Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vote No on "Contracts"

Bilello administration, the silent leaders.
Union Leaders Pushing Contract Sellout

Contractor Associations are continuing to wage a campaign style effort to try to convince carpenters to vote yes on a new five (5) year contract while the Bilello administration is intentionally withholding key information and remains silent as they push this contract sellout deal on the membership.

Question: Why does the administration have no opinion on the contracts, especially in light of campaigning against many of its provisions?

For the first time in the union's history, the New York City District Council of Carpenters is submitting a series of five tentative collective bargaining agreements for ratification by the rank and file. The vote will be by mail-in ballot, conducted by the American Arbitration Association.

The contract will boost wages by $10.65 an hour over five-year life of pact —about 12.5% to the base rate for an average carpenter. Workers will get no raise the first year, an increase of $2.60 on July 1, 2012 , $2.65 in the third year and $2.70 in each of the fourth and fifth years. "The wage rates and fringe benefit contributions shall be determined and/or reallocated by the Union at its sole discretion."

Question: Of all the contract language both past and present, which section, paragraph or sentence caused the fraud, malfeasance, racketeering and criminal acts to occur for the life of the Consent Decree dating to September 6, 1990?

The above the language shreds, negates and eviscerates any right you believe you have to control your Union. Your done, right here with this one sentence. You have no control, no voice, no vote over any matter whatsoever. The wage and fringe benefit contributions should be specifically spelled out and allocated accordingly in the contract.

The new contract includes a full mobility provision, or contractors' insistence on the right to hire 100% of workers they choose and also includes a "most favored nations clause," which grants the contractor to power to renegotiate more favorable terms or conditions of employment than those covered in the agreement.

As part of the deal, contractors who are members of the Cement League and GNYFCA will get a 20% wage discount (Market Recovery Rate) 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.

The deal also includes a helper/scraper category, with a total package not to exceed $25 per hour to "clean up and handle deliveries," the option of paying its employees three (3) hours holiday pay and benefits in lieu of working the scheduled four (4) hour work day, and most importantly jobs with two carpenters will not have a shop steward.

In a vague letter to the membership received today, new carpenter boss Mike Bilello says, visit the District Council website and "take the time to review these contracts and make an informed decision which will have a great impact upon you, your family and our organization moving forward." Bilello gives no contract explanation, no contract details, no contract information, takes no contract position, and schedules no contract explanation meetings (see Local 3 contract meeting).

Question: Without briefing and input from the administration how can we make an "informed decision?"

Members will have less than two weeks to study and review hundreds of pages of contract language and consult with peers if they so desire or "contact local union delegates to answer any questions," before they cast their ballot and return it by mail NO LATER THAN 8:00 A.M., TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 2012.

The new carpenter boss is asking you to make an "informed decision." An "informed decision" is one that takes place after reasonable time for the airing of opposing views and for the membership to hear and debate the pros and cons.

In this case, the Bilello administration wants you to make this "informed decision" which will have a "great impact upon you" without taking the time to inform you, explain the contract details, and without the benefit of airing of opposing views.

Last month we reported that several large contractor association members either mailed or included a standardized letter in the pay envelope to all employees urging members to vote yes on the contracts.

The contracts for 21,000 council members expired on June 30, 2011. The new contracts were negotiated by UBC supervisor Frank Spencer and after several contract extensions, a 90 day wage freeze, a $2.13 per hour give back and a failed attempt to have the delegate body ratify them (majority of delegates oppose the contract and ratification was not going to pass on January 10.), will now be put "in the hands of the rank and file," without any "briefing or explanation on the terms and conditions of each contract."

Full Mobility

The center piece of these new contracts include a controversial “full mobility ” provision that would to enable contractors to hire 100% of their workers, bypassing the councils out-of-work list, except for shop stewards.

The NYCDCC (Forde & Thomassen) were held in contempt of Court for violations of the out-of-work list. The standing order mandated by Federal Judge Haight, dated May 26, 2009 mandated a 67% - 33% Hiring Ratio from the councils out-of-work list.

Once fully implemented (which must first be approved by Judge Berman) this "full mobility" provision will eviscerate the out-of-work-list and dramatically alter the District Council from being a source of employment for all workers to being a source of employment for shop stewards only (jobs with two carpenters will not have a shop steward).

That means hardworking, conscientious union members who rely on the council for employment shall enjoy less and diminished work opportunities because "full mobility" will permit the contractor to hire only the people they know rather than those on the out-of-work-list, "depriving the union of having at the job site carpenters whose primary loyalty is to the union and its principles rather than to the contractor whose principles and objectives may be quite different."

