The Court signed the Order appointing the RO on June 3, 2010. 2010-04-23 Stip RO Final.signed
Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
We hear... THAT the feds are not finished investigating the scandal-scared New York City District Council of Carpenters. Informed sources say a grand jury is hearing testimony against Pete Thomassen (what's left of disgraced Mike Fordes "Unity Team") ,for among other things, allegedly authorizing huge pay raises without delegate approval to his secretary and his son, ("the hairless wonder"), the hiring of Council employees with close ties to
Thomassen, personal use of Council property, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on 5 star restaurants, hotels, first class plane tickets, misuse and fraud regarding the Carpenters Charity and Relief Fund and having work done on his house by a union contractor in exchange for letting the contractor pay employees at his work sites below minimum wage and off the books.
Sources also say the feds are very interested in past and present Councils employees seeking to know how they were hired and under what circumstances they were placed on the payroll.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
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.
Friday, April 23, 2010
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010
“This contractor is undercutting the area standard wages and benefits,” said Andres Puerta, a representative for the District Council of Carpenters union, which claims that R&B Drywall, a subcontractor on the project, pays workers $10-$18 an hour, without benefits.
The union rate for the same work is $42 an hour, plus benefits, Puerta said.
R&B Drywall owner Howard Schneidler said he had no intention on changing the practices of his 25-year-old business — which pays $20-$25 per hour, he said.
“We’re a non-union shop, and they think that because everyone doesn’t pay union wages, everyone is underpaid,” he said. “The owner can’t pay the union’s exorbitant prices.”
Moreover, Schneidler said, he’s under no legal obligation to pay union scale.
Puerta said more protests are planned, but it is unclear what impact, if any, they will have on hiring practices. He insisted the issue is not about union versus non-union labor.
“The goal here is to demonstrate what we feel are exploitative working conditions — whether the owners or contractors change their mind, that’s up to them,” he said.
The building at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place has been controversial from the get-go.
In 2007, residents protested the proposed building’s size, claiming it overwhelms the low-rise neighborhood. In the wake of those protests, Carroll Gardens was rezoned in 2008, but a city panel determined that enough of the 70-foot building’s foundation had been poured to allow work to continue — even though the zoning change now caps buildings at 55 feet.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
BY Jonathan Balthaser
Alex Johnson doesn't crumble working under often brutal conditions, erecting walls, joining girders and welding steel as a carpenter.
But his first day of college terrified him.
"I was scared as hell," said the 33-year-old Bronx resident. "I didn't think I could do it."
Johnson enrolled last September in a special two-year-old program organized through the New York City District Council of Carpenters that helps members earn associate's and bachelor's degrees.
Students take classes in Tribeca at the State University of New York 's Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies, a program that focuses on educating trade workers.
Carpenters always have been able to attend the school. But now apprenticeship classes taken at the Council of Carpenters Labor Technical College count for as much as 32 college credits, so most students matriculate with half of their degree already completed.
"The incentive of the 32 credits was huge," said Johnson, a carpenter for the past 11 years. "In my eyes, it would be stupid for me not to do it. If I'm giving it to you on a silver platter and you don't take it, that's dumb."
Mike Merrill, the dean of the Van Arsdale Center, said it was high time that technical colleges received college accreditation.
"Wage earners are disadvantaged in that their apprenticeship programs don't usually count for college credit," said Merrill. "Dancers and painters, for instance, their work is recognized. I don't see the difference, except in ideology."
The carpenters union is getting each of its apprenticeship programs evaluated for college credit by the National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction, a state-run group that accredits educational programs conducted by noncollegiate organizations.
The millwrighting, cabinetmaking, and building and construction carpentry programs have been approved. College credit will soon be considered for dockbuilders, piledrivers, and timbermen.
The carpenters union is making a concentrated push to educate more of its members.
"The union movement needs college-educated leaders at all levels, including the rank-and-file. It cannot effectively represent or be advocates for the interest of working people and their families without confident, articulate, well-educated leaders who know who they are, what they believe in, and what they have to do to secure their fair share," union promotional material states.
