Friday, January 7, 2011

Why Was Local Union 608 Dissolved?

From NYCDC

Our contributions to the New York City skyline stand strong and tall for all the world to see. That will never change. The dissolution of Local Union 608 has changed your local affiliation -the number on your shirt and the sticker on your hard hat- but nothing can diminish or change your identity as a Carpenter and a member of this Union.

This past year has been a difficult one for all of us but particularly the former Local Union 608. As Review Officer Dennis Walsh noted, Local 608 “carries a history of corruption ranging from bribery to Job Referral Rule violations … officers’ association with gangsters, the recent arrests of its business manager and former business manager and the suspension of recent president”. On-going investigations showed that history was repeating itself.

The dissolution of Local Union 608 does not discredit the hard work and contributions made by this Local nor does it lessen the fight ahead. It does send a clear message to those who have and may be defrauding us that we will do everything in our power to protect our brothers and sisters. As evidenced in the recent allocutions of former officers of Local Union 608 concurrently with the removal of the last 5 Presidents from office, action to safeguard our members was necessary.

Recommendation to Dissolve LU 608

The report submitted by Phil Newkirk, Assistant to General President Douglas McCarron, recommended that Local Union 608 be dissolved. This report details the corrupt actions involving Local Union 608 over the past 15 years to present including the 29-count labor racketeering indictment in August 2009.

This report highlights former LU 608 President John Greaney’s testimony outlining LU 608 as an integral part of the “criminal enterprise”, described as “…the District Council and its constituent locals and benefit funds…”. Greaney’s testimony also implicates other Local Union 608 officials of accepting bribes, gifts and manipulating and defrauding the Benefit Funds and Out of Work List. On record Greaney stated that he along with others ‘tried to rig it (OWL) to get certain people jobs with regard to contractors…we would manipulate the out-of-work list rules and allowed union work cards to be issued to illegal immigrants… and were aware that immigrants were working for cash’.

Brother Newkirk also recommends chartering a new Interior Systems Local Union. Noting that the majority of Local Union 608’s membership works primarily in the interior systems sector this action would provide a local affiliation to these members and assist all interior systems workers. By taking this action, it will improve our ability to maintain and grow our interior systems market share, elevate the skill level of existing interior systems journey persons and engage in more effective collective bargaining on behalf of interior systems carpenters.

Action Was Necessary

Given the deep cultural roots of corruption within Local Union 608, and in light of the above, there is no effective way of ending the historical pattern of corruption within this Local, absent its dissolution. It is therefore in the best interests of the UBC and its membership to dissolve Local Union 608.

One United Union

Though some of our brothers and sisters have recently changed their local affiliation as a result of this action, this in no way changes who we are or who we will be. We have taken the necessary steps in order to move forward and rebuild. Throughout this process, we will remain strong and united. No matter what the number of our local is, we are ONE strong union and our future is bright.

2 comments:

  1. Anyone who stays in this buisness is nothing more than a SUCKER. NYCDCC has 0 credibility and time for excuses & promises has run out.Hard working honest people who continue to associate with this criminal organization are SUCKERS.These crooks wont be using me any longer!

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  2. yes, I like to comment that, for starters the secretaries in local 157 need a lot of customer service training, they are disrespectful and do not know how to properly answer the phone. I called to find out what union I should join if I was a metal stud framer and drywall hanger and the girls did not understand what I was asking. They just scream back at me telling me they did not know what I was saying and after repeated attempts to clarify what was trying to ask, they simply hung up the phone on me. I speak English as a second language and my English is broken, but, I don't think that is a reason for absolutely anyone to scream at me or simply ignore my questions and hang up the phone as they finally did.

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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.