Tuesday, August 31, 2010

40th General Convention

Brotherhood Stands Strong;
McCarron Team Re-Elected

Delegates to the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ 40th General Convention re-elected General President Doug McCarron and his team of top union officers—and endorsed continuing a wide-ranging set of policies that have kept the union strong in a tough economy.

During the four-day convention in Las Vegas, Aug. 16–19, delegates also approved measures aimed at preparing the union to take advantage of opportunities that will arise when the business climate improves.

“We are ready now, and we will be ready when this economy turns around,” the general president said in his keynote address. “While everyone is blaming someone else and trying to get back on their feet, we’ll be on the jobs, bags on, ready to work.”

By reshaping the union over the last 15 years to better reflect the needs of the modern construction industry, General President McCarron said, the union was better prepared to cope with the economic downturn than it otherwise would have been.

“There is no question that this recession is beyond what anyone in this room has ever experienced. It’s an economy that our real enemies predict we can’t survive. But they’re wrong,” General President McCarron said.

“We are in shape for the job ahead because of the work we’ve done restructuring our union, rebuilding our training programs, and reaching a new generation of members.”

As the convention closed, delegates gave a rousing sendoff to General President McCarron, who ran unopposed for his fourth five-year term, and his leadership team, which also ran without opposition. For delegates and the half-million members they represent, the election displayed commitment to the policies of “The McCarron Team”: General Vice-President Doug Banes, General Secretary-Treasurer Andy Silins, and district vice presidents Frank Spencer (Eastern), Bobby Yeggy (Midwestern), Danny Maples (Southern), Mike Draper (Western), and Jim Smith (Canadian).
Other highlights of the convention included:
  • A report on how the UBC reformed its members’ prescription drug program in a way that saved more than $400 million without cutting benefits, making union contractors more competitive.
  • Hearing how Carpenter Politics, the union’s bipartisan political action strategy, prodded Congress to make needed infrastructure investment, helped preserve Davis-Bacon prevailing wage protections, and brought attention to employer payroll fraud, which hurts workers and raises the cost of doing business for legitimate contractors when employees are misclassified as independent contractors.
  • A stirring tribute to the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who credited the Carpenters Union with turning the tide during his tough re-election campaign in 1994.
  • Packing and sending 1,000 care packages for troops in harm’s way and recommitting to welcoming veterans into the union’s ranks through the Helmets to Hardhats program, which connects vets with job opportunities in the construction trades.
Delegates voted on an ambitious five-year agenda for the union, including fighting employers that pay their workers wages below area standards, enhancing skills and union-building training, and promoting outreach to women and tribal members.

Those efforts illustrated the convention theme of “Standing Strong,” an attitude that General President McCarron credited with helping the union prevail in the many economic and social crises that have arisen over its nearly 130-year history.

“We are standing strong,” he said. “Standing strong, building tomorrow."

UBC General President Doug McCarron, flanked by General Vice President Doug Banes, left, and General Secretary-Treasurer Andy Silins, greets delegates after the McCarron Team of general officers and vice presidents won re-election without opposition.

  ‘We Are Ready’: UBC General President Doug McCarron wove the convention's theme of “Standing Strong” into a keynote speech that credited the union with having the foresight to prepare for the current troubling economic times.  Read More

‘Skills to Succeed’: General Vice President Doug Banes stressed the importance of members’ attitudes in their success—and the success of the union. A tribute to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy emphasized his bond with the Brotherhood. Read More

Officers Re-Elected: General President Doug McCarron and his leadership team of General Vice President Doug Banes, General Secretary-Treasurer Andy Silins, and five district vice presidents won re-election without opposition. Read More

Welcome, Veterans: Delegates heard how the Brotherhood works to welcome veterans into its ranks, including two apprentices General Secretary-Treasurer Andy Silins inducted into the union in an on-stage ceremony. Read More

Click on the links below to view videos from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ recent 40th General Convention.
A DVD of convention highlights, and a printed report on the proceedings will be sent to delegates, UBC councils, and locals

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