Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Unions to protest at Brooklyn Bridge Park meeting Wednesday oversubcontractor that doesn’t even have a Buildings Department license

Starwood Capital Group and Toll Brothers are building this condo and hotel development in Brooklyn Bridge Park — but union members say a subcontractor doesn’t treat workers properly.

A contractor selected to build part of a new luxury hotel and condo tower inside Brooklyn Bridge Park does not currently have workers’ compensation and disability coverage and has an expired Buildings Department license, records show.

As a result, union workers will show up en masse at Wednesday’s meeting of the Brooklyn Bridge Park corporation board to slam the hiring of Empire Pile and Foundations to build part of the Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital Group complex.

"Our primary concern is worker and public safety," said Gary LaBarbera, president of Build Up NYC, a trade union advocacy organization. "Having a contractor that does not play by the rules on a project being promoted by city government is not acceptable."
Brooklyn Stand Up!!!

Empire cancelled its workers’ comp coverage in 2010, leaving the developers and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation legally liable to pay for any injured worker at the site, according to the union.

In addition, Empire’s disability benefits policy to help workers with long-term injuries or illnesses was cancelled in 2009, records show.

The Buildings Department requires an any contractor performing excavation work to have an active general contractor license, but Empire's license expired in 2009, records reveal.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

MWA Reneges on Deal with District Council

The New York City District Council of Carpenters and the employers of the Manufacturing Woodworkers Association of Greater New York (MWA) agreed on Sunday night, July 21, to end the current strike and have Union members return to work Monday morning, July 22.

The District Council signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that provided for wage and benefit increases during the first two years of a ten-year contract. Later wage and benefit increases would be negotiated at the beginning of the third and seventh years, with interest arbitration being used if the two sides couldn't reach an agreement.

But the MWA refused to sign the MOA, demanding that the Union agree to numerous changes to what had been negotiated and agreed. The District Council's leadership has refused to agree to these concessions.

The District Council’s members struck on July 1 after the current contract had expired. They went on strike to resist the MWA’s efforts to eliminate employer benefit funds’ contributions on all hours beyond forty in a week as well as over other issues.

The MWA finally agreed with the Union's position on no 40-hour cap on benefit funds' contributions. In exchange, the District Council agreed to alter arrangements for outside installation of millwork where at least 80 percent of the product is manufactured by the particular MWA employer.

The MWA had tried on June 27 to get a federal court judge to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent the strike when the contract expired. But the federal judge refused. The MWA then went to a hearing on July 8 before federal district judge Richard Berman seeking an injunction ordering the Union members back to work, arguing that the expired contract somehow lived forever and prevented the Union from ever striking. On July 18 Judge Berman issued a stinging opinion and order denying the MWA’s request.

The parties continued to negotiate last week and over the weekend, leading to the agreement on outstanding issues and the return of the striking members to work. It's that agreement on which the MWA has reneged.

On Wednesday, July 24, the District Council and the MWA met with representatives of the District Council benefit funds to discuss a global settlement of several millions of dollars of delinquencies in contributions owed by the MWA employers. Those discussions are continuing, with the Funds and the MWA employers working on resolving those delinquency amounts owed.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Arbitrators Got It Right

Bylaws apply to ALL District Council Delegates! 

By email dated February 25, 2013, John Musumeci, a Delegate of the New York City District Council of Carpenters Delegate Body, filed a Complaint and Request for Arbitration with the undersigned Trial Committee Chairpersons pursuant to Section 5(F) of the Bylaws of the New York City District Council of Carpenters. The Request for Arbitration lists the following “Questions to be Decided” and sets forth the requested remedy:

1. Did NYCDCC EST Michael Bilello, in violation of the laws of the UBC, engage in a concerted effort and targeted pattern of harassment, threats, coercion, bullying & intimidation carried out by his assistant and/or others, in a year long campaign which culminated at a July 25, 2012 delegate meeting at approximately 7:30 pm, whereby Bilello, directly engaged in a course of vexatious, personal and indecorous comments or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, which incited UBC members to publicly harass, intimidate and humiliate Delegate John Musumeci by threatening to file; and by filing bogus charges against him, in direct retaliation for exercising his First Amendment freedom of speech, LMRDA & NLRA Section 7 rights as a union member with regard to his having raised multiple serious questions relative to the conduct and handling of the MWA Arbitration?

On April 19, 2013, Respondent New York City District Council of Carpenters filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complainant’s Complaint and Request for Arbitration.

A hearing on the Motion was held before the Trial Committee Chairpersons on June 18, 2013, at the offices of the New York District Council of Carpenters, on the limited issue of jurisdiction of the Trial Committee Chairpersons to decide each of the questions posed in the Request for Arbitration tiled by the Complainant, John Musumeci. Mr. Musumeci and James Murphy, Esq., on behalf of the New York City District Council of Carpenters, appeared at the hearing and were given the opportunity to be heard. The record establishes that Respondent Michael Bilello was given proper notice of the hearing, but did not appear.

"Based on a review of all the evidence and the arguments made by both parties and the answers offered to the above questions, we find that by the plain meaning of the language of Section 5(F), written by experienced counsel, the Bylaws provision in question applies to all Delegates of the Council Delegate Body, not just those who are employed by the District Council."

Santo Barravecchio, Esq.
Barbara C. Deinhardt, Esq.
Carol Moran, Esq.
Trial Committee Chairpersons

Sunday, July 28, 2013

One of New York City's First Pre-Fabricated Buildings Goes Up in Inwood

By Raillan Brooks

The word "prefabricated" often leaves a bad taste in people's mouths. It evokes shoddiness or disrepair. The memory of trailers set up for survivors of Hurricane Katrina, whose shoddy construction materials leached poison, is never far off. But prefabricated housing, if done right, has the potential to fix New York's housing problem. The Bloomberg administration has pumped lots and lots of time and effort into initiatives to bring so-called replicable "micro-units" to the city. Now one architecture firm is close to finishing an apartment block made entirely out of prefabricated pieces in Upper Manhattan. And they've made a video proving it.

Gluck+ Architects videotaped the final months of the construction process new apartment building at 4857 Broadway in Upper Manhattan. As you can see, no actual "construction" takes place. Rather they're just fitting the pre-made pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle. Relative to how quickly developers can usually put up a building the whole process moved at a breakneck speed. Fast Co. Design writer Sammy Medina explains that while there is still a ways to go from what we see in the video, prefabricating the constituent parts of the building elsewhere takes a lot of uncertainty out of onsite construction:

The modular construction forces the architects to make all design decisions ahead of time, meaning that the building blocks are shipped to the site with all their features and interior partitions preconfigured. This cuts down on on-site operations and the many mistakes that inevitably arise from them.

The building, consisting of 56 units, is expected to be completed in October.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters under Emergency Supervision

Mike Draper kicks