So far, 30 students have enrolled in the program, and the first is set to graduate with a bachelor's degree in June.
At the Van Arsdale campus, carpenters take a range of general education courses, including several that focus specifically on the history of the labor movement.
"You go to college not to leave the union, but to lead it," Merrill said.
Like all other college students, one of the greatest burdens for carpenters is financial.
Classes at SUNY cost $207 per credit, so tuition will set back students at least $6,600. The carpenters union currently does not offer scholarships.
Johnson made it through his first day of school, and now says the associate's degree he's pursuing is just the first step of his college education. After he graduates, he is interested in construction management or becoming a union organizer.
"When I'm done, I'm going to continue to go to school," he said. "I'm going to go all the way. Maybe Ph.D. Go for it. Why the hell not?
"My biggest mistake was putting a limit on myself."
Friday, April 9, 2010
In an effort to make our District Council more fiscally responsible, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters hired Certified Public Accountant Terence Mooney to audit the accounts and records of the Council during the time period between July 1, 2006 and August 9, 2009.
During the October hearings at the Javits Center, Mr. Mooney presented a report with recommendations for the District Council to achieve this goal. The following is an update on how we have addressed each item noted by Mr. Mooney.
(John's note: It was because of former President Pete Thomassen's leadership, policies and recommendations that our Council did not preform the necessary standard of care established by the UBC and Department of Labor. Internal controls were lacking and the affairs of the Council were conducted in a manner detrimental to the welfare and best interest of the Council and its members, yet the UBC in their infinite wisdom chose not to hold Thomassen responsible and instead name him assistant supervisor.)
Monday, April 5, 2010
The financial carnage coming out of the Bernard Madoff investment scandal is now spreading from charities and wealthy individuals to labor union pension funds.
In recent days, several have fessed up to their members their significant exposure to Madoffs investment scheme, which will result in massive losses to their members. CNBC has learned that one union, the Carpenters local in Syracuse, NY, has lost the majority of the $100 million to $150 million it had in pension money because of its dealings with Madoff, people close to the matter said.
The unions money manager, JP Jeanneret Associates of Syracuse, didn't return a telephone call for comment.
The Syracuse carpenters local isn't alone. Pat Morin, business manager of Empire State Carpenters Union, is sifting through the wreckage in his own portfolio, which at the end of June had around $800 million in assets under management.
Morin says his fund has exposure to Madoff as well, largely the result of consolidation in union pension funds where locals like Syracuse had transferred money to his oversight.
Syracuse consolidated in June, but that doesn't mean that the Syracuse fund will now be covered by money in the larger pool. Morin says pension assets remain segregated at least for a period of time, meaning that Syracuse may have to shoulder the entire Madoff hit on its own, which one person close to the matter said was nearly all the money it had under management. Morin declined to comment on the Syracuse exposure.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America is looking into allegations that a union representing carpenters across the state disproportionately burdened upstate members with millions of dollars in investment losses stemming from Madoff’s fraud.
The UBC has scheduled hearings in Albany on actions taken by the Empire State Regional Council of Carpenters, which is based in Westchester County. Below is commentary and testimony by UBC brother Richard Dorrough.
ROBBED AND FLEECED UBC MEMBERS CONDUCTED THEMSELVES IN A STELLAR MANNER
I attended the first day of hearings on March 30, but due to an emergency missed the second. My testimony was read into the record by brother John Newell. The turn out was much larger than they expected. They had to open a second room to accommodate members and the first day was still wall to wall standing room only.
The member presence was mostly a mix of downstate and central New York members with a rather small but committed turnout of Albany members.
Local 370 members were there none the less. At all times the membership conducted themselves in a manner befitting UBC members. There were no outbursts or disruptions despite the volatile nature of the hearings.
Upon entering the hotel members were directed to a basement floor meeting room in the Crowne Plaza.
Members were required to show ID and checked against the list. Security was present and members were forced to be scanned before entering the room.
Perhaps the Empire Council and the UBC did understand the severity of stealing member’s futures and robbing their accounts. I arrived at 8am and already the room was full. I signed for testimony and was number 38.
