Thursday, September 29, 2011

Delegate Nomination Letter

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Dear Sir and Brother:

This will respond to your letter of September 22, 2011. In your letter, you requested dispensation from requirements of the Bylaws of the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

Specifically, you explained that, .. (t)be District Council Bylaws reqcire that each delegate from Local Unions to the District Council be elected for a three-year term. Elections for delegates will take place in October 2011. However, Section 31E of the UBC Constitution provides that, 'Nomination of officers and delegates of Local Unions shall take place in May and the election shall take place in June.' Thus, absent dispensation, in October, 2011 delegates will be elected for a three-year term and the next such election in three years will not be in accordance "With Section 31E of the UBC Constitution."

I have carefully reviewed and considered the request for dispensation. Pursuant to my authority under the UBC Constitution, dispensation is granted from the Bylaws of the District Council so that the term of delegates elected in October 2011 shall be for twenty months, and that the next nominations for Local Union delegates to the Council will be in May 2013 and elections in June 2013.

Fraternally yours,
Douglas J. McCarron
General President

Friday, September 23, 2011

How your Delegates Voted

On September 14, Delegates to the District Council voted and approved a "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) with the Association of Wall-Ceiling and Carpentry Industries, by a vote of 35-28 and voted and approved a Cement League (MOU) by a vote of 45 to 18.

This is my memory of the voting. Yes votes came from all the local 45 guys, local 20 led by Chris Wallace voted yes with the exception of one guy who abstained.

Local 926 I am unsure of. I believe John Holt said no. I am not not sure about local 740.

That new local all voted yes, Floor guys voted yes, Dockbuilders voted no. Joe Geiger said yes.

Local 157 no votes came from Pat Nee, Kevin Corrigan, Steve Philbin,  John Gaffney, Tom Mcgonicle, Tom Weimer, John Carty, George La Montagne, I am unsure how Danny Demorta and Cory Kennedy voted.

On the local 157 yes side were Paul Caperso, Tom Mckeon, Elli Spicer, Martin Lydon , Ibric Ramadan, Eddie Mc Williams voted yes to Cement League and no to Wall and Ceiling and finally Steve Mcginnis who could not attend but wrote a fine letter of support for our men from the international who work 24/7 on our behalf, at this point my eyes began to mist up, I am sure I was not the only one to experence this raw emotion.

Well thats my recollection of the meeting, feel free to correct any mistakes in this post.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


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Union Carpenters Stand Up For Your Rights!

When: 3pm Monday September 26, 2011
Why: Protest UBC Full Mobility

Sound permits are in place for a protest rally outside 500 Pearl Street (US Courthouse) to send a message to federal judge Richard Berman, that the rank and file are against full mobility.

Carpenters will be be gathering outside 500 Pearl Street starting at 7:30 am. There is a status conference scheduled at 9:00 am in courtroom 21B if you would like to attend and voice your concerns to judge Berman. The protest rally will begin at 3:00 pm.

For more information go to

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Contractor, 2 developers accused of racketeering

In a highly unusual suit, New York unions accuse HRH Construction and two others of using dummy firms to cheat workers out of wages and benefits. Tip of the iceberg?

New York City construction unions filed a racketeering suit Tuesday alleging that a trio of two developers and one contractor illegally conspired to cheat workers out of millions of dollars in wages and benefits on several projects in Manhattan and Brooklyn. 

In the suit, filed Tuesday morning in federal court in White Plains, N.Y., Metallic Lathers Union Local 46 and the Mason Tenders District Council contend that Long Island-based Lalezarian Developers and Manhattan-based JMH Development colluded with HRH Construction to bilk workers out of $7 million in wages and benefits from 2007 through 2011. HRH Construction, once one of the city's largest contractors, went bankrupt two years ago. The complaint seeks triple damages that would boost the total to $21 million.

The suit alleges that the developers diverted payments that should have been made to HRH Construction—a unionized general contractor—to a non-union dummy corporation created by the developers and HRH Construction to help skirt expensive union contracts. In the projects at the center of the legal action, workers were paid $12 an hour without benefits, instead of the going union rate of about $55 an hour with benefits.

