Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Court notes on Raymond McGuire's status report of the Funds

BY Olga Aguilar

Benefit Funds, Raymond McGuire, of the law firm Kauff MuGuire and Margolis LLP HIGHLIGHTED 4 major issues with our funds. He has been dealing with crisis and mini-crisis in the last 6 weeks.

1. Fraud:
The Fraud committed by ex-trustees, corrupt union officials and corrupt contractors failed to collect $20 million into the funds. (Forde, Greaney, Oliveri as well as On-Par, Pittcon, Pyramid, Turbo) Only a small % recovered. (see article above)

2.Contractors Delinquent Payments/(Delinquent Employer Contributions) How do get to the point where a company is 50K behind payments and still operating? The potential creation of a Labor Management Committee has been suggested to try to alleviate this problem, they believe they can convince contractors to have an "open mind" and to be "sympathetic". In addition to introducing scanning technology that would provide instant information of hours worked to the benefits fund. May 2, this technology will be used on 12 sites in nyc. Ability to scan ID, Hours, Payments.

3.Steady Erosion of Market Share - MOST SERIOUS PROBLEM

2008 - 23 million hours worked
2009 - 21 millions hours worked
2010 - 17 million hours worked
2011 - 15 million hours worked (projected)

That's a 35 % reduction. Judge as if this was typical everywhere or just in NYC (universal Issue?) There was no mentioned of role of the economic meltdown nor expectations of the economy rebounding.

IN NYC less than 50% union workforce
Outer boroughs less than 30% union workforce

4. Rising Costs to providing Benefits (Expensive Benefits)
In particular our Welfare Fund where we have "unusual" benefits. ex: Full medical of retirees after age 55

May have to look at ways to cut cost and raise revenues. Judge asked before talk of reduction of benefits what is being considered as alternative?

McGuire that Carpenter Union is one Active Unions: with Organizing Dept. targeting non-union and Labor Management promoting the benefits of skilled and safe construction.

He made a statement that the 50/50 affects competitiveness.

Dennis Walsh said that he is "shinning the light" on Organizing and Political department in respects to this issue.

(John's Note, Olga is a member of Local 157 and was at the hearing in Manhattan federal court yesterday)

1 comment:

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.