Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

512 Members Attend Job Hiring Event

The New York City District Council of Carpenters held a 1 Day Evaluation Program this past Saturday at the Labor Technical College for its big push toward hiring new council representatives.
In the aftermath of guilty pleas in late July by John Greaney, the former president and business manager of Local 608, and Michael Forde, the former Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the District Council, numerous council representatives have either suddenly retired, resigned, been suspended or fired.

In an effort to fill the vacated positions the District Council mail out a letter on August 2, searching for "aggressive, dedicated, committed, active union members" interested in filling the position.

The hiring event was attended by 512 members and was well organized and conducted very professionally by over 50 UBC representatives from across the country.

Members were divided into two sessions which started from 8:00am - 12:00pm and 1:00 pm - 5:00pm.

Members were required to fill out a 6 page questionnaire and were individually interview by UBC organizers for approximately 25 minutes then given a vocabulary and several reading comprehension test.

Former union official Patrick Brennan, said “in 2009 I was part of a group of about 70 members who completed the same 3 Day Hiring Program and attended a ceremony at the council, where we were told, "we are in the potential future hiring pool." "Just makes you wonder who will get the job this time."

"It's not what I expected, I thought the evaluation process would be more job related," said a carpenter who would only speak on the condition of anonymity.

This was the first step in the hiring process. Members who successfully pass the "1 Day Evaluation" will be notified and accepted into a 3 Day Evaluation Program later this year.

(Update Oct. 5, John's note: Approximately 112 letters have been sent for acceptance into the 3 Day Evaluation Program.) 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Judge doesn't buy Genovese mobster's Amazin' tale of woe after he was spotted at New York Mets game

Joseph Olivieri
BY Scott Shifrel

A reputed Genovese mobster who said a boating accident left him too injured to stand trial was spotted taking in a Mets game from a cushy Citi Field luxury booth.

Joseph Olivieri, facing charges in a carpenters union corruption case, said in court papers filed yesterday that he only went to the suite belonging to the Wall and Ceiling Contractors Association so he could negotiate his resignation as executive director.

An FBI affidavit filed in federal court said he was at the Mets-Pirates game even as he was telling prosecutors and Federal District Judge Victor Marrero that he was too injured from the accident to attend the Oct. 18 trial.

Olivieri, 55, "did not stay for the entire game and spent the majority of his time on the couch in the luxury box room," his lawyer wrote in a letter to a judge.

"He was able to recline, stand up and move around the room freely when he experienced discomfort. He would not have attended in regular seats."

"Request denied," Marrero said of Olivieri's requested trial delay.

"If any adjustments in the daily trial schedule are necessary to accommodate defendant's condition arrangements they can be discussed at or during the trial."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Local 157 Members Pass Historic Motion To Recover Money Fleeced By Forde

The membership of Local 157 took bold, first-of-its-kind action Monday night by sending a message that they are tired of corruption and voted to have a formal letter sent to Supervisor Frank Spencer, demanding the recovery of monies fleeced by Forde and initiate action to file formal charges.

In one of the most historic meetings of Local 157, members democratically debated parliamentary rules, the proper use of "motion to table" and the motion regarding Michael Forde and Martin Devereaux.

Member's voted in one loud voice to pass a motion to have legal fees reimburse and have the UBC initiate actions filing formal chargers against Michael Forde, 55, the former leader of the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Contractual Raise to be Implemented on October 1st

On July 1st our members took a wage freeze while we worked with our industry partners to build our market share. Our Union took the initial and most difficult sacrifice as we explored alternative options to achieve long term goals. Our good will efforts are necessary to build market share but they cannot be sustained independently. We cannot act alone. We need our industry partners to work with us as we fight to regain our markets.

During this time we have met with our trade associations and asked them to show us how our sacrifice has led to more work opportunities for our members. Our associations have not provided documentation to support how our actions have increased our market share. Without documentation from our partners, I cannot justify a continuance on this wage freeze. On October 1st our contractual raise will take effect. This raise will not be retroactive.

UBC Supervisor, Frank Spencer

(John's note: I have been told that the $2.13 per hourly raise will be allocated entirely to take home wages.)

Carpenters Union President John Daly Axed, Amid Ongoing Investigation

THE HEAD OF a scandal-scarred carpenters union local has been booted - weeks after his predecessor was fired amid charges he rigged hiring lists to give cronies work at Ground Zero, Local157.blogspot has learned.

John Daly is the fourth Local 608 president to be axed this year. The 7,400-member local, is a major force in city real estate development, which controls union carpenters on the West Side of Manhattan and all of the Bronx. 