Independent Local #1 Speaks with IUPAT GP James Williams

Originally posted 9.16 video updated.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Contract Negotiations Update: Delegates Approve Tentative Agreement

Deal reaches tentative agreement on contract with Cement League and Wall and Ceiling which boost wages and includes full mobility.

No Wage Cuts: Carpenters pressured union leadership.
After several contract extensions, the District Council of Carpenters has hammered out a new, tentative five-year deal with the Association of Wall-Ceiling and Carpentry Industries, though agreements with several other industry associations remain outstanding.

Last Wednesday Delegates to the council (see sign in sheet below) voted and approved a Cement League "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) by a vote of 45 to 18 and voted and approve a Wall-Ceiling MOU by a vote of 35-28.

Unfortunately, under the current council by-laws the rank-and-file does not get to vote and approve contracts.

With 10,400 members local 157 is the largest local in the UBC and is grossly underrepresented in the delegate body with only 22 delegates (local 2790 has 3000 members with 15 delegates). Since being elected in June, President Patrick Nee has been demanding fair representation and has asked to make additional pro tem appointments which has been denied by Supervisor Spencer. The delegate vote would most likely been defeated if local 157 had its fair amount of representation.

The Wall-Ceiling MOU is contingent on full mobility, or contractors' insistence on the right to hire 100% of workers they choose. Presently, as per a federal judge's order, they must hire a third of their workers through the union's out-of-work-list.

Contractors argue that the system is inefficient and hurts productivity because they end up with workers who may not have certain skills needed on specific job sites. Rank and fliers argue that full mobility will turn the union into a contractors union with no ability to obtain work from the out-of-work-list. The full mobility provision must go before federal judge Richard Berman in the form of a motion for approval.

Michelle Obama whispers to Obama at 911 Event: All this just for the Flag and Shakes her head

This is must see video which has gone viral on the internet. First Lady Michelle Obama seems to be mouthing “all of this just for the flag” to her husband at the 9/11 memorial ceremony on Sunday.

President Obama and his wife are a national embarrassment! This couple has vacationed all over the world, shut down New York City so they can go on a date and she has the nerve to disrespect the loss of life on September 11th.

Please share this video with everyone.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Unemployment rises as city's recovery stalls

The city's jobless rate rose in August.
The jobless rate ticked up in August, according to data released Thursday by the state. The city's economy was recovering faster than the nation's, but now it's losing steam—and the nation's is catching up. 

By Daniel Massey

The city's unemployment rate in August ticked up to 8.7% from July's 8.6% as the local recovery continued to lose steam, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The one-month rise itself was not a significant increase, but after the city's jobless rate fell every month for nearly a year starting in spring 2010, there have now been six consecutive months without a noticeable decline. Most of the drop in the rate from its 10% peak has come not from job gains but from discouraged job seekers leaving the workforce.

“The month-to-month uptick isn't huge, but the unemployment rate has been treading water for six months now,” said James Brown, principal economist at the Department of Labor. “That's not what you want to see. In a recovery, you'd expect it to trend downward.”

New York state's unemployment rate remained unchanged in August, at 8%, while the nation's held steady at 9.1%.


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Page Six

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Labor Technical College Employment Opportunities


The New York City District Council of Carpenters Labor Technical College is seeking a highly motivated individual to administer our existing college degree programs and develop training programs to benefit our membership.  The Educational Coordinator, reporting to the Director of Training, is responsible for identifying opportunities in higher education and technical education to expand employment opportunities and help members achieve their goals.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Page Six

We hear...THAT District Council representative Thomas McKeon has formed a slate and will be running for Executive Secretary Treasurer in the upcoming council election. McKeon a former officer of dissolved local 608 will be running with local 45 Recording Secretary/Representative Paul Tyzner for President and local 740 Financial Secretary/Representative Mike Cavanough for Vice President.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11, 10 years on: the day we can never forget

America on 9/11: firemen at the World Trade Center; the second tower under attack
On September 11, 2001,The New York City District Council of Carpenters lost eighteen of our union brothers who were working at the World Trade Center at the time of the terrorist attack. Local157.blogspot continues to remember and honor the memory of our fallen brothers.

