her car.
  •  A signature stamp that could be used on Local 247’s check book was under the control of a clerical employee. Checks were issued out of order and there was not sufficient documentation to show a business purpose for the purchases. Checks were written to Safeway, Fred Meyer, Cash & Carry, Albertsons, Borders, Target, Costco and others.
  •  Bank deposits were not made in a timely fashion.
  •  Auditor adjustments to the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2009, had not been made as of March 26, 2010.


  1. Bravo! I hope more of these bullies get exposed and shut-down! This management of this Local (and the PNWRCC) is made-up of nothing but control-happy ol-world style bullies, who can't stand to see any work go to good, ethical non-union companies. The working world is sick of your underhanded strong arm tactics. Another one bites the dust! Good riddance 247!

  2. I called Local 247 to check on my Pension account and perhaps open my book for a few more years. The phone had been disconnected. Pretty disappointing, as most of the Carpenters I worked with for 20 years are stand-up guys who love to go to work, and produce a good product, as well as be fairly compensated.Also, my Father was a Union locomotive engineer and my wife is a union nurse. Hopefully 157 members keep a better eye on the 'cookie jar'.

  3. I would like to know why the current pension administrator (earhart) cannot provide any participant information to vested members. In my 10 years with 247, there have been two administrator changes. What is the problem? many of our brothers who have been unable to work may lose contact with their accounts, and miss needed responses. please follow up with William earhart company to resolve this! thank you. A UNION CARPENTER


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