Daly’s firing has to do with an ongoing investigation by the federal review officer Dennis Walsh, sources said.

Walsh declined to comment.

UBC Supervisor Frank Spencer, called Daly's departure "part of our ongoing housekeeping efforts."

"Why hasn't Spencer placed the local under supervision and suspend the entire executive board," several carpenters questioned. 

Local 608 Vice President, Mike Murphy, is steping into Daly's shoes until an election can be held.

Daly, who was the locals vice president became president last month when Joe Firth was remove from office and fired amid charges he rigged hiring lists to give cronies work at Ground Zero.

Before he was elected president earlier this year, Firth was a business agent whose sole responsibility was, as he put it in court papers, assigning carpenters to jobs at "Ground Zero ... [and] the buildings that were damaged during the attack."

The presidents before Firth, Martin Devereaux, was fired in July, for misusing union money and refusing to cooperate with probers. Devereaux had replaced John Greaney, who was fired on August 10, 2009 after being indicted with nine others including, District Council of Carpenters chief Michael Forde.

In July, Forde, Greaney and seven other Local 608 officials pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Snail Mail Finally Arrives

WE'VE all heard of snail mail - but this is just ridiculous. Today in the afternoon mail I received a letter dated August 31, from the New York City District Council of Carpenters advising me that the "Charity Softball Tournament and Family Pinic will be held Saturday, September 18th beginning at 9:30 a.m. sharp!

The envelope was marked "PRSRT STD." Presorted Standard is a Post Office term that defines the class of service and postage that is required for a particular mailing. Presorted Standard mail will typically take about 10-14 days for delivery nationwide.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

'Wiseguy' told: Play ball


If he's healthy enough to root for the home team, he's healthy enough to sit in court.

Prosecutors yesterday urged a judge to deny a request to delay the trial of a reputed Genovese crime-family associate injured in a boating accident.

The Manhattan federal court filing says Joseph Olivieri -- who claims he's disabled by a large blood clot "literally hanging off his side" -- was spotted at a Mets game at Citi Field Tuesday night.

Olivieri faces trial on Oct. 18 on charges tied to a corruption scandal involving the carpenters union.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spencer Holds “Open Mic” Meeting To Hear Concerns of Membership Regarding Wage Freeze and Supervision

Carpenters filled the Auditorium to capacity at Spencer's “Open Mic” special meeting.
The Auditorium of the Manhattan Community College on Chambers Street was filled to overflow capacity at the September 3rd special meeting of the New York City District Council of Carpenters membership.

The meeting was called so every member affected by the wage freeze enacted on July 1, and the emergency supervision imposed on August 10, 2009 would have an opportunity to communicate directly with UBC Supervisor Frank Spencer and the new District Council leadership team regarding their concerns.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nine Years After 9/11 Construction at the World Trade Center, Finally

Silverstein, Ward, Bloomberg
By Neal Tepel

Nine years after the September 11th attacks, the long-delayed redevelopment of Ground Zero finally has gained momentum. There are now tangible signs of progress with thousands of tradesmen working on the completion of the World Trade Center buildings. The steel framing of One World Trade Center is now visible. "All you simply have to do is look outside and see what is happening," Said Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward. "There is long and difficult work ahead, we will look back and say this was the beginning," Continued Ward.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Nine Years After 9/11

By  Bob Grant

Here it is . . . nine years since America was cruelly and viciously attacked by 19 fanatical, hate-filled Muslims.

They may not have represented every Muslim in the world, but the Japanese dive bomber and fighter plane pilots did not represent every Japanese person when they attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, “a day which will live in infamy,” according to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

And even though those Jap pilots did not represent all Japanese, hundreds of thousands of those Japanese were rounded up and placed in internment camps for the duration of the war.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


8:45 a.m. (all times are EDT): A hijacked passenger jet, American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston, Massachusetts, crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center, tearing a gaping hole in the building and setting it afire.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Remember Our 18 Brothers Lost on September 11, 2001

On September 11, 2001,The New York City District Council of Carpenters lost eighteen of our union brothers who were working at the World Trade Center at the time of the terrorist attack. Local157.blogspot continues to remember and honor the memory of our fallen brothers.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Updated Video: Labor Day Rally for Union Carpenters

Updated September 15.

On Monday we will celebrate Labor Day, a holiday to commemorate and give thanks for the contributions of the American worker to our nation's strength and prosperity.

This year's holiday is a particularly opportune time to reflect upon that message.

America's unemployment rate stands at a stubborn 9.5%. If you include those who are underemployed (working part-time but seeking full-time work) that number is closer to 18.4%.

