Brothers and Sisters: I have been a member of this District Council for 29 ½ years. I hold a Bachelor degree in Business Administration with a Major in Finance. I am presently the Treasurer of Local Union 157 and Delegate to the DC. I am a strong advocate for our members and work tirelessly to insure the rank and file members are not being taken advantage of by the leadership of the council.
These past two years have been a rude awakening for many of us, this Council has been a ship without a rudder wandering aimlessly from month to month. We have had an absence of vision and leadership at the council for too long. The only objective of this council since the UBC International ended its supervision has been to shove crappy contracts and PLA’s down working carpenter’s throats. Even in light of the news that construction starts may hit or even surpass the highs of 2007 next year, our leadership is still approving PLA wage and benefit concessions.
Our Rep center is a complete failure. Our council reps seem to have little knowledge of the contracts and jurisdictional issues. I have heard from way too many members that council reps don’t represent them, they are there for the contractors and when they should be going to bat for our contractors over jurisdictional issues, they give our work away.
I think most of us will agree the Organizing Department has undoubtedly been the costliest and biggest failure of any department at the DC. The Area Standards Campaign has not produced a single benefit for our members and has been a dismal failure for years. It seems it's only purpose is to give DC reps high paying jobs and members a place to fulfill their annual picket obligation so we don’t lose $500.00. The fact that no one at the Council acknowledges this complete failure shows a complete lack of vision and leadership.
Many of our delegates will tell you our legal counsel at the DC are an embarrassment and a disgrace. From the MWA fiasco to lack of filing legal notices for the strikes in a timely manner is inexcusable.
The most recent embarrassment was at the last court conference, despite assurances from the DC, Judge Berman was shocked to find out that the compliance program and IT systems put in place are not functioning as promised. Judge Berman approved full mobility, at the objection of many members, because of the assurances he received from the DC that its compliance program is 100% functional, and now as a consequence the contracts are in jeopardy of being abolished.
At the conference, Review Officer Dennis Walsh remarked about the failure of leadership at the DC:
"The frustrating thing about the District Council of Carpenters is that it only responds to negative inducement. One would have thought that after all these years of oversight, the pendency of a consent decree since 1994, and the stipulation and order since June of 2010 that the leadership at the union would have decided, finally, we must engage in rigorous self-analysis. We must figure out how to improve this institution so that it is perfected, so that not only is corruption eradicated, but that it functions as the modern, efficient, compliant business that it must be to benefit its 20,000 members and their families."
Brothers and sisters, we need leadership at the council that is willing to take the bull by the horns and engage in rigorous self-analysis. We need a leader with vision and a can do attitude who will step up and say we understand these problems and, with alacrity, we are going to solve them and move this DC into the modern, efficient, compliant business that must benefit our members and their families!