Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blue Card Update: This Day in History

July 4, 1776: U.S. Declares Independence 

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence, which proclaims the independence of the United States of America from Great Britain and its king. The declaration came 442 days after the first volleys of the American Revolution were fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts and marked an ideological expansion of the conflict that would eventually encourage France's intervention on behalf of the Patriots.

The first major American opposition to British policy came in 1765 after Parliament passed the Stamp Act, a taxation measure to raise revenues for a standing British army in America. Under the banner of "no taxation without representation," colonists convened the Stamp Act Congress in October 1765 to vocalize their opposition to the tax. With its enactment in November, most colonists called for a boycott of British goods, and some organized attacks on the customhouses and homes of tax collectors. After months of protest in the colonies, Parliament voted to repeal the Stamp Act in March 1766.

It is in that spirt, we encourage all union brothers and sisters of the New York City District Council of Carpenters to vocalize their opposition to the $500 "Working dues Assessment" (Blue Card) and call for the repeal of the corrupt Forde era, illegal assessmentenacted (June 22, 2000 for $250, increased on January 25, 2008 to $500) as an extortion upon their wages on a yearly basis, should they legally choose to refrain from the New York City District Council of Carpenters mandatory leaflet, banner or picket duty activities put forth by the Organizing Department .

As Review Officer Dennis Walsh told the Court on November 7, 2011:

"It's been a long-running issue with many of the members. It was a program instituted by the Forde regime which at least in theory sought to compel one to do one's picket duty and that if you did your picket duty, some $500 that was withheld would then be paid to you. There was a demonstration a couple years ago, which was well-attended, which did get out of hand and led to the arrest of one of the members who did jump up on the security desk. He was brought up on charges and, in essence, turned into a poster boy for the authority of the Forde regime. He was convicted, he was heavily fined, and he was expelled from the union. I've always been very sympathetic to Mr. Brennan's plight, and I have told the UBC that I thought it was a situation that they should revisit, perhaps in the general president's office. Mr. Brennan has since filed a lawsuit, which I believe is active here in the Southern District under the LMRDA, and I also let my opinion be known to the UBC that I think that is a lawsuit that should be settled rather than district council moneys being expended going forward. But the program is very controversial. It is very unpopular amongst a significant percentage of the membership."

Have a Happy, Healthy 4th of July.

1 comment:

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