Along with full mobility the contract calls for the establishment of a "second" Labor Management Corporation, (law enforcement division within the Union) which fails to disclose it's Charter, fails to list its Board of Directors, Officers, By-Laws or Corporate structure. This corporation will restructure our union and be charged with vigorous contract enforcement that includes electronic scanning of union cards, job site video cameras and a team of private investigators.

The Bilello administration has failed to enlighten members why we should vote yes for this ghost corporation. They refuse to provide details as to how it shall be funded and how much per hour each rank & file member will be charged for this unwarranted intrusion into our Internal Affairs.

Bilello Flip-flops on Full Mobility

Bilello was elected executive secretary-treasurer, last year, on a platform opposing full mobility. Bilello has stated "I am against full mobility because I don't believe the union should give up control of the job site." At a Review Officer forum (see audio) last December, Bilello said I will vote against full mobility and if the contracts get tabled "prepare myself to be ready to go back to the negotiation table and take up negotiations."

Fast forward present day, In a NY Times article dated March 8, Bilello would not take a position on the pending ratification vote or full mobility saying, “I don’t want to taint it."

In a Crain's article dated February 9, Bilello would not indicate whether he was in favor of the contract or full mobility, saying he did not want to “taint the process.”

What starker contrast in our elected leadership, members elected Bilello to lead not to remain silent, silence equals acceptance. “I think Bilello has a lot of explaining to do as to why he has remained silent and flipped on full mobility, and if he would flip-flop on this, he could flip-flop on anything," an informed source at the district council said.

The Bottom Line
  • UBC supervisor Frank Spencer (see video) had over a year to negotiate new contracts and he failed to close the deal.
  • After two schedule full days of briefing and debate in January on the terms and conditions of each contract, the majorities of local union delegates believed the contracts were a disaster and would not ratify them.
  • The question of full mobility has been debated for the better part of the last year and the overwhelming majority of carpenters who attend union meetings, review officer forums and rallies oppose it and believe the contracts are a disaster and will VOTE NO (see additional reasons to vote no posted in the forum)!
  • In the next few days the only hope contractors have of achieving their goal, the right to hire 100% of workers they choose, is to step up efforts and mobilize employees and "strongly urge them to vote yes and ratify the contracts."
  • The decision to have the rank and file ratify the contracts was made on February 8, 2010. Other than Bilello's vague letter, (his first since elected), the membership received no written communications, no emails, no text messages, no tweets, no automated phone calls, or no notices from business agents or shop stewards regarding the ratification vote or contract details. It is one thing to not want to "taint the process," but it is gross negligence on the part of the Bilello administration to not fully inform the membership on the details of the contracts before a vote is taken. Bilello is playing politics and taking a huge gamble with the lives of carpenters, their families and our union by putting the contracts in your uninformed hands.
  • Review Officer Dennis Walsh, who has not taken a position on full mobility thinks it's a good move to have the membership vote. He said, "I think it's the most direct way to see what the rank and file feel about all of these provisions in these contracts. It's a positive step and it will get the rank and file involved in determining the course that's best for their future.”
John Musumeci is an elected delegate to the District Council and creator/editor of



  2. Great job of posting John.Thank you ever so much. That bullshit webpage which was supposed to tell us about the "new" contract was a bunch of fucking mumbo-jumbo which didn't tell us ANYTHING. The didn't even tell us what the contract was. It was highly deceptive & obfuscates the entire contract.They want us to vote for FULL MOBILITY? Fuck all of them.I vote no. thanks to your clearing up the new contact provisions.They didn't even tell us what the new contract was other than the 2.60 numbers. Big deal. NO FULL MOBILITY.

  3. The contract will boost wages by $10.65 an hour over five-year life of pact —about 12.5% to the base rate for an average carpenter.

    FUCK THEM. Voting yes is voting for a REDUCTION OF 7.5%

  4. you got a lot of splaining to do Lucy!

  5. The $10.65 hour raise over five yrs is a white lie. $2.13 hr was owed to us from our last contract and never paid to us. They are being allowed to incorporate or owed $2.13 hr in into the new contract & and pay it back to us at ¢43 cents an hr over five yrs. The $2.13 hr should be paid to us up front (active immediate )exposing the true raise for what it is-$8.52 hour over five years. Truth is we will be giving them the house( full mobility) and only receive a minimum pay raise in return. I do not believe in full mobility is the answer to a broken out of work list..but if you are going to give them full mobility make them pay for it. $8.52 hr is not sufficient, more along $13-$15 hr over five years would be appropriate not $8.15. Check all of the "NO" boxes on your mail-in ballots and put them in the mailbox immediately. This will allow our new elected leadership to re-negotiate a new contract with bigger pay raises and less provisions ASAP. Voting "NO" will allow this process to take place.