Downtown’s boom

Don’t let the critics kill growth

By Steve Cuozzo

As office towers like 1 WTC rise, they allow older buildings to be converted to apartments.
New Yorkers are justifiably celebrating the city’s recovery from 9/11, even as we mourn the loss of 2,752 lives. Downtown not only survived as the nation’s fourth-largest business district, but blossomed into the city’s fastest-growing residential neighborhood, full of new hotels, stores and parks.

But don’t expect the defeatists to give up. The years ahead will surely see renewed howling over a “glut” of office space Downtown and criticism of subsidies to promote reconstruction.

Make no mistake: The inventory is going to swell. A new report from real-estate brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle predicts that today’s 9.2 percent office-vacancy rate in Lower Manhattan will soon soar -- temporarily -- to more than 15 percent.

Carpenters union nails down another deal

Deal reaches tentative agreement on contract with ceiling and carpentry contractors, which would boost wages by $10.65 an hour over five-year life of pact. One-year 5% wage cut dies. 

Carpenters reached a five-year deal.

By Daniel Massey

After several contract extensions, the District Council of Carpenters has hammered out a new, tentative five-year deal with the Association of Wall-Ceiling and Carpentry Industries, though agreements with several other industry associations remain outstanding.

The contract includes a raise of $10.65 an hour over the life of the contract—about 12.5% to the base rate for an average carpenter, according to John DeLollis, executive director of the association. Workers will get no raise the first year, an increase of $2.60 in the second year, $2.65 in the third year and $2.70 in each of the fourth and fifth years.

The association thought it had a deal in place several weeks ago that would have actually cut wages by 5% in the first year, but it fell apart, Mr. DeLollis said, presumably after carpenters pressured union leadership to scuttle the agreement.

The contract also piggy backs on a provision in the deal reached last week between the carpenters and the Cement League that is intended to help union contractors regain market share lost to nonunion firms.

As part of the deal, contractors will get a 20% wage discount on residential and hotel projects of 20 stories or less in Manhattan and on all residential and hotel projects in the outer boroughs, regardless of size, Mr. DeLollis said.

Announcement from Supervisor Frank Spencer

Josh Leicht appointed as Chief Compliance Officer

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Josh Leicht as Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) for the New York City District Council of Carpenters. Mr. Leicht brings a wealth of experience in pursuing anticorruption, both in the private and public sectors. His new role as CCO will be to assist our Council as we continue to work toward ending misconduct within our ranks and establish effective and comprehensive programs for monitoring our everyday operations.

Mr. Leicht is a licensed private investigator and a member of the New York State Bar, admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Before joining the private sector he worked extensively as an investigator of corruption, including specific work relating to organized crime occurring in the New York construction industry. His experience includes eight years as a Task Force Attorney assigned to the New York State Organized Crime Task Force’s Construction Industry Strike Force.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Contract Negotiations Update


We are happy to report that as of September 8, 2011 agreements in principle have been reached with the Wall & Ceiling and Floor Coverers Associations in addition to the previous agreement with the Cement League. The District Council continues to make positive movement to reach our overall goal of reaching agreements with all of our association partners. Progress this week also included meeting with The Building Contractors Association and the General Contractors Association. A fair offer has been made and is being considered by the associations and their members; we plan on returning to the bargaining table with the remaining associations beginning on Monday, September 12th.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Notice to Local 157 Members

Dear Member,

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There will be a Special Called Meeting to be held in conjunction with our regular meeting on Wednesday September 29, 2011 at 4:30p.m at Saint Cyrios 502 W 40th Street, New York, N.Y. 10018 (between 10th and 11th Avenues), for the purpose of nominating forty eight (48) Delegates and one (1) Executive Delegate to the NYC District Council of Carpenters.

Elections for these positions will be held at the New York City District Council of Carpenters Labor Technical College 395 Hudson Street New York, N.Y. 10014 (Clarkson Street Entrance) on Monday October 24, 2011 from 6:00a.m through 7:00p.m, regular scheduled meeting will follow.

Please note future meetings will be held at Saint Cyrios 502 West 40th Street New York, N.Y. 10018 (between 10th and 11th Avenues) on November 21, 2011 and December 19, 2011 at 4:30p.m.

