Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fraternal Order of Woodworkers 2012 Contract Memorandum

Prospects of the New York City District Council’s contract negotiations have many F.O.W. members anxious about the upcoming deliberations that will shape our industry for the future. For years our component of the construction trade has been observing drastic transformations and the weakening of the installation of Architectural Woodworking in New York City. With the sweeping decline of union woodworking shops, international agreements, company requests and the rise of companies who only perform installations, the average N.Y.C. Woodworking journeyman is seeing less time on their tools.

Many have been required to install a product made from non-union shops and are faced with the alternative of installing or forfeiting their employment. The “Hot Cargo” and National Labor Relations Board rulings are being used by installation companies and contractors to force our members to make decisions that no good union member should have to deal with. We need the support from our union to initiate new policies and campaigns that will try to reawaken the developers what a good union vocation can achieve. A “hands on” certification for all new “Out Of Work List” woodworkers candidates and perhaps creating a “specialty” local which would help to protect and ensure more work for the qualified craftsmen. With the recent discouraging Favorite Nations Clause situation, we especially need to reach out to all union members to unite, protect and represent those whom hold this craft in high regard.

At our most recent meeting, our members found the following topics important to consider in the current contract negotiations. We appreciate all the work that goes into making contracts fair for all and protecting the rights of our membership.

  • Elimination of the International Agreements on all New York City woodworking projects.
  • The Foremen is the first man on the job and the Job Steward will be second.
  • All new Carpenter member candidates keep the same benefits without cuts or stipulations.
  • A paid foreman on all jobsite’s with more then three members.
  • A comprehensive education program on the dangers of Medium Density Fiberboard (M.D.F.) The enforcement of appropriate safeguards of implementing dust removal policies to protect all workers on jobsite’s in New York City. Making sure contractors abide to the use of vacuums and secured locations for the cutting of harmful materials.
  • A seven hour work day on all woodworking jobsite’s unless it is a negotiated, Delegate approved Project labor Agreement.
  • A union stamp on all material with Job Stewards being responsible to register the stamp number on their steward reports. Shop stewards are required to make sure there is proper stamp on 80% of all material sent from the shop they are responsible for or risk conceding their posture as a union ambassador.
  • Negotiate for a three year contract in good faith of an escalating economy.
  • All carpenters that work on outside job locations from the inside shops receive the same pay scale as outside carpenters.
  • The fifth member on all jobs is required to be a certified woodworker at least fifty years old.
  • No Full Mobility. Certify all woodworkers and have a 50/50 match on all jobs with more then two members.
  • Improve the Out Of Work list so that no member shall be able to sign the woodworkers list without a “hands on” certification approval or have worked ten thousand benefit hours on the tools. All Project Labor Agreements be voted by the Delegate body after conversing with their membership for approval.
  • Enforcing the apprentice ratio on all jobs and having the Job Steward be accountable to communicate to the Business Representative responsible for that job.
  • All work on a Saturday more then seven hours is upgraded to double time. Any work preformed before 7:00 am, be paid the double time wage.
Throughout these trying times, we hope that our representatives on the negotiating committees and the Delegate body are receptive to hear the voices of the N.Y.C. Woodworking Community. We anticipate the Delegate Body giving the ratification of the contracts to the membership. Our industry has changed drastically over the previous few years. Representatives must pursue the obligatory adjustments to safeguard, generate work and provide a new policy to keep us competitive in the approaching years. 

Fraternally yours,

The Fraternal Order of Woodworkers

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