Friday, December 28, 2012

MWA Carpenters lose medical coverage as of December 31st

(John's note: MWA Update–– The arbitrator requested and received from the parties an extension from December 31, 2012 to January 19, 2012 to render her decision).

by A Christmas Carol

Reliable sources confirm a notice was recently sent by the NYCDCC Benefit Funds to Members employed by Manufacturing Woodworkers Association (MWA) companies that their Welfare Fund (medical) benefits will be terminated January 31st, 2012.

Due to the avaricious leadership of MWA President and Rimi Woodcraft owner Anthony Rizzo, and attorney Scott Trivella, association companies, in June 2012-- many already on payment plans with the Fund, and several months in arrears-- arbitrarily cut hourly fringe benefit rate contributions of all employees to $10.94.

The reduced contribution break down is as follows:

    Pension Fund: $2.50 per hour, up to 40 hours.
    Hollow Metal Welfare Fund: $5.70 per hour, up to 40 hours.
    Vacation Fund: $2.61 per hour, up to 40 hours.
    Supplemental Fund $.04 per hour, up to 40 hours.
    Custom Woodworking Industry Fund: $.01 per hour, up to 40 hours.
    Labor Management Fund $.08 per hour, up to 40 hours.


Following the controversial Gilbert Display MWA Arbitration decision-- with final damage totals still yet to be determined-- MWA company management arbitrarily and unilaterally cut benefits, and did not inform employees of those cuts, or document them, until several weeks had passed-- meanwhile Union mill-workers and installers unknowingly completed large scale jobs on Fortune 500 corporate projects at less than prevailing wage, where the bid awards had originally been based on our regular rate.  

Neither Mike Bilello's District Council administration, nor the Benefit Funds (with EST Bilello as Trustee,) directly informed Members working under the MWA of the cuts either, until months later-- when employees received Vacation Fund statements simply indicating a reduction in pay to $2.61 hourly.

Members report having called the Benefit Funds office to inquire about their year 2012 cumulative hour contributions; the total reported by Funds employees did not include time worked for MWA companies, and no explanation was offered.

Additionally; the total employer contribution of $10.94 per hour is for only up to 40 hours of work per week-- no benefits for overtime!

Already-- with the reduction in vacation pay, no annuity contributions, or any benefit contributions after 40 hours, overall MWA employee compensation has been drastically reduced. (For instance: a Carpenter under these circumstances, whose quarterly vacation check was slashed from $7.10 to $2.61 per hour, absorbing such an unforeseen shortfall, would also have less to borrow, if necessary, from their annuity account.)

And furthermore; since MWA employees' NYCDCC Welfare Fund benefits have now been discontinued-- as of December 31-- and the much reduced Gilbert Display level welfare contributions redirected to the sub-standard Hollow Metal Fund, NYC Union mill-workers and installers are looking at either non-existent, or severely limited medical coverage, and increased out-of-pocket expenses, going into the New Year.      

(Note: under Hollow Metal-- $26,000 medical expense cap, 1200 hours required before coverage eligibility may be established, hours are non transferable between Hollow Metal & District Council Welfare Funds.)    

Thank you bosses; including, but not limited to: Douglas McCarron, Frank Spencer, Denis Sheil, George Greco, Joseph Oliveri, Anthony Rizzo, Frank Di Stephano, Scott Trivella, Denise Forte, all the Manufacturing Woodworkers Association company CEO's, the uncommunicative and unilateral Bilello administration, the well compensated Council attorneys, and our sympathetic Benefit Funds Trustees-- for your genuine demonstration of concern, addressed loud and clear to the loyal, hardworking, NYC and vicinity rank-and-file shop workers and outside installers, this holiday season-- you truly deserve the Union Carpenter Scrooge award for 2012!     


  1. We are next. I want all members to understand that we cannot accept this treatment to our brothers. A harm to one is a harm to all when do we stand up and demand better.Weve been bargained down to this mess by the same people who are now going to fix it? Really? Its high time to nut up men and demand a strike we cant afford to submit like this over and over with the fear mongers ringing the bell for the contractors. got it now lets unite!!!

  2. Scrooge Award - No Shit huh? You see Ladies, in Mr. Drywall Sheetcounters World, drywallers are the best & brightest, require years & years of education to measure & cut a piece of drywall. Talk about Journeyman upgrade classes they must take to keep up with the ever changing technology in Screw Gun 101 and Utility Knife, Blade Changing 102; well then - you see why they must be the highest paid DC Carpenters.

    Never mind that they only need a pouch full of tools & a trained Ape could cut & hang drywall.

    The DC & Contractor Associations and McCarron & Bilello have it ass backwards. In their model, the lower the skill, the higher the wages....what a crock against unionism.

    The District Council and all of its hack employees need to get their collective heads out of their asses, bring all of the Contractor Associations together in one Uniform Boilerplated Contract where all DC Carpenters are paid the same Wages & Benefits, with Holiday, Vacation Pay, decent Health Insurance, Sick days and a Pension & Annuity Retirement Plan that a man or woman in the DC can retire on with dignity.

    This ain't Labor Ready Bilello, but given the ineffective & lame leadership exhibited to date, all your campaign bluster & rah, rah lines about standing up to McCarron & defending the men has come to be nothing more than a crock of bullshit & lies!

    Thank God for term limits, you gotta go, cuz you ain't no pal of ours!

  3. Hey that contract sounds exactley like a NERCC deal. Maybe thats why their so tone deaf at 395. Just a thought ,hey maybe you should think about that as well.

  4. Hey I don't have words to describe this post. I simply want to say that absolutely informative post. It inspires me a lot. Keep posting more posts like this. Carpenters Insurance


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