Thursday, February 28, 2013

Judge Berman Invites Comments on Full Mobility and Compliance Measures

On Wednesday, February 27, Judge Richard Berman reserved decision on the approval of the compliance provision for the Wall & Ceiling Contract to allow for full mobility within the collective bargaining agreement. Judge Berman’s approval is the final step in implementing the Delegate approved Wall & Ceiling contract.

As part of this proposed contract, members will get an increase in their wage and benefit package of $2.13 an hour upon implementation, plus annual bumps of $2.40. The wage and benefit package will rise to $99.16 at the end of the deal, from a current level of $85.03--a nearly 17% increase.

Judge Berman hasn't yet scheduled a future conference, but stated that he would accept written comments on this matter up to March 12, 2013.

To read the letter to Judge Berman from counsel to the NYCDC or the WC&C contract, or to write comments see below.

Barclays workers fail to break from union

By Chris Bragg

On Wednesday evening, a vote by 131 Barclays Center workers represented by 32BJ SEIU did not reach the threshold to "deauthorize" the union, meaning that those workers will continue to have to pay union dues, according to the National Labor Relations Board.

It represents a win for the building workers' union, at least in the short term, and perhaps a loss for the New York City District Council of Carpenters, which was eyeing adding the workers to its own membership. Wednesday's vote was seen as perhaps an initial test of whether the 32BJ workers would eventually vote to leave the union altogether. Under federal labor law, however, the workers now cannot seek to deauthorize for another year, according to a 32BJ spokesman.

The 32BJ workers in question are "conversion crew" members who convert the basketball arena into a concert hall and back. The workers who did show up to vote Wednesday overwhelmingly cast ballots to strip 32BJ of the power to have workers fired for not paying dues to the union; the margin was 49 to 6. But to deauthorize they needed 66 votes—a majority of the 131 total workers.

"I think that people voted with their feet by not showing up, and showed the merits of their contract by staying at home," said a 32BJ spokeswoman.

But the carpenters' political director, Steve McInnis, said that the anti-32BJ workers were filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming that there are actually far fewer than 131 conversion crew employees at Barclays. A lower number would make it easier for the workers opposing 32BJ to score a majority vote to deauthorize.

Thousands Demonstrate for Responsible Building Construction in NYC

By Neal Tepel and Stephanie West
Photos by Stephanie West

New York, NY - Over Five Thousand New Yorkers took to the streets of Midtown Manhattan on 54th Street and Eighth Avenue in protest of real estate developer Starwood Capital yesterday, February 26, 2013. Starwood Capital is currently developing several projects.

These include a Hilton hotel at 237 West 54th Street and a mixed use construction project at Pier 1 next to Brooklyn Bridge Park that includes a hotel and a high rise residential tower. At the demonstration, 54th Street in front of Starwood Development was symbolically renamed "The road to ruin."

Speakers at the rally included President of Build Up NYC Gary LaBarbara, President of 32BJ SEIU Hector Figueroa, Ironworkers New York State President Ed Walsh, Ironworkers Local 46 Business Manager Terry Moore, Ironworkers
Local 580 Business Manager Jim Mahoney, Steamfitters Local 638 Business Manager Pat Dolan, Hotel Trades Council President Peter Ward, and many other union officials and legislators.

"Today we are shinning a spotlight on Starwood Capital for its failure to live up to its responsibility to those New Yorkers who make its success possible," said Build Up NYC President Gary LaBarbara. Starwood is taking the low road on development which is a road to ruins for tenants, communities and workers."

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Labor feud sparks pullout at Atlantic Yards hearing

By Chris Bragg

A dispute between two of the city's biggest labor players has put Forest City Ratner and its massive Atlantic Yards project in the crossfire.

On Wednesday evening, Empire State Development, the state's economic development agency, is holding a court-ordered hearing to take comments on its environmental impact study for Phase 2 of the Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards development.

The New York City Building Trades Council, the building trades' umbrella labor group, was expected to offer supportive testimony for the Brooklyn project. But its president, Gary LaBarbera, wrote in an email to his council's executive board Wednesday morning that those plans were off. It was apparently because of a simmering dispute between his group, the building workers union 32BJ, and Forest City Ratner.