The hearing was called to order by Chairman Draper at 8:30 am. The first two called to testify were Frank Spencer and Jack Simmons.
It was clear from the start that Morin’s future is cooked. Both Spencer and Simmons accused Morin and Simmons quite aggressively, threw Morin under the bus.
It was rather amusing to hear the man who put us in these funds and has lined his pockets with member’s monies berate Morin.
If anyone besides Morin is to be held accountable it should be Simmons and Fuchs. What a poor choice by the UBC as a character assassin against Morin.
Go back and check the 5500s, 990, LM2s and LM30s to see how much Simmons has raked out of the members. The records show that much of this devastation Simmons orchestrated before he bailed. Check to see if he and Hicks emptied their accounts when they left. Morin was offered the chance to testify early but choose to wait.
Many officers, ex officers and delegates testified. A rather testy exchanged occurred later in the day between Dave Davies and Patrick Morin. It appeared Morin does not like members having meeting minutes for evidence.
All the testimony, with the exception of two members who made vain attempts to make "I Love Morin" speeches, were negative against Morin and the Empire Council.
Many disturbing allegations were made. The atmosphere of harassment and intimidation alleged in the Empire Council clearly exists based on the testimony given.
Morin choose to testify in the second session and it was clear from the start that the "Pit Bull" Chairman Draper was nobody's fool and was not going to accept lies.
He and Morin shared many heated exchanges.
Morin set the stage in his opening statement when he accused the UBC International of bias in its decision to hold these hearings and question his actions.
Morin stated "Other pension funds reduced their accrual rates such as the Adirondack Pension Fund and the International did nothing. Where were you then??" The tone had been set and Chairman Draper responded with vigor.
Mr. Draper was primed and ready as he questioned Morin. He was not accepting the answers and excuses Morin gave and told him so.
He told Morin to the effect he "was not born yesterday."
At one point he basically called Morin a liar. "You can lie here to me today Pat but you will not lie to the next people you are going to appear before.
You are under oath here today. Thy will read what you testified to today and we will see if you change you testimony to them."
Draper grilled Morin over and over on many issues and parts of his testimony.
Morin was backed into a corner and the exchange became quite terse many times. Draper was nobodies fool and had the tenacity of a pit bull. Morin was finally allowed to slink away.
Before the break Chairman Draper called out to the seated and standing members for Empire Council President David Haines.
Haines was standing against the side wall and identified himself to the chairman.
Chairman Draper asked Haines if he was scheduled to testify. He responded he was not. Chairman Draper asked him to testify since he was mentioned many times in what seemed to be situations that implicated Morin.
Mr. Haines REFUSED to testify.
Chairman Draper made him aware that he felt his testimony was very important and that while he could not make him testify he was asked to reconsider and testify.
Haines never testified. It was obvious he was not going to bury Morin.
The day was an interesting experience and, one although we could hope would never be necessary, was a day not to be missed by any UBC member.
It was a fine example of UBC justice at work. It was the example all disenchanted members needed to see.
It was proof that if you stand up and fight back you can bring these arrogant and pompous little men to justice.
For whatever motive the UBC was present and called these hearings they were in fact there.
These self proclaim untouchables were put on the carpet and if common sense prevails will be gone and prosecuted by the proper authorities.
We can only hope the UBC International will send a clear message to the membership and the signatory contractors that enough is enough.
Let us hope they do not replace these corrupt elements with more of the same.
Testimony of Richard Dorrough
Saturday, April 3, 2010
By Matt Glynn
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is awaiting a report and recommendations following hearings into how a statewide Carpenters organization allocated losses from Bernard Madoff’s fraud.
A committee appointed by the Washington, D. C.-based UBC held two days of closed-door hearings in Albany this week. It was responding to allegations that the Empire State Regional Council disproportionately burdened upstate unionized carpenters with losses stemming from investment losses tied to Madoff. The estimated $160 million in losses impacted the members’ pension, annuity and health funds.
The UBC said more than 45 members and union leaders presented testimony but did not release details of the testimony.
