Thursday, July 14, 2011

Carpenters vote to build a union

Members of local that was dissolved say they will now form own group


ALBANY -- Several dozen carpenters are forming their own union after the United Brotherhood of Carpenters dissolved their former local and combined it with another local.

Richard Dorrough, one of the organizers, said 68 people attended a meeting in Albany on Monday night to talk with labor lawyers about their options after the consolidation, which also combined other locals across New York state and merged the Empire State Regional Council of Carpenters into the New Jersey Regional Council to form the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters.

In all, 33 locals in New York and New Jersey were combined into 10.

Dorrough said that during Monday night's meeting, "we made a motion, took a vote and formed our own local."

What comes next hasn't been decided. The new union will seek to enlist additional members.

The new union could remain independent, or affiliate with another union, or even affiliate as a separate union with the AFL-CIO.

"We're leaning toward re-affiliating with the AFL-CIO," he said.

Calls to the AFL-CIO on Wednesday for comment weren't returned. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters broke away from the AFL-CIO a decade ago.

Officials at the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters didn't have any immediate comment on the move.

The Northeast Regional Council has 30,000 members. The Empire State Regional Council previously was under supervision of the national union, following closed-door hearings in Albany into alleged improprieties.

Unionized carpenters had suffered $160 million in losses from various pension and benefit funds that were invested with Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff.

During the hearings, it was alleged that those losses had been disproportionately allocated to upstate locals.

Dorrough says the consolidation took more assets from the locals.

"They took $850,000 of our local's assets, they returned $50,000 of it, but all we could use it for was a clambake," he said. "In other words, they were going to control everything."

1 comment:

  1. Anything would be better than the set up we have now. Im surprised it wasn't done alot sooner. NYCDC is scum plain and simple !


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