"There remains a labor dispute involving the New York City District Council of Carpenters and representation of employees in the trades at the Barclays Center," wrote Mr. LaBarbera in the email, which was forwarded to The Insider. "A link to an article in the Daily News that describes the issue is provided below. Under these circumstances, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York will not be testifying at this evening's public hearing on the Atlantic Yards SEIS."

The New York City Building Trades Council did not immediately return a phone call seeking further clarification about the rationale for the decision.

120 Barclays Center workers plan vote to stop paying dues to theirunion, SEIU 32BJ, the first step in expected move to de-certify


The first sign of labor unrest is budding at the shiny new Barclays Center.

A group of 120 construction workers who convert the arena from a basketball venue to a concert hall are furious they are not being paid as well as their counterparts at Madison Square Garden.

As a result, the workers plan to vote Wednesday to stop paying dues to their union, SEIU 32BJ. That’s the first step in an expected move to de-certify.

“We feel we’ve been misrepresented by them,” said construction worker Micah Wheeler, 40.

“The Garden workers get way more than what we are getting.”

The World’s Most Famous Arena employs roughly six to 15 full-time carpenters, and 20 to 40 part-time workers, depending on arena needs. The full-time staffers are paid $46 an hour and earn roughly $70,000 to $80,000 a year, according to the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

By contrast, all of the carpenters at Barclays Center are part-time workers who earn $14 an hour without benefits. They also must work more than double the number of shows — 400 shows, which would take at least four years — before they are eligible for some health benefits.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Court Conference

Reminder....Judge Berman's next Court conference regarding US v NYCDCC et al (1:90-cv-5722) is on Wednesday February 27, 2013 at 9:00 am, 500 Pearl Street, Courtroom 12D, Manhattan N.Y.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Come Join Build Up NYC as we Rally

When: Tuesday Feb 26th 3:00 pm

Where: at W 54th St & 9th Ave

Members sign in at W 54th St & 9th Ave

Take the N, Q or R train to 57 St - 7 Ave, the B, D or E train to 7 Ave, Take the A, C, 1, 2 or 3 train to Columbus Circle.

Come Join Build Up NYC as we Rally to show Starwood Capital that responsible development begins with good jobs.

Responsible developers provide quality jobs with health care and benefits, take good care of their buildings and respond to their tenants.

Support your local and your community.

Build Up NYC is an alliance of working men and women committed to good jobs and responsible development.

Working together, we are advocating for a stronger and more vibrant middle class, through safe and responsible development.

Posted from iPhone

HEART 9/11 Begins Gerritsen Beach Rebuild

HEART 9/11 has been busy making progress in Gerritsen Beach sheet rocking and insulating the homes we gutted in November and December.

Due to the support that HEART 9/11 has received from Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., Robin Hood Foundation and others we have been able to partner with NY Building Trade Unions to help boost our volunteer manpower. Specifically we have secured the participation of the NY Carpenters Union Apprentice School which includes two classes of trained apprentices; the work that they do in partnership with HEART 9/11 will satisfy their NY State credit requirements. As of February 18, 2013 HEART 9/11 began a fuller schedule of home rebuilds.

We continue to need volunteers....

WHEN: Starting Monday, February 18, 2013 - 8am and every Monday through Saturday

WHERE: Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn at Devon St. and Gerritsen Ave.

WHO: Carpenters and laborers and others to assit these skilled workers

HEART 9/11 will provide the sheetrock, insulation and lunch to all volunteers.

Posted from iPhone

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Message from the EST Regarding the Proposed BCA Agreement

Building Contractors Agreement (BCA) Facts About the BCA Contract Proposal

The proposed 3 year agreement presented to the District Council from the Building Contractors Association (BCA) contains Market Recovery Provisions that need to be explained. These provisions are currently not part of any collective bargaining agreement with the District Council, but are in Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s). Attached are documents that indicate the future hotel work coming to the city, the majority of them being developed non-union. Also attached, is a document explaining the Co-Star Realty system for the classification of commercial office buildings in New York City. “C-Class” buildings are referred to in the proposal. Union contractors do virtually no work in “C-Class” buildings currently. If we are to break into that market, these rates would be a tool to accomplish that.