The Empire State Regional Council’s territory covers New York State, excluding New York City. Its affiliated unions include Local 289, based in Cheektowaga. A report prepared by the hearing committee will be presented to the UBC’s General Executive Board for consideration and possible action, the UBC said. Monte Byers, chief of staff for the UBC, said he did not know when the report might be presented.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
I am writing to you in response to your letter to the membership dated August 25, 2009. You wrote, as supervisor of the “emergency supervision” your “first and only concern is the membership”, and you have “every confidence in the members of the district council”.
Forgive me for some skepticism here, given your prior performance as supervisor of the 2007 Local 157 “emergency supervision”, where among other things you refused to answer membership questions (see video) which were emailed and posted on local157.blogspot.com, a blog I started to keep the membership informed.
Specifically I am troubled by your highly questionable action of naming Peter Thomassen as your assistant supervisor of the district council and naming Martin Deveraux, business manager of Local 608.
As supervisor you could have used your authority and named an individual from outside the district council and/or local union untouched by scandal and corruption. Maybe some other business manager or business agent could have brought a fresh perspective and new direction to both council and local operations. Instead by naming Mr. Thomassen who has become embroiled in so many disgraceful scandals that he has proved himself entirely unworthy of membership trust or authority you have signaled to the membership you are not serious in cleaning up the District Council and its “business as usual”.
In June of 1996, the first supervision of the district council, UBC General President Douglas McCarron appointed Vice President Douglas Banes, as supervisor.
In contrast to your predecessor, (with no arrest or indictment of any council officer) Banes removed the entire elected administration from office, including the president, first vice president, second vice president, secretary-treasurer, and trustees to the benefit funds.
At the time GP McCarron stated, that the administration among other things “had mismanaged the district council's funds, hired unnecessary employees to administer the council, leased luxury cars and run up excessive legal bills”.
In December 1999 as the council emerged from UBC supervision, Mike Forde campaigning for EST promised the membership that this would be “the most ethical and corruption free administration ever”. He picked Thomassen as his right hand man for the most important and powerful intersection between the membership and the district council, president and chairman of the delegate body.
Contrast the actions of 1996, with your actions of only removing Forde as EST, after being arrested and charged with a 29-count indictment on August 5, 2009 for corruption, racketeering, bribery and perjury, in a conspiracy that stretches over a decade, involving six contractors, business agents, business manager, benefit fund trustees, shop stewards, associates, council employees and testing positive for cocaine use, is startling to say the least.
A poll on local157.blogspot.com shows 83% do not trust you to supervise the district council’s affairs honestly and support the federal government being brought in to jointly administer the supervision.
Peter Thomassen along with Dennis Sheil was part of Mike Forde's “Unity Team”. Both were and are his biggest supporters, defenders and enablers of the “culture of corruption” that exist at the district council.
As a delegate to the district council from 1999 to 2008 and a candidate for district council vice president in 2008 I can state conclusively that Mr.Thomassen never once informed the delegate body about the corruption the Independent Investigator, Walter Mack, discovered and reported in numerous reports (Boom, Tri-Built, Special Request, among others) taking place at the district council.
From 2003 thru 2005 Mr. Mack uncovered nests of job site corruption, where shop stewards routinely falsified reports and accepted bribes to allow certain contractors to routinely operate large “cash jobs” on major construction sites without detection from the district council.
Mack’s detailed reports show not only that corruption continues to infiltrate the union, but also that District Council officers and business agents have done an “inadequate job of weeding it out and have been either complicit in corruption or, at a minimum, not doing their jobs”.
On June 3, 2005 Mack filed a report on Tri-Built Construction, a corrupt drywall contractor that operated in New York City and Long Island. In the report, among other things, Mack wrote “unfortunately, I have been stymied in my attempts to explore how and with whose assistance a corrupt employee would be able to remove shop steward reports from the District Council’s offices. At the current stage of the investigation, it is impossible to know how many other contractors were able to cheat the District Council and the Benefit Funds with this crude but effective methodology, but I am certain that others exist”.