Fraternally yours,
Patrick Nee

Levi Messinetti
Recording Secretary

(John's note: 100 Delegates to the District Council)

Message from the District Council

Dear Brothers and Sisters;

We are working in very stressful times. The economy has been hard to overcome, and the negotiations of a new contract have continued to challenge all involved.

On Saturday September 10th, the Labor Day Parade will be held in New York City. We will meet at 11AM on West 46th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.  The following Saturday September 17th the NYC Carpenters Charity Softball Tournament and Picnic will be held in Queens at Cunningham Park.  The first game is at 8:30AM.

The timing of these events are perfect. We have these moments to put aside our worries and come together as a membership! We can show our pride, we can show our passion, and we can have a good time!

Bring out your family, and your friends. This is a time for everyone who supports Each Other, and the true meaning of being Union!

Looking forward to seeing you there!
The District Council

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

With Financing Still Rare, New York Developments Start to Rebound


When the development firm Hines began exploring plans for a state-of-the-art, ground-up office tower overlooking Bryant Park in April 2009, the notion seemed far-fetched at best, given the economic mood.

After all, Lehman Brothers had collapsed seven months earlier and Bernard L. Madoff had just pleaded guilty to federal felony charges in his vast financial Ponzi scheme. By the end of 2009, construction had frozen at development sites all across Manhattan.

But in the nearly 30 months since those discussions, Hines’s plan to build a 28-story, glass-and-stainless steel tower at 1045 Avenue of the Americas has withstood many of the obstacles that have thwarted other real estate developers.

“In no point in the last 30 years across all the cycle changes have we ever not been active,” said Tommy Craig, a senior vice president and head of Hines’s regional office in New York. “Resilience is one of the defining virtues of our firm.”

With a search for equity partners and a marketing campaign set to begin this week, the 450,000-square-foot building is one of two Manhattan projects now in the works for Hines. The other, a 72-story mixed-use building at 53 West 53rd Street, is set to rise adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art once an equity source is chosen. The project, designed by Jean Nouvel, was scaled down recently from its original height of 82 stories.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We built NY; Labor Day honors union workers' labor of love

Labor Day gets a bum rap as the summer's swan song. Beaches and white garments are off-limits again until Memorial Day, and students head back to their books.

But playtime isn't over. In fact, tomorrow we're celebrating our right to recess in the first place.

"The reason why we're barbecuing on Labor Day, and not working, is because of the unions," says Joshua B. Freeman, Queens College professor and author of "Working-Class New York: Life and Labor Since World War II."

"The great historical fights to limit the ability of employers to ask for ever more and pay us ever less — that was the union movement," he explains. "Even people who never belonged to a union benefit from that today."

Whatever their politics, employees from the smallest startup to billion-dollar corporations can thank the "rabble-rousers" for minimum wage, the 40-hour workweek and the two-day weekend — let alone holidays like Labor Day, which naturally originated in New York, the country's economic center.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Union membership falls in NYC, study finds

The percentage of the city workforce that is unionized is shrinking, though it remains double the U.S. average. And the gap between public-sector and private-sector unionization is at an all-time high. Organized labor has been all over the local news lately—from an ongoing walkout at the Central Park Boathouse, to the recent Verizon strike, to a summer of contract squabbles in the construction industry.

By Daniel Massey

But while unions remain influential in the city, substantial erosion has occurred in recent years in their membership rates, according to a new report by City University of New York researchers.

Among workers living in the city, 22.9% were union members in the 18 months ending in June, down from 24.6% in January 2009 through June 2010, the report found. Losses in union membership have been disproportionately concentrated in the private sector.

The authors hypothesize that employment has contracted in highly unionized areas and expanded in sectors with low union participation. They do not point to specific examples, but during the period studied, the heavily unionized construction industry has been decimated and the Old London factory that produced Melba toast took its 228 jobs to North Carolina.

Despite the erosion, New York's unionization rate remains the highest of the 50 states and more than double the U.S. average of 11.9%, largely on the strength of union density in the public sector. New York's count of more than 1.9 million union members is more than any state except California, which has a far larger population. The city has more than 750,000 union members, about 40% of the state's total.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Carpenters hammer out a deal, avoiding strike

The tentative deal reached Thursday between the District Council of Carpenters and the Cement League could pave the way for others. 