The Outer borough rates for new buildings are designed to recapture a market we have lost.

The B-12A Residential and Hospitality Market Recovery Rates cover buildings that are not currently being built union except where a PLA has been utilized with success to capture that work. The B-12A rate is 8.9% below the CBA rate, currently a deduction of $7.54 an hour.

Talks with the BCA have been ongoing since early last year. At the beginning of the summer the BCA stated that in order for the General Contractors (GC’s) to continue to have a collective bargaining agreement with the District Council, they would need something to make them more competitive with non-union GC’s that are increasingly gaining market share in what has always been a stronghold for union contractors. By virtue of having the General Contractors signed, the Union benefits from the subcontracting clause, which locks in that the work is subbed to a Union Signatory. The BCA introduced a proposal for Market Recovery Rates.

New luxury hotel and condo at the gleaming Brooklyn Bridge Park on path to be built by non-union labor

Hotel and Motel Trade Council members protest


A new luxury hotel and condo tower at the gleaming Brooklyn Bridge Park will likely not be built or run by union workers.

The labor organizations representing hotel staffers and construction workers say they have been stonewalled by the developers selected for the controversial Pier 1 complex--Toll Brothers City Living and Starwood Capital Group.

At stake are an estimated 210 permanent jobs and 300 construction jobs at the waterfront park.

“This is a luxury hotel on prime public land,” said Josh Gold, political director for the hotel trades council. "We want to make sure that the jobs that are created are good jobs with real benefits that keep New Yorkers in the middle class.”

Last year, there were seven bids for the project from different developers, according to records. Five of those proposals would likely have included using union workers, union officials said.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Members Voice Wins!

 Bilello backed Gausman slate defeated.

Preliminarily election results show it was a clean sweep for the Members Voice Slate with approximately 700 vote cast. Congratulations to the winners.

Elections results provided by Dan Franco.

POLLS ARE OPEN! Come out and VOTE TODAY in Local Union 157's Election!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cops: Camden County man -- a Marine vet -- died in Sayreville barge accident

The District Council has reported that Brother Michael McQuade, was a member of LU 1556, our hearts and prayers to out to his family.

The Morgan Bridge, which spans Sayreville and Old Bridge.

By Brian Amaral/ 

SAYREVILLE – Police said today that Michael McQuade, a 34-year-old resident of Clementon, died Sunday after an industrial accident under a bridge on the Sayreville-Old Bridge border.

McQuade was working for Hydro-Marine Construction, based on Hainesport, when the accident occurred.

According to a USA Today story from 2011, McQuade was a Marine veteran who had suffered a collapsed lung and an injury to his knee after a car accident while on duty. He was discharged in 2001, the story said.

"You spend five years of your life (in the military), living a very disciplined lifestyle. You come out and it's like, 'What do I do now?'" McQuade is quoted as saying.

The story said that McQuade was married with two young children.

McQuade was a diver, responsible for welding and pouring concrete underwater, according to USA Today.

Authorities have yet to say exactly how the accident occurred, but they have said they do not believe it is suspicious. Early reports indicated that he was pinned by a barge under the bridge. The company he was working for declined to say what type of work the company was doing near the Morgan Bridge on Route 35.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the cause of the incident, Sayreville police said. The Coast Guard, State Police and Old Bridge police also assisted the investigation.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Musumeci vs. Bilello

Irrational no apology– Bilello
Attention All UBC Members:

I would appreciate your views regarding the pending charges (see below, which were referred to the Trial Committee) against NYC District Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mike Bilello.

Unique to the New York City District Council of Carpenters, Section 5.f of the DC Bylaws, among other things state:

"any District Council Delegate may file a complaint with the Trial Committee Chairman and there by initiate an arbitration to be conducted before a three-member panel consisting of the Trial Committee Chairman, Trial Committee Vice Chairman, and a third arbitrator to be chosen by the Trial Committee Chairman and Trial Committee Vice Chairman. All decisions of said panel must be supported by substantial evidence and any party to the proceeding may seek review of a decision with the District Court."