It is well documented that the district council knew of Tri-Built’s corruption as early as April 2004, most likely even earlier, and did nothing to stop it. No job shut downs, no audits, no business agents informed, no shop stewards removed, nothing.
In November of 2004 Thomassen obstructed Mack's investigation of Tri-built and hired Kroll to take over the investigation from Mack. Thomassen never informed or reported to the delegate body Mack's detailed reports, investigations of corruption, the blocking of Mack's investigation and the hiring of Kroll. To date the findings of the Kroll investigation are unknown.
Time and time again what was Thomassen response to Mack’s revelations about corruption, ignore it and attack the messenger.
In December 2004 the District Council, led by Thomassen, gave notice to Mack by letter, of its intent to fire him; the termination letter cites no reason or cause for terminating Mack.
Thomassen informed the delegates of this action, after the fact on May 11, 2005 at a regular schedule delegate body meeting. Thomassen said the council was unhappy with the “run away cost and the abuse” from Mack. “You don’t know what we went through; It’s been a rough two years of abuse to our members and business agents.” Thomassen also chastised the frivolous anonymous callers to the Hotline Mack operated saying, “if a member has corruption to report he should leave his name”. In the two years that Walter Mack has been investigating Thomassen said, Mack “did not find one business agent doing anything wrong".
Supporters of Mack believe he was fired because of the corruption he was uncovering (which Forde and others have been indicted) and the lack of will by the District Council Officers to combat it.
Mack also reported that the Districts Councils “anti-corruption program” lacked any truly independent investigator responsible for looking into allegations of corruption and found that the District Council was guilty of “at the very least negligence” and has been compromised and questioned the council’s commitment to combat corruption.
It should be noted that while Forde was distracted with his prior indictments and alleged drug use, twice he would be tried, the first he would be convicted and acquitted on appeal; the second he would be acquitted at trial, Thomassen was running the day-to-day council operations (Forde said as much during the 2008 elections).
In June 2001, in violation of the UBC constitution, 1994 Consent Decree and more importantly the trust of the membership, Thomassen along with Forde secretly bargained away the job referral rules, without notifying or seeking the approval of the 15-member negotiating team, the 88-member elected delegate body, the rank-and-file and the federal government who has oversight supervision.
On November 5, 2004 Mack filed a report on the 50/50 Rule and Request System. Mack concluded that bargaining away the job referral rules and the “current request system reduces the out-of-work-list into a paperwork dance with little value to anyone but the contractors who can select the Carpenters they want to work for them.” All the while, the district council encouraged out-of-work carpenters to use the out-of-work list as their source of employment.
Once again Thomassen never informed the delegates about Mack’s report or the devastating effects of the “request system”.
According to Thomassen's sworn testimony on April 12, 2005, the council negotiated the 2001 contract change with Joe Olivieri, (also indicted with Forde) a benefit fund trustee and director of the Association of Wall and Ceiling and Carpentry. According to Thomassen in exchange for “the best contract we have ever negotiated”, he “sold” the job referral rules to the association, and gave them what they wanted, the ability to request and hire 100% of the carpenter work force.
That contract change which Forde and/or Thomassen never reported to the delegates or membership, eviscerated the job referral rules, effectively rendered the 50/50 rule a nullity, left carpenters vulnerable to corruption, reduce the out-of-work list into a meaningless “paperwork dance”, violated the 1994 Consent Decree, led to a guilty of contempt charge on February 20, 2007 by the United States Court of Appeals, cost millions of dollars in litigation, left carpenters to languish on a phony out-of-work list without knowledge that their was little hope of getting a job, deprived the union of having at the job site carpenters whose primary loyalty is to the union rather than the contractor and led us to where we are today!
Thomassen deceived everyone, from the delegate body, to the membership to the federal government. For that act alone Pete Thomassen should be brought up on charges for defrauding the union and egregious breach of fiduciary responsibility.
Mr. Thomassen has never acknowledged any wrong doing on his part and has stated, everything he did “was with the knowledge of the delegate body”. Minutes of the delegate body meeting and current indictment however do not support that claim.
