Friday, May 31, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bilello—Veto is overreaching, capricious and unreasonable

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT—–As set forth more fully below, the Veto, which was issued on the basis of five stated grounds (each a “Specification”), should be overturned as an overreaching, capricious and unreasonable determination, unsupported by governing authority and indisputable facts.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

157 Carpenters Alliance

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Delegate Body Approves New BCA Contract

The New York City District Council of Carpenters’ Delegate Body on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 overwhelmingly ratified by a roll call vote a new collective bargaining agreement with the Building Contractors Association (BCA) that provides a nearly 11% wage and benefit increase over the life of the contract.

The new contract between the District Council and the BCA contains a new market recovery addendum created to put members to work on jobs previously lost to non-union contractors throughout the city.

In addition, members will see an increase in their wage and benefit package of $2.13 an hour upon implementation, and another increase of $2.40 on July 1, 2013, yet another increase of $2.40 ninety days after implementation, and then followed by another $2.40 increase July 1, 2014. The wage and benefit package will rise to $94.36 at the end of the deal, from a current level of $85.03.

This new agreement contains the same manning provisions contained in the Wall and Ceiling Agreement previously approved by the Delegate Body and federal court Judge Richard M. Berman, requiring employers to match all non-NYCDCC local members with a dispatch from the NYCDCC Job Referral list.

The NYCDCC Executive Committee and the BCA reached a tentative agreement in February. Now the Delegate-approved CBA containing the new manning provisions and anti-corruption compliance requirements has to be approved by Judge Berman before they go into effect.

Click to find out how your delegate voted.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

EST Pro Tem Forum June 3

EST Pro Tem Steve McInnis will hold a forum for all members on the 10th floor at 395 Hudson Street. The forum will be held on Monday June 3, 2013 from 4:30PM – 6:30PM and is open to all members.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bilello Appeals Veto

Former disgraced scandal scared council leader seeks appeal

Judge Berman has schedule a pre-motion conference on May 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm to "set a briefing schedule" regarding the veto of Bilello by the court appointed Review Officer (RO) Dennis Walsh.

On Monday, April 29, 2013 the former Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters Michael Bilello, was booted from his $225,000 paid position by the RO for violating several union rules — including directing a schedule pay raise into the Welfare Fund without proper authorization and concealing it, and letting a suspended union member work at the Javits Center and then lie about it.

Back in April we reported that Bilello hired a big gun attorney, Guy Petrillo, (a former Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney's office in the Southern District of New York) to handle the veto. Last Friday Petrillo sent a letter to Judge Breman requesting the pre-motion conference and leave to file a "memorandum of law not to exceed thirty-five (35) pages in length."

Petrillo wrote, "the veto was issued on the basis of five separate allegations, each of which has its own factual setting and history. We will endeavor to be as succinct as possible, but believe based on our current draft that an appropriate treatment of the facts and law will benefit from the requested page extension."

Your Vote is your Voice

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The BCA and District Council Reach an Tentative Agreement

Signed Collective Bargaining Agreement between the BCA and the NYC District Council

The following Building Contractors Association CBA and the Market Recovery Addendum have been sent to the Delegate Body and the local unions. They will also be delivered to Federal Judge Richard Berman on May 16, 2013.   

These items will be reviewed and voted upon next Wednesday, May 22, at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Delegate Body.

Posted from iPhone 



New York, NY — The New York City District Council  of Carpenters announced today that it has reached an agreement with its largest employer association--the Association of Wall, Ceiling & Carpentry Industries of New York (Wall & Ceiling Association)--to implement the new collective bargaining agreement on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

Upon Wednesday’s implementation, there will be an immediate increase of $2.13 in workers’ hourly compensation package. $2.12 of that amount, by the decision of the District Council’s Delegate Body, will go into the Health & Welfare Fund, which provides medical benefits for carpenters and their families. The Delegate Body also approved this measure as a way to maintain and eventually restore all benefits in the Fund for active and retired members. The other one cent will go into the District Council’s supplemental funds for scholarships.