Despite having made several good faith offers to EST Bilello to resolve this situation with a simple apology to the Delegate Body, Bilello irrationally chooses to waste the time, energy, and resources of the District Council by continuing to drag us down this unfortunate and embarrassing road.

In seeking arbitration there must be a distinct issue and request for an award.

I ask all my UBC brothers and sisters to carefully review the charges and articles below, and to post your views on what remedy should be sought by arbitration.

The Stipulated Issue is: Did NYCDC EST Mike Bilello violate articles of the UBC Constitution and NYCDC Bylaws? If so, what shall the remedy be?

Thanking you in advance,

Saturday, February 16, 2013

VOTE Members Voice Slate

Please come out this Wednesday and support The Members Voice Slate!! 
Experienced Leadership Putting Members First. 


 (John's note: Local 157 pro tem president Gerry Gausman, screws up again)!

To: The Executive Board, Local 157

Guy Giordano, Local 157 Election Committee Chairman

During the course of the last few days I have received a number of email messages from members of Local 157 regarding the eligibility of certain members of Local 157 to run for office (in an election to be conducted on February 20, 2013). The messages specifically addressed whether the candidates in question meet the requirements set forth in Section 31.D of the Constitution of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (to wit, whether they depend on the trade for a livelihood; whether they resigned or were required to resign their current offices before they accepted their nominations). All of the referenced emails are incorporated herein by reference.

Each of the candidates was nominated and accepted his nomination in a special meeting of Local 157 held on January 30, 2013 (notice of which, attached as Exhibit A, had been timely given to the membership).

One of the members whose eligibility to run has been questioned, Greg Kelty, purported to resign as Treasurer of the local union in a letter he submitted to President Pro Tem Thomas McGonnigle dated November 28, 2012. The letter is attached as Exhibit B.

Regarding the mechanics and timing of his purported resignation, Kelty said “My resignation will become effective upon the election of a new Executive Board or immediately upon supervision of the District Council.” The result of this language is that the office of treasurer was not vacated on November 28, 2012, nor was it vacant on January 30, 2013, when nominations to fill the office were sought, made and accepted. Kelty, in fact, accepted a nomination for the office of treasurer, an office he still held at the time and holds to this moment.

The taking of nominations to fill an office which had not been vacated was a moot exercise which wasted the assets of the local union, was contrary to proper democratic process and should not have been conducted.

Accordingly, the procedure and process employed by Local 157 to accept nominations to fill an office which had not been vacated and the result of that process is hereby vetoed pursuant to Paragraph 5.b.iii (c), (d) and (e) of the Stipulation and Order as a waste of local union assets and contrary to one of the purposes of the Stipulation and Order (as set forth in Paragraph 4 therein) to maintain and run the affairs of the District Council and its affiliated local unions in a democratic manner.

Dated: February 14, 2013

Dennis M. Walsh
Review Officer

Local 1556 President Vetoed

 Updated 2/16/13...Originally posted 2/12/13

(John's note: I updated this post with the RO "Notice of Veto"and "Declaration of Jack Mitchell").

Breaking News...Review Office Dennis Walsh has vetoed Joseph Passero as President of Local 1556.

Compliance Provisions Related to Full Mobility

(John's note: The following letter was sent to Judge Berman by DC counsel on Feb. 13, 2013 regarding the implementation of a compliance program)

Compliance Provisions Related to Full Mobility Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement Between the District Council and the Association of Wall-Ceiling & Carpentry Industries of New York, Inc.

Dear Judge Berman:

As you know from earlier correspondence, this firm represents the New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters. I have been serving as the District Council's General Counsel since January 26, 2012.

I write to inform Your Honor about the compliance provisions being developed to implement the collective bargaining agreement (the "CBA") between the District Council and its largest multi employer association, the Association of Wall-Ceiling & Carpentry Industries of New York, Inc. ("WC&C") currently being negotiated.