Thomassen also has never ever presented to the delegate body (which he has a duty to do so) a detailed budget of the district council for approval by the delegates. Since the “Unity Teams” election in 1999 District Council spending has skyrocketed from $19 million to over $50 million in 2008!
In June of 2003, Thomassen and the benefit fund trustees created a new benefit fund know as the “Supplemental Pension Fund”. Thomassen at the time told the delegates “our welfare fund was doing so well that the trustees have decided beginning July 1, 2003 to reduced the hourly contributions in the welfare fund by $1 per hour and reallocate the $1 per hour into this new fund”.
Thomassen also stated “this reallocation of $1 per hour from the welfare fund to the “supplemental pension fund” is seamless to the membership and only a temporary measure as a way to infuse some extra money into the pension fund to help build up the pension fund assets” and "the trustees will monitor the funds closely and move the $1 per hour back to the welfare fund should it become necessary."
Fast forward present day: this $1 dollar per hour “Supplemental Pension Fund” has now grown to over 100 million dollars where members see no pension benefit credit. Members have had a portion of their yearly hourly raises directed into the welfare fund and yet this “temporary supplemental pension fund”, which we never had before, still exists! It begs the question, why?
In all these action’s, Mr. Thomassen has failed to inform and has deceived the delegate body and the membership of this union that pays his salary. Time and time again Mr. Thomassen has mislead and lied to the membership and delegate body.
As president, Thomassen not only has demonstrated his moral failings, but his unwillingness to detect corruption and/or drug use taking place foot steps from his office. Instead he has enabled it, protected it, covered it up and watched it flourish on his watch.
Your appointment of Thomassen does not surprise me; this is not the first time you appointed an individual who finds himself at the center of corruption.
In the 2007 “emergency supervision” of Local 157 you appointed Lawrence D'Errico, business manager. D'Errico one of the five local 157 business agents and a benefit fund trustee appointed by Forde, at the very least had knowledge and witnessed daily corruption (which he has a fiduciary duty and obligation by law to report) detailed in the November 13, 2007 report by Independent Investigator, William Callahan. You also appointed Mike Forde assistant supervisor.
Your letter also states, “We will conduct a thorough internal investigation of all council operations and conduct a financial audit of council and trust funds”.
Who is “we”? The same individuals who have betrayed the carpenters and who have been running this criminal enterprise known as the district council? Anything less than a fully independent review and audit of the council and trust funds will show that your actions are phony, an attempt to cover-up and defender of the “status quo”.
If this were a real supervision you would have brought in a fully independent team from the outside to assist you in your efforts of rooting out corruption.
If this were a real supervision you would have used your granted authority and remove all Forde appointed trustees to our benefit funds and all individuals in council leadership position.
If this were a real supervision you would have immediately began drug testing all district council employees.
If this were a real supervision you would have visited each local and answered member’s questions directly and keep the membership updated on your progress, if this were a real supervision...
I look forward to you reporting back to the membership the findings of your through investigation.
(originally posted 10/2009)
BY Kerry Burke and Alison Gendar
A union official is accused of selling out his own members - getting a corrupt contractor to build his Manhattan bar by letting him hire nonunion workers on other jobs.
Brian Hayes, a business agent for Local 608 of the carpenters union, allegedly took thousands in cash, free labor and materials to build McGarry's on Ninth Ave. in Manhattan, prosecutors and union sources said.
In exchange, Hayes let the contractor pay employees at his work sites below minimum wage and off the books, and run a Bronx job without a union shop steward, officials charged.
"He's a hardworking guy who's been unjustly accused," said Hayes' lawyer James Froccaro, who declined to elaborate.
A state liquor license lists Hayes as the vice president of a bar at the address of McGarry's. Workers at the popular Irish pub declined to comment.
Hayes is one of nine union big shots, including carpenters union boss Michael Forde, indicted last summer on bribery and racketeering charges.
Forde was convicted in 2004 of taking bribes from a man linked to the DeCavalcante crime family, the mobsters that inspired "The Sopranos."
The verdict was tossed when a judge discovered that some jurors had read news accounts of the case, and Forde was acquitted on retrial.