“With these wage and benefit increases, workers can once again focus on the job at hand and not have to worry about how they’re going to support their families,” said Stephen McInnis, Executive Secretary-Treasurer Pro Tem of the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

The next two raises each at $2.40 an hour are scheduled for July 1st and August 20th of this year. That means there will be an increase to hourly wage rates and contributions to the Welfare Fund totaling nearly $7 an hour within the first three months of the 5-year agreement.

The implementation follows the decision and order issued be Federal Court Judge Richard Berman on May 8, approving the contract’s provisions, allowing the Wall & Ceiling contractors to hire District Council carpenters directly, except for the required certified shop stewards who are assigned by the union. The judge’s order also approved and required monthly reporting to him on new anti-corruption procedures to guarantee compliance with all of the terms and conditions of the agreement. These anti-corruption measures were developed in conjunction with the District Council, the Wall & Ceiling association and the federal government.

With more than 20,000 members in eight locals, the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters is one of the largest, most powerful trade unions in the construction industry.

Posted from iPhone 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Carpenters rally at BAM on Lafayette Street to protest real estate development summit

Union carpenters, workers, trade unions, community leaders and politicians rallied last week to protest a real estate development summit. The summit was being held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) on Lafayette Street.The protesters are demanding that the real estate developers include unions and local residents in any new development projects.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Page Six

Booted disgraced former leaders Mike Bilello and Bill Lebo.
Sightings...sightings...Disgraced scandal scared former District Council leaders MIKE BILELLO & BILL LEBO were spotted at last Wednesdays Delegate Body meeting sitting in the members gallery.

On Monday, April 29, 2013 Bilello, the former carpenter boss, was booted from his post by the court appointed Review Officer (RO) Dennis Walsh for violating several union rules — including directing a schedule pay raise into the Welfare Fund without proper authorization and letting a suspended union member work at the Javits Center and then lie about it.

Bilello & Lebo were elected on December 15, 2011 to head the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters after vowing several reforms to the union —including saving the out of work list and contract ratification by the membership. The two former leaders reneged on those vows and ironically Bilello was the man who presided over the destruction of the out of work list, by negotiating a contract that includes full mobility and forcing it on the membership, despite the membership rejecting it in March 2012.

Bilello's running mate and former president and assistant Bill Lebo, also got the boot and was forced to resign last September, after receiving a notice of possible veto from the RO, amid allegations of inappropriate behavior and lying about it.

Sources said, Bilello is planning to appeal his veto in an effort to get his job back. The two disgraced former leaders sat quietly as they witnessed a properly run meeting by the new Executive Secretary Treasurer (EST) Pro Tem Stephen McInnis.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Union Members Protest Frieze Labor Policy, Andrea Bowers Joins the Fray

By ZoĂ« Lescaze 

As a stream of taxicabs and black SUVs began pulling up at the south entrance of Frieze New York for today’s VIP preview, a red-eyed inflatable rat glared down at the procession from the side of the road.

At its feet, a crowd of roughly 30 people was gathered to listen to New York City Comptroller and mayoral candidate John Liu speak out against the fair’s labor policies.

“This is not the last time we’re going to have to set up this rat out here–we’ll do it as often as it takes,” he told the crowd.

Labor union representatives gathered outside the fair said they opposed Frieze New York’s use of exclusively non-union labor. Though they staged a similar protest protest against Frieze New York, Production Glue, LLC–the fair’s production company–and Deutsche Bank, last year as well, that protest was less visible.

“There are more unions involved now,” said Bernadette Kelly, who works for Teamsters Union Joint council 16. “Last year, it was primarily the district Council of Carpenters and Teamsters Local 807 and 817. We’re also now accompanied by the operating engineers–Local 30–and the Painters Union and IATSE locals 1 and 829.”

Ms. Kelly said that fair officials have refused to meet with labor union representatives. “All they do is issue statements that say there is no labor dispute going on”—she was cut off by a big red teamsters truck honking its horn wildly as it drove by, eliciting cheers from the crowd.