The District Council is seeking the Court's approval of this new arrangement by which the WC&C contractors will be employing carpenters without being required to hire a certain percentage of their carpenters through the District Council's job referral system (save for Shop Stewards, who will continue to be referred through the job referral system except for one and two person jobs). The compliance procedures described here have been agreed by the District Council and the WC&C. They have also been reviewed and approved by Review Officer Dennis Walsh and the Government.

This letter is to request that this matter be added to the agenda of the conference Your Honor already has scheduled for February 27, 2013 to review various activities and initiatives of the District Council. At the conference the District Council and its outside vendor would be available to provide a demonstration of the electronic reporting mechanisms described in more detail below.Subject to the negotiation and finalization of a collective bargaining agreement incorporating these provisions, the District Council, the WC&C, the Review Officer, and the Government contemplate, with the Court's approval, putting into effect beginning Monday, March 4, 2013 the compliance arrangements described below, along with the implementation of the first wage/benefits increase and full mobility in hiring under the CBA. A stipulation and order, along with the fully negotiated collective bargaining agreement, implementing these measures will be provided to Your Honor prior to the conference.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Contract Update: Carpenters may be close to nailing contract

Hypocritical Leader Bilello
Delegate votes expected after months of back-and-forth talks between carpenters and the contractors who hire them.

At last nites delegate body meeting, New York City District Council EST Mike Bilello, after months of dithering, flip-flopping, broke his campaign promise, and took a major step towards finally ending this seemingly never-ending labor saga that has left thousands of carpenters without a contract, by reaching an tentative agreement with the Building Contractors Association (BCA).

The executive board of the District Council recommended having the agreement presented to the union's 100-member delegate body for approval as soon as Wednesday February 27, 2013.  The union's rank-and-file members will not be given the chance to ratify the contract.

The tentative agreement is for three years through 6/30/15 and would offer a wage and benefits bump of $10.33 per hour, to $94.36 an hour. The agreement among other things includes, an 80% "Market Recovery Rate" on certain projects and building classes and a full mobility clause.

Because the "full mobility" clause represents a change to the hiring ratios (67% - 33%) mandated in a May 2009 federal court order, it will have to be approved by the court. The union's federal-appointed monitor, Review Officer (RO) Dennis Walsh, and the U.S. Attorney's Office must also approve the deal, which includes that the employers and District Council "must include a compliance program."

Carpenters have been working without a new contract since June 30, 2011. The last time carpenters received a raise was October 1, 2010, when UBC Supervisor Frank Spencer, decided to unilaterally delay for 90 days, our July 1, 2010 contractual raise, thereby giving contractors a multi-million dollar gift on the backs of hard working union members.

Carpenters Rally against Financial Company’s Support of Construction Sweatshops

Construction sweatshops are operating daily in New York City and few are happy about it. On Tuesday, February 12, political and labor leaders, as well as members of the NYC District Council of Carpenters held a rally at TIAA-CREF (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund) headquarters to urge the company to stop supporting construction sweatshops.

The NYC District Council of Carpenters, and its ally, labor strategy firm, Corporate Campaign, Inc., recently launched the Campaign to Stop Construction Sweatshops aimed squarely at TIAA-CREF and its CEO Roger Ferguson.

The campaign’s goal is to protect workers in the construction industry, where serious injuries and economic exploitation are commonplace. To learn more visit Campaign to Stop Construction Sweatshops.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Page Six

We hear...THAT a Long Island fire door contract for members of Local 2790 has expired recently, which was under the hollow metal door fund.

An informed source said, that members under the contract were under two different heath benefit plans. "Plan B" which is an hourly contribution plan, and "Plan A" , which is a flat monthly contribution plan.

Contractor bosses want to move all workers into "Plan A" to save money, and the worker's want everyone in "Plan B" and they we're willing to strike for it.

Informed sources say, that DC Vice President Mike Cavanaugh, allegedly signed an agreement without delegate body approval, that keeps everyone in their existing health plans, but gives employees (who happen to be in the better "Plan B") the option of going in the lesser "Plan A.

The option involves that, in-exchange for workers joining the cheaper benefit plan, the contractor bosses will pay those employees a $1000 bonus as an incentive to join the "Plan A" benefit plan.
"The DC has circumvented the delegates and is letting the boss payoff workers to throw away their future," the informed source said.

