Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An Open Letter To The Executive Board Of Local 157

On October 18th, the executive board of Local 157 voted no to a request that prior to the start of all meetings, all members receive a copy of the meeting minutes from the previous month’s meeting and an open microphone put in place in-order to better understand speakers clearly and accurately.

I respectfully submit this memorandum in support of a request for reconsideration on the grounds that the executive boards decision is antithetical to the goals stated by UBC Supervisor Frank Spencer with respect to:

"Having a more open and transparent union that promotes communication, inclusion and paves the way for a new era, building a better district council by taking the highest moral ground, representing the best interest of union carpenters and, there is nothing in the law, UBC constitution or bylaws that prohibits the executive board from distributing copies of meeting minutes to the membership."

The executive boards basis for its decision is that the “Obligation” in the UBC Constitution does not allow for the meeting minutes to be distributed.

This is a gross misreading and misinterpretation of the UBC Constitution.

During debate Financial Secretary/Regional Manager, Paul Capurso used this misinterpretation opposing the motion for minutes as FACT. This amounted to defrauding the membership and using scare tactics by implying that by distributing copies of meeting minutes to the membership, you run the risk of violating the "Obligation" by "revealing by word or deed any business of the United Brotherhood."

Meeting minutes are not "Top Secret" classified documents that if revealed you violated the "business of the brotherhood" or a secret sworn oath you made and could be brought up on charges.

We are a labor union, not the Mafia, where if you violate the "Omerta" or "code of silence", you betray your associates and "Capo di tutti capi."

Federal law requires labor unions to operate with internal democracy and fiscal integrity.

The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, (LMRDA), guarantees rights to union members and imposes responsibilities on union officers. Among other things, the LMRDA establishes a bill of rights for union members and safeguards against improper discipline, equal rights to participate in union activities, freedom of speech and assembly with other members, safeguards against improper dues increases and the right to receive or inspect copies of collective bargaining agreements, meeting minutes, LM2's, by-laws, constitution, benefit fund annual reports, accountants report, etc.

For the executive board to state as FACT, that the UBC Constitution prohibits union members from receiving copies of meeting minutes amounts to a violation of the UBC Constitution, Section 51A (6) Defrauding the United Brotherhood or any subordinate body of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters of America.

In consultation with a higher UBC authority it has been confirmed and stated for the record that there is nothing in the UBC Constitution that prohibits the executive board from distributing copies of meeting minutes to the membership.

In addition to being elected Local 157 officers, brothers D'Errico, Capurso and "Rambo" hold the highest leadership positions of Director of Operations, Regional Manager and Assistant Inspector General to the District Council. It is troubling that they have demonstrated a glaring example of the mindset of the past, unable to chart a new course for the future and steer our union to a better place.

By voting no to distributing meeting minutes, they voted to keep us in the dark. By voting no to having an open microphone, they voted down our voice. By supporting the use of scaring the membership into submission during debate, they have signaled were not moving forward and it's business as usual!

All of you, the strong, proud and honest members of Local 157 have the power to take action and to right this great vessel. With the wind of change at your back and the courage of your convictions -- you can chart a course for the future and steer the District Council and Local 157 to a better place.

Brothers and Sisters, you have it in your power right here and now, to oppose the leadership that is welded to the past and dare to go where the future is as bright as your dreams.  

Don't vote against your self-interest because of some misplaced loyalty to the leadership or personal bias against me. This is your motion, not mine. Think of yourself as the delegates of Local 157, vote what you really think in your hearts not what the leadership wants you to think.

The leadership has failed to ensure that our union operates in a manner that is ethical. By having a copy of the minutes you would be empowering yourself and be better informed union members.

You may say, that sounds great, but I’m only one person, it’s better to keep quiet and support the leadership. I say that you are much more than just one man or one woman; together you form an army, a force for good. We can join and work together to overcome the corruption, selfishness and indifference that have afflicted the District Council and Local 157.

Let’s get started tonight. If the executive board does not reconsider its decision, I appeal you to empower yourself and support a motion to have a copy of the meeting minutes from the previous month’s meeting and an open microphone put in place so we can hear each other clearly and accurately.

Do what is right, because it is right! You have the power to remain stuck in the past or chart a new course for the future, its up to you to decide. Its your union!

Based on the forgoing reasons, I respectfully ask the executive board to reconsider its October 15, decision and grant my request for a copy of meeting minutes and open microphone.

Thanking you in advance for your cooperation and understanding regarding this matter.

John Musumeci

cc: Review Officer, Dennis Walsh


  1. HOW is it that Organized Crime-namely MAFIA have been in the carpenters union for decades.How is it that D'Errico & Caperso-both related to Vinny The Chin Gigante are even allowed to have a fucking spot in the Union? My uncle is Vinny The Chin? is my rights to be in charge of the crook Mike Forde's office? He's in charge? Dennis Walsh is doing WHAT?allowing that?

  2. D'Errico watched 157 go down Spencer makes him BM. D'Errico watches the council go down spencer makes him EST.1st D'Errico makes caperso regional manager. next he will employ the whole council.We are #$%^^&. WALSH is just watching.


  3. Brothers,
    Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up


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.