Frieze New York did not return Gallerist’s requests for comment.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


New York, NY —Federal District Court Judge Richard M. Berman today issued a decision and order approving a new five-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that provides a 16.6% wage and benefit increase for members over the life of the contract. Following the April ratification of the agreement by the District Council’s Delegate Body, Judge Berman’s consent was the last step needed before the contract could go into effect.

Under the new CBA between the New York City District Council of Carpenters (DC) and the Association of Wall, Ceiling & Carpentry Industries of New York (Wall & Ceiling Association), the largest employer association in the DC, members will see a $6.93 per hour increase in their wage and benefit package within the first three months of implementation and another $7.20 per hour bump within the next three years.

“We believe—and the court agrees—that this is a good contract for the members and their families and the New York City construction industry,” said Stephen McInnis, Executive Secretary-Treasurer Pro Tem of the New York City District Council of Carpenters.


Judge Berman grants Full Mobility 

Breaking News...Judge Berman issued an Order today granting the implementation of Full Mobility.

The following is an excerpt from the Decision & Order––Most importantly, the CBA is a bargained over agreement and was approved by the Executive Committee of the District Council and by the Delegate Body of the District Council, lawfully designated representatives with the authority to approve collective bargaining agreements. 

Accordingly, it is ordered that the Court's May 26, 2009 Order (Haight, J.) is hereby modified and superseded to permit the parties forthwith to implement the full mobility job hiring and compliance procedures specified in the CBA between the District Council and the WC&C approved on April 25, 2013. 

The District Council will file with the Court every thirty (30) days after entry of this Decision & Order and every thirty days thereafter until further order of the Court a report describing (i) the progress and effect of the electronic jobs reporting procedures and the compliance and enforcement procedures under the CBA; (ii) the anti-corruption enforcement efforts of the District Council; and (iii) additional information regarding the CBA pertaining to enforcement of the Consent Decree. The application of Demian Schroeder [Doc. 1246] is denied for the reasons stated. 

Posted from iPhone

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pro Tem EST signs Unprecedented Compliance Commitment

McInnis, new EST
Stephen McInnis, the current President and Political Director of the NYC District Council of Carpenters, appointed himself to the office of Executive Secretary Treasurer (EST) on a Pro Tem basis, until an election is held to fill the remainder of the office’s term. Mr. McInnis will resign as Political Director.

In accordance with the Constitution of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiner of America, and the special circumstances involved regarding the EST position being vacant due to the April 29 veto of Michael Bilello, Mr. McInnis applied for and received special dispensation from General President McCarron.

McCarron granted dispensation as follows: McInnis "may maintain his position as President of the Council, while also holding the position of Council EST," until such time as a qualified member is elected as EST to fill the unexpired term.

In response to an email for comment, Review Officer (RO) Dennis Walsh stated, he "did not pose an objection, because of the unprecedented multi-point compliance commitment" made and signed by Mr. McInnis on May 5, 2013.

The statement includes:

1. Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Pro Tem, (“EST PT”) will broadly publicize and hold a “Town Hall” for all members not less than every thirty (30) days in which he will answer all questions posed to him to the best of his ability and in a temperate manner. Each Town Hall shall be recorded for posting on the District Council web site and run for at least two hours or until all questions have been addressed. Each such Town Hall will be observed by the Review Officer;

GP McCarron letter granting dispensation

Dear Sir and Brother:

This will respond to your letter dated May 3, 2013. You currently hold the position of President, to which you were recently elected, of the New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters (“Council”). On behalf of the Council, you requested dispensation from certain requirements of the UBC Constitution.

You explained that Michael Bilello held the position of Executive Secretary-Treasurer (“EST”) of the Council until a “Notice of Veto by the Review Officer” was issued on April 29, 2013. The veto was issued by Dennis M. Walsh, the Review Officer appointed pursuant to a Stipulation and Order in United States v. District Council, et al., 90 Civ. 5722 (SDNY; RMB). The veto provides, in part, that Brother Bilello’s “service as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the [ Council] is hereby vetoed.”