By Daniel Massey

Carpenters reach deal, avoid strike.
After several contract extensions, the District Council of Carpenters has finally hammered out a new, tentative deal with the Cement League, though agreements with several other industry associations remain outstanding.

A statement on the union's website said that the deal was reached Thursday. No details were offered.

“This is a positive first step in our overall goal of reaching agreements with all of our association partners,” the statement said.

Bryan Winter, executive director of the Cement League, declined to comment.

John Musumeci, a 25-year carpenter and blogger about the union, said that the deal is for three years and provides raises of $1.50 an hour in the first year, $2.50 in the second year and $3 in the third year.

Union Rats Show Up to Play at Toy Building Jay-Z's Club

"Big rat" makes an appearance.

Jay-Z's flagship NYC 40/40 Club is under renovation and under fire from the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

The union is claiming that the company which was hired to make those renovations, Conelle Construction Corp., “does not meet area labor standards, including providing or fully paying for family healthcare and pension for all of its carpenter craft employees,” according to a statement.

The NYCDCC also claims Conelle Construction Corp. is paying its workers “substandard wage” and hold owner Jay-Z responsible saying the rapper “has an obligation to see that area labor standard are met for construction work on their future location.”

Protestors have placed four nearly twenty foot blown up rats facing the club. There is also a banner-sized sign that reads: Shame On The 40/40 Club (Jay-Z) For Hurting New York City.

This is not the first time Jigga has come under fire for his club's alleged shady practices. Jay was sued by workers at the flagship location back in 2008 for allegedly violating minimum wage laws.

The 40/40 club is expected to reopen its doors November 1.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Contract Negotiations Update


We are happy to report that as of September 1, 2011 an agreement in principle has been reached with the Cement League. This is a positive first step in our overall goal of reaching agreements with all of our association partners. Progress this week also included meeting with The Building Contractors Association, The Floorcoverers Association, The Association of Wall & Ceilings and Carpentry Industries. A fair offer has been made and is being considered by the associations and their members; we plan on returning to the bargaining table with these associations on Tuesday, September 6th. In light of this, we have extended these agreements until Thursday, September 8th.

Manhattan boasts 4 of Top 10 retail strips

Manhattan shopping meccas dominate Americas, and Fifth Avenue takes the honors for the priciest in the world for the tenth year in a row. Rents are up strongly except on Madison Avenue.

By Theresa Agovino

For the 10th year in a row, Fifth Avenue ranks as the most expensive shopping street in the world, according to a new report from Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

Rents on the stretch of the storied thoroughfare between 49th street and Central Park South averaged $2,250 a square foot in the year ended June 30—a 22% leap over the corresponding period one year earlier. What's more, Fifth Avenue's rents are 16% more than those along the planet's second-most expensive street, Causeway Bay in Hong Kong.

“New York is the top of everyone's list as a global destination,” said Gene Spiegelman, an executive vice president at Cushman. He added the hordes of tourists parading up Fifth Avenue make it the perfect spot for retailers to showcase their brands.

“Retailers believe in having a brick and mortar flagship store as part of their identity and many want them on Fifth Avenue,” Mr. Spiegelman said.

You Do the Crime, You Pay the Fine

Any participant in the New York City District Council of Carpenters Welfare Plan to have committed fraud (determined by the Board of Trustees) shall be permanently ineligible for Active or Retiree Welfare coverage.

A Labor Day Message from General President McCarron

Labor Day is a time to honor the strength, commitment, and dedication of the millions of hardworking men and women who fuel America’s labor force. Our union’s founder, Peter J. McGuire, established this day in 1882 to shine a light on the critical role American workers play in creating and sustaining the wealth and prosperity of their country.

Today, we face disturbing news regarding the economy, unemployment, government spending, and taxes.People from coast to coast are hurting, including our own brothers and sisters. To get through this period, we must remain focused and committed to achieving our goals as a union. We are relying on our strength as one of North America’s leading trade unions and, more importantly, on the reputation for unmatched skill and productivity that we bring to every job, and are pulling out all stops to stand strong in these difficult times.

For Your Information

Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters Collective Bargaining Agreement June 1, 2011 - May 31, 2016.