  6. Carpenters Union Fights to Keep Members from Joining Competing Union
    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 07:29 PM
    By Cindy Rodriguez

    RecommendSharePrintEmail Enlarge
    After their local union was dissolved due to corruption allegations, 700 dock builders are in the process of voting on which union should represent them: The New York City District Council of Carpenters or the newly formed Amalgamated Union. The District Council, which has more than 20,000 members, allege that Amalgamated was created by former members kicked out of the union for being corrupt.

    "What I basically like to describe it as is the people that are forming Amalgamated were players in our organization who aren't allowed to play here anymore and they're just trying to bring the game across the street," said Michael Bilello, the newly elected leader of the District Council of Carpenters. Bilello's union, rife with corruption, has been under court oversight since 1994.

    Attorney Dennis Walsh is the court-appointed review officer in charge of ridding the union of mob ties, racketeering and other types of corruption that tainted the District Council. Walsh confirmed that Amalgamated has, within its ranks, former District Council members accused of corruption. The attorney said the new union should also be bound by a consent decree requiring rigorous court oversight.

    Attorney Angelo Bisceglie is listed as the president of Amalgamated. A call to his office in West Paterson, N.J., was never returned.

    The 700 dock builders who are in the process of voting are involved in major development projects across the city, including Atlantic Yards, the World Trade Center and the Bayonne Bridge.

    According to Walsh, Amalgamated would be offering 401(k)'s but no pension, and it was unclear whether medical benefits would be offered. "If I were a member, I would want to look at the facts as to what is in the best interest of my family," he said.

    Bilello said he had visited several job sites to make his case against Amalgamated but acknowledges that some of the dock builders were put off by the International Carpenter's Union decision to dissolve their local due to corruption. "There's a lot of emotion involved with some of the guys and they're not thinking clearly about the kind of decision they're making here," Bilello said.

    Bilello said he expected to know the results of the vote by March 29.

    More in:WNYC News Blog »

    Cindy Rodriguez
    Cindy Rodriguez has been a staff reporter at WNYC, New York Public Radio since July of 2002. As the station’s urban policy reporter she covers the impacts of poverty on communities in all five boroughs. ...

  7. Our EST Mike Bilello Voted No on the Contract Stated Publicly on March 13, 2012 at the Town Hall Meeting.

    Our President Bill Lebo Voted No on the Contract, Publicly on March 14, 2012 at the Delegate Meeting.


  8. WALL & CEILING - $25 an hour Ladies & No Benefits & they will take your damn job after you train them of course!

    ARTICLE III, Section 2, pg. 4
    The Employer is desirous of employing Carpenters, Carpenter Apprentices, Hod Hoist Carpenters, Joiners, Millrights, Pile Drivers, Dockbuilders, Divers, Cabinetmakers, Bench Hands, Stair Builders, Millman, Wood & Resilient Floor Layers, Carpet Layers, Shinglers, Siders, Insulators, Acoustic and Drywall Applicators, Casket & Coffin Makers, and all those engaged in the operation of Wood-Working or other Machinery required in the Fashioning, Milling or Manufacturing of products used in the trade, or engaged as HELPERS to any of the above divisions or subdivisions and the handling, erecting and installing materials.

    Burning, Welding, Rigging and the use of any and all Instruments or Tools for Layout Work incidental to the Trade on any of the DIVISION or SUB-DIVISIONS of the Trade consistent with the Constitution and Laws of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
    key words:

    Fashioning, Milling, Manufacturing----------re: Products used in the Trade

    ENGAGED AS------------------------------"HELPERS"
    to do what:




    page 14:

    (w) "Union and Employers agree to abide by the Union Floor Covering Agreement as of January 1st, 2013"


    New York is not a right to work scab state, and neither is the District Council


    Judge Haight ordered this for all Hiring. When the International Rep's talk of "provincial attitudes", they are referring to minority rank & file members


    Brought to you by Frank Spencer & Doug McCarron. You will Race to the Bottom, while they Race to the Top with their overly generous salaries, perk's, triple dip Pension Plans, Free Trips, Fine Food, Drink and whores

    THIS IS YOUR 48-HOUR NOTICE to send McCarron a clear & unequivocal Message that he he is not the King and he does not Rule New York.

    Send his ass packing back to California where his Local Union boys live in a State facing bankruptcy. SoCal Locals & DC's Pension & Annuity Funds are funded at 45%-55%.


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