The 100-member Delegate Body is expected to meet tomorrow, and upset local 2790 delegates are expected to discuss and debate the seriousness of the situation. Story still developing...stay tuned.

Monday, February 11, 2013

District Council Shop Steward Training

Below is a training guide for NYCDC shop stewards.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Gausman running mate accused of Harassment

Accused harasser, Pat Brennan.
Local 157 pro tem president Gerry Gausman’s running mate Patrick Brennan, has been charged with, improper harassment, causing dissension, and violating the Obligation, and must appear before the NYC District Council Executive Committee on February, 14, 2013, an informed source said.

Brennan who is running for Treasurer, on Gausman’s, Carpenters for Carpenters slate, allegedly made threatening, intimidating and bullying comments and caused physical harm to members of the UBC, the source said.

Brennan has a history of improper behavior, back in October 2011, we reported that Brennan, was accused of running an illegal raffle,  while seeking elected office on Gausman's, Carpenters United NYC Slate, in an effort to raise money to pay for their failed campaign.

Yesterday, we reported that Gausman is attempting to improperly disqualify the eligibility of UBC members, William Walsh and Greg Kelty, who are running against Gausman on the Members Voice 157 slate.

"It's enough to make you sick and disgusted" with the way Gausman is running his campaign, the informed source said.

We also reported that Review Office Dennis Walsh said among other things, Gausman's decision regarding the eligibility of Walsh and Kelty, “is incorrect and made upon a deficient record."

"It is not sufficiently documented or accompanied by sufficient process to erase the suspicion that it is politically motivated," Walsh said

Between Gausman engaging in political dirty tricks, and Brennan acting like a thug, by threatening and bulling members, the two seem to be made for each other and make the perfect Valentine's Day couple.

Brennan and Gausman were both unavailable for comment.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Gausman Pulls Political Hatchet Job

Gausman playing dirty tricks
Local 157 pro tem president Gerry Gausman, has placed himself at the center of an election controversy by attempting to improperly disqualify the candidacies of fellow executive board members Bill Walsh and Greg Kelty, by citing they are retired members and ineligible to hold elected office.

Gausman, citing and acting on alleged complaints to the Inspector General’s office, regarding the eligibility on Walsh and Kelty, has abused and misused his authority for political gain, according to informed sources.

Longtime former Local 608 members that know Gausman well; said, “Gerry is a boob and incompetent, he has been running for office for years, he cannot win on his own merits, so he retorts to political hatchet jobs, trying to tear down his opponents with a non-issue, in a feeble attempt to will an election."

In April 2011, I criticized Gausman for lack of leadership, and in June 2011, again, while Gausman made another failed attempt at running for local president, I criticized him for failing to give the membership a single reason why you should vote for him.

“We’ve had strong presidents and weak presidents, skillful presidents and incompetent presidents, honest presidents and corrupt presidents. Gerry Gausman stands alone as the first president who simply declines to lead.”

On every issue going back to when Mike Bilello appointed him vice president pro tem and continuing up until now, Gausman has dumped responsibility and has set a pattern of negligible and incompetent leadership.

Financial Secretary pro tem Walsh and Treasurer Kelty have filed emergency applications to General President Doug McCarron under Section 53G via FedEx and Fax. Both Kelty and Walsh are semi-retired and depending on the trade for a livelihood by working 39 hours per month as per Section 31D of the UBC Constitution. Bill Walsh and Greg Kelty are also both seated District Council Delegates and Walsh is on the District Council Audit Committee.

click to enlarge.
Gausman’s disqualification of Walsh and Kelty occurred three days after an Election Committee meeting where no mention of the eligibility of either Financial Secretary pro tem Walsh or Treasurer Kelty was made by Gausman’s Carpenters for Carpenters slate.

Walsh and Kelty are running on the rival Members Voice 157 slate, which has stoked up a backlash of membership accusations that the Gausman disqualifications are politically motivated.

In a brief telephone conversation with Local 157 Blogspot, Treasurer Greg Kelty, said that, “Gerry Gausman did not contact me in anyway before the disqualification and no requests for documentation were made.”

“Gerry made no effort to investigate the situation and made no good faith effort to provide his fellow executive board members due process before disqualifying Financial Secretary Walsh and myself”.

Gausman notified Review Office Dennis Walsh of the disqualifications and Walsh, after reviewing the matter said, Gausman's decision regarding the eligibility of William Walsh and Greg Kelty, “is incorrect and made upon a deficient record. It is not sufficiently documented or accompanied by sufficient process to erase the suspicion that it is politically motivated.”

Walsh urge Gausman, to “at least seek the guidance of Frank Spencer as a duly authorized agent of the UBC and include in that request any evidence presented by or available from Bill Walsh and Greg Kelty.”

Gausman was unavailable for comment.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Letter to Judge Berman

Member letter to the Judge Berman from Norm Saul, with the response from the RO, and a surprise submission by Management Trustee for the Funds Joseph Kaming.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Unions throw weight behind Queens stadium

Groups representing 200,000 workers kick the plan to build a Major League Soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, one step closer to the goal line.


Plans for a Major League Soccer stadium in Queens were kicked one step closer to the goal line Thursday morning, with three major unions announcing their support for the proposal.

The Hotel Trades Council, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and 32BJ SEIU—which together count more than 200,000 workers as members—said Thursday they are backing plans to build a soccer stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park that would house a new team. The stadium has become a priority project for the Bloomberg administration. It is offering Major League Soccer a 35-year, $1-a-year lease, with no sales taxes on construction materials, no property taxes and no revenue sharing with the city.

But the privately-financed $300-million stadium has also become a hot button issue among community groups worried they will lose a portion of the only large park in the neighborhood.

On Thursday, the union leaders said they were throwing their political weight behind the large project because it would create about 2,100 construction-related jobs, 160 full-time jobs and 750 part-time jobs.

The union endorsements were hardly a shock. Major League Soccer has indicated it would use union labor to build the 25,000-seat venue. The soccer league has also struck an agreement with Local 100 to make it easier for stadium food service workers to organize, sources said.

But some community leaders remain opposed to the project. "We represent thousands of families in the community who depend on the park and are concerned about the proposals to replace it," said Joseph McKellar, leader of the Fairness Coalition of Queens, which includes half a dozen community groups opposed to the stadium plan. "We support big construction jobs but the question is long term jobs, and how will it affect small businesses in Corona East."

Defenders of the project claim the stadium will also enhance a park many claim is run down and not well-maintained. Major League Soccer would also be required to replace any official park land where it builds.

The soccer league hailed the union endorsement as another step ahead.

"We are thrilled to have the support of the unions who represent hundreds of thousands of working men and women," a Major League Soccer spokeswoman said. "They understand, as we do, what an important economic engine this stadium will be." And the Bloomberg Administration agrees. "This major private investment in Queens would create thousands of quality jobs in an area of the city where economic activity is badly needed," said a City Hall spokesman.

Come meet the Members Voice 157 Slate

Join us Today, and meet the candidates of the Members Voice Slate.

Obama Appointee At The Center Of LIC Construction Battle

By Joe Maniscalco

An already troubled development project in Long Island City, Queens is being lambasted as a construction site “sweatshop” in a controversy over how things get built in New York City that could also prove potentially embarrassing to the Obama administration.

The 12-story, 181-unit condo development at 5-11 47th Avenue is moving forward despite a tangled history involving its proposed dual use as a college dormitory, as well as the need for heavy metal remediation on the site. Community Board 2 has been wrestling with the continuously morphing project since 2008.

But now, the New York City District Council of Carpenters is launching an all-out campaign against the development because on-site contractors hired to carry out the job fail to pay area standards, wages and benefits to workers. The situation is particularly outrageous to labor because one of the chief partners on the project - which also includes O’Connor Capital Partners and McGowan Builders - is TIAA-CREF, the largest retirement fund in the United States, and responsible for investing the pension funds of millions of unionized workers nationwide.

How the Pile Drivers Became Carpenters

Below is a historical article about how the Pile Drivers Became Carpenters, which you may find interesting. I had a request to post it.