Section 32B of the UBC Constitution provides, in part, that,

(w)hen a vacancy occurs in any elective office of a Council, the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Council may appoint a qualified member to fill the vacancy pro tem, until such time as an election is held to fill the vacancy. If no Executive Secretary-Treasurer position exists or such position is vacant, the President of the Council may make such pro-tem appointment.

Thus, as the Council EST position is presently vacant, you, as President, may appoint a qualified member to serve as Council EST on a pro-tem basis. You indicated that you are “not comfortable appointing another member” to the EST position. However, you do wish to appoint yourself as interim EST, but doing so would require you to vacate the President position to which you were elected.

McInnis Named Executive Secretary-Treasurer Pro Tem

McInnis, new EST
In accordance with the Constitution of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiner of America, Stephen McInnis, the current President of the NYC District Council of Carpenters, appointed himself to the office of Executive Secretary Treasurer (EST) on a Pro Tem basis, which means that he will be serving as the EST until an election is held to fill the remainder of the office’s term. McInnis formally announced the appointment today during a noon conference call with the members of the District Council’s Executive Committee.

The EST position, the highest in the District Council, has been vacant since April 29 when the federal court appointed Review Officer, Dennis M. Walsh, vetoed the services of then-incumbent Michael Bilello. McInnis will continue to hold the office of President during this interim period under an order of dispensation issued by UBC General President Douglas McCarron. The scheduling of an election to fill the office for the remainder of the EST’s term, which runs through December 2014, will be directed by Review Officer Walsh under the authority of the Stipulation and Order entered by the federal district court on June 3, 2010.

“Today, I formally announced my decision to appoint myself as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer Pro Tem to the District Council Executive Committee," said McInnis. "As the Interim EST, I will properly fulfill the duties of this office as well as act on and promote what is in the best interest of our membership and their families.”

Monday, May 6, 2013

New Executive Director of the Benefit Funds

We are pleased to announce the appointment of James “Ryk” Tierney as the new Executive Director of the Benefit Funds. Ryk started as the Executive Director on April 29, 2013.

The Benefit Fund Trustees launched a comprehensive, nationwide search for a new permanent Executive Director in August 2012 to find the candidate whose qualifications could best fulfill the charge to lead the Funds. They were assisted in our search by Heidrick & Struggles, a global executive search firm.

In July 2012, we reported that the Board of Trustees terminated Mr. Joesph Epstein as Executive Director of the Benefit Funds.

After a rigorous application and interview process, Mr. Tierney accepted the offer to serve as the Funds’ next Executive Director.

Ryk Tierney is currently a Vice President and Director of Accounts at Associated Administrators, LLP, a benefits administration firm, and he is responsible for the administration of numerous benefit funds in a variety of unionized industries. He brings to the Funds an impressive combination of Talt-Hartley fund leadership and an in-depth knowledge of issues ofconcern to all ofthe Funds’ constituents, including the Funds’ participants, Fund Office employees, the District Council, and Contributing Employers. Ryk has been designated as a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist ("CEBS”) by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and he teaches CEBS courses. From 1983 to 1990, Ryk served in the United States Army. Ryk will be relocating from Maryland, and, as a native of New Jersey, he is delighted to be moving to New York.

Please join us in assisting Ryk with the new challenges and opportunities ahead. There will be numerous opportunities in the next several weeks to meet Ryk and welcome him aboard.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


VP Cavanaugh engaged in cover-up.
Updated: 5/6/13

An informed source says Review Officer (RO) Dennis Walsh is "reserving judgment" on whether to charge Vice President Michael Cavanaugh for his role and participation in the illegal allocation of a wage increase into the Welfare Fund.

On Monday April 29, 2013 Carpenter boss Michael Bilello was booted from his post by the court appointed RO for violating several union rules — including directing a July 1, 2012 wage increase for Hod Hoist carpenters into the Welfare Fund without proper authorization and concealing it from the membership and delegate body.

Back in March, local157blogspot broke the story that Bilello "illegally diverted millions of dollars of a contractual raise into the welfare fund and now may face a possible veto by the Review Officer.

Bilello concealed the wage allocation to the welfare fund from the membership and delegate body and it now appears that his highly paid assistant Michael Cavanaugh participated in the scheme and engaged in the cover-up by also withholding this vital information from the membership and delegate body.

According to the "Notice of Veto," we learned that on June 28, 2012 Bilello and Cavanaugh signed a document titled “Rate Increase Allocation” (see picture left) in which the amount of $2.59 an hour was directed to the Welfare Fund for each hour worked by members covered under the Hoisting & Scaffolding Trade Association, Inc. (“HASTA”) CBA, in violation of Section 21 of the District Council bylaws which gives the Delegate Body the sole power to decide all allocations to the various benefit funds.

Cavanaugh wasn’t charged in the case — which followed a lengthy investigation by Jack N. Mitchell, the Chief Investigator for the RO, — but when asked whether the vice president should have been, several members and delegates told local157blogspot, “In a way, yes.”

“In my opinion, he knew what was going on, he signed off on the illegal wage allocation, he had a duty to report it, he concealed it and he should be held responsible," members told us.

The Rate Increase Allocation document was put in place by the UBC during the emergency supervision, the document requires a counter signature as a check and balance and is used to create a schedule of wages and benefits that is sent to contractors so that the contractors pay the appropriate wages and benefits.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Local 157 Notice of Nominations and Elections

Reminder Local 157 members....There will be a Special Called Meeting to be held in conjunction with the regular meeting on Wednesday May 15, 2013 at 4:30p.m at New York City District Council of Carpenters Labor Technical College 395 Hudson Street, for the purpose of nominating:

  • forty six (46) Delegates to the District Council
  • one (1) Executive Committee member 
  • one (1) Trial Committee member
Elections for these positions will be held on June 19, 2013 from 6:00a.m to 6:00p.m.

To be eligible for nomination and election, a member must satisfy the requirements of Section 31D of the UBC Constitution and Section 504 of the LMRDA.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Coalition sues city and developers to halt City Point construction, charging poverty-level wages are paid

"Everyone's mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore," says union official

Union members demonstrate at City Point site.
The other shoe dropped.

Unions and community groups that have charged City Point developers with paying poverty-level wages headed to court Wednesday to try to halt construction at the mega-project.

Their suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court against city officials and developers asks that work at the downtown Brooklyn development be stopped and a new study done of the impact of construction workers’ low wages on the economy in nearby neighborhoods.

“Everyone’s mad as hell, and we’re not going to take it anymore,” said Richard O’Kane of Ironworkers Local 361, one of the unions suing Mayor Bloomberg, city housing agencies, Acadia Realty Trust and other real estate firms.

Workers are being paid $15 per hour with no benefits at the 1.9 million-square-foot project at DeKalb and Flatbush Aves. which includes 650,000 square feet of shops and 650 apartments, the suit alleges.

At that rate, advocates calculated, a “fully employed worker” would work 1,500 hours and gross an annual $22,500, below the poverty level for a family of four.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Video Review Officer Town Hall, April 15th Town Hall

Watch more videos below (note: second video is not playing properly, I am working on it)

Carpenters union members reject contract; strike set

Members of the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Local 308 on Tuesday voted to reject a proposed one-year contract with local contractors.

Dave Hogan, president of Local 308, said the members voted to strike at midnight Tuesday. Hogan said pickets will be set up at construction sites on Wednesday morning.

The union has 425 members and the strike will affect construction projects in Linn, Benton, Jones and Tama counties.

Hogan said the union is willing to meet with representatives of the general contractors to renew negotiations.

In May 2011, Local 308 members continued to work without a contract as negotiations continued. The carpenters union was the only one of seven local construction trades that was unable to reach a new contract with contractors.

The strike by carpenters union members is likely to affect a number of major construction sites in the four-county areas as well as smaller expansion or remodeling projects.

Construction projects tied to recovery from the June 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids have kept local building trades members working despite a nationwide construction slowdown due to the economic recession.

Source: The Gazette

Build Up NY: 'There Ought To Be A Law' For Good Jobs

By Joe Maniscalco 

New York, NY - A powerful group of building trade organizations and elected officials - including a trio of mayoral candidates - is calling for new legislation that could soon make good jobs a prerequisite to building anywhere within the five boroughs. (Watch Video)

Huge developers like Starwood Capital, The Moinian Group and Acadia Realty, currently benefit from generous public subsidies. But critics charge that the jobs resulting from their construction projects are increasingly substandard, and a drain on the community, while the buildings themselves are shoddy. 

“Money is coming from the public, it should go back to the public,” said Daniel Walcott, director of special projects for the New York City District Council of Carpenters. “It’s the way things have been done for many years in the city, and that’s the way they should continue. It’s not a race to the bottom. It’s a race to the top, and to quality. That’s what we’re looking for.”

The New York City District Council of Carpenters is a member of Build Up NYC, a broad-based coalition of 200,000 private sector union members advocating for the kind of responsible development that not only benefits wealthy CEOs, but blue collar men and women as well.

On Tuesday, members of the coalition rallied next to City Hall, vowing to push through new legislation that changes the way business is done in New York City.

Crowning 1 World Trade Center

Looking a bit like a rocket taking flight, the spire of 1 World Trade Center was hoisted aloft on Thursday and set on a temporary platform atop the nearly completed building. When it is bolted into place at a later date, the spire will bring the building to a height of 1,776 feet.

New Carpenter Boss decision expected soon

McInnis, next boss?
On Tuesday April 30, the council posted a statement saying, "Stephen McInnis, President of the New York City District Council of Carpenters, after consulting with the District Council’s Executive Committee, will appoint an interim Executive Secretary-Treasurer (EST) in accordance with the Constitution of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiner of America until an election takes place."

According to reliable sources, an executive committee meeting was held on Tuesday at 3:30 pm and McInnis "desperately" wants to appoint himself as EST, Pro Tem, but is wrestling with the rule in the UBC Constitution that would require him to resign the presidency in order to serve. Also several high ranking council employees have declined the top spot and a handful of others are considering and interested in the post.

A decision is expected by the end of the week and as soon as today.

The schedule of elections to fulfill the vacancy of the EST will be directed by Review Officer (RO) Dennis Walsh as per the Stipulation and Order, and is not expected to be a compressed election cycle, and may take a little over four months to complete. Assuming the RO asked Judge Berman for an order establishing June 1st as day one of the election cycle, AAA would not count the votes until October.

On Monday, April 29th, Michael Bilello, was vetoed by the RO as EST for violating several union rules — including directing a schedule pay raise into the Welfare Fund without proper authorization and letting a suspended union member work at the Javits Center and then lie about it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bilello failed to beat Jinx

On Monday, April 29, 2013 Carpenter boss Michael Bilello was booted from his post by the court appointed Review Officer (RO) Dennis Walsh and became the fifth district council leader to run afoul with the law and unable to beat the jinx.

Bilello, 55 was elected on December 15, 2011 to head the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters after vowing reforms to the union. He reneged on his vows and violated several union rules — including directing a schedule pay raise into the Welfare Fund without proper authorization and letting a suspended union member work at the Javits Center and then lie about it.

Bilello violations won't land him a prison sentence, but do add to the Jinx

  • Mr. Bilello’s immediate predecessor, Michael Forde, is serving an 11-year term in federal prison for taking bribes
  • Frederick W. Devine was convicted in 1998 of embezzlement
  • Paschal McGuinness was acquitted of bribery but resigned in 1994 as part of a consent decree that settled a federal civil racketeering case and placed the union under court oversight
  • Theodore Maritas did not make it to court: he vanished in 1982 on the eve of his trial on mob-tied extortion charges, leaving behind only a wallet found floating near the Throgs Neck Bridge

Kane letter to Judge Berman

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge Richard M. Berman from William Kane dated 4/29/13 re: Counsel writes to Your Honor with the hope that Your Honor will compel the District Council to appropriately ratify the new collective bargaining agreements through member ratification.