Last week, the Labor Department revised second quarter economic growth down from 2.4% to 1.6%.

Sales of existing homes are at the lowest level since 1995.

The small business confidence survey is at the lowest level since the survey began in 2003.

Overall, it has been 31 months since the recession started and the economy is still losing jobs.

This Labor Day, ask yourself: If America's strength is indeed a product of the strength of the American worker, what does it tell us about America's prospects when so many Americans are not working?

In other words, can America work if Americans aren't working?

In support of the American worker and Union Carpenters, Brother Dan Franco has organized a Labor Day Rally.

If you would like to attend and show your support for this event meet up at Cooper Square (behind 51 Astor Place) on Monday, September 6th 2010 at 9:30 am.

Bring a chair, food, drinks (no alcohol), whistles, signs, flags, etc.

Transportation is nearby (4 & 6 to Astor Pl / N & R to 8th Street) & $16 parking on Broadway off of 8th St.

For more information, email Daniel J. Franco.

40th General Convention Day 4

Friday, September 3, 2010

40th General Convention Day 3

Threaten On The Picket Line

Union Organizer Bill Peters - Professional?
Union representatives from the New York City District Council of Carpenters can’t seem to make up their minds whether they want me to be less vocal or more vocal.

Seems lately, I have no luck.

Last week Local 157 President/Director of Operations, Lawrence D’Errico, and Vice President/Representative, Anthony Pugliese, moved to silence me for being too vocal at a union meeting by making a motion to "sue Michael Forde and Martin Devereaux."

This week Local 2870 Vice President/Organizer, Bill Peters, threatened me for not being vocal enough on a Council picket line.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

40th General Convention Day 2

New York Contractor Close to Mob, Carpenters Set for Trial

Submitted by Carl Horowitz

Readers of Union Corruption Update know that the New York City District Council of Carpenters and member locals have been plagued by corruption - and prosecutions. So far at least nine defendants have copped a plea following a lengthy federal probe. Ousted District boss Michael Forde pleaded guilty late in July to racketeering and faces a 10-year sentence. A former Carpenters Local 608 steward, Michael Brennan , pleaded guilty to bribery-related charges that month, as did an ex-president of that local, John Greaney. Less known perhaps is that these and other Carpenters officials allegedly lined their pockets with key help from developer Joseph Olivieri [4]. When Olivieri goes on trial in October for conspiracy, bribery and perjury, he's sure to face tough questions about his reported go-between role for the union and the Genovese crime family.

NY cracks down on building trade's "cash" economy

(Reuters) New York state's construction companies will be subject to new criminal and civil penalties if they misclassify employees as contractors to underpay them or dodge taxes, Governor David Paterson said on Tuesday.

In a statement issued after the bill's signing, Paterson said that studies found that as many as 15 percent of the state's construction workers are paid off-the-books or wrongly treated as independent contractors.

This "terrible practice" deprives the cash-poor state of badly needed tax revenue and puts construction firms that follow the laws at a disadvantage because their costs are higher when they bid on projects, he said.

Workers lose out on medical coverage and unemployment benefits when their employers wrongly classify them.

Contractors who intentionally break the new law could be hit with civil penalties of up to $2,500 for a first offense and be charged with a misdemeanor punishable by a prison sentence as long as 30 days or a maximum fine of $25,000.

A budget spokeswoman was not immediately available to estimate how much tax revenue the state loses.
New York's Fiscal Policy Institute, in a 2007 report, said: "Conservative estimates suggest that between 500,000 and a million New York workers who should be covered by workers' compensation are not."

The non-partisan think tank said that contractors were failing to pay about $500 million to $1 billion in premiums to the workers compensation system each year.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

40th General Convention Day 1

Message from Supervisor: Wage Hold Extended 30 Days

Your representatives and I are dedicated to ensuring that your voices are heard.  As we fight to recapture our market share our focus must be on the long term survival and growth of our Union.  Change will not happen overnight.  In order to succeed we must transform our thinking and act together.

As discussions continue with your delegate body, local union officers and Employer Associations I deem it necessary to extend the raise hold until September 30th as we strive to find solutions to help us get through this challenging work environment. 

The FMI market study presented to our delegate body proved that our open shop competitors are breaking in to all our markets.  For us to survive we must bring new ideas to the table.  The declining numbers are alarming.  This situation calls for each and every one of us to act - to protect our future and the survival of our union.  Business as usual is not good enough anymore.

This may be the hardest fight we have ever had to face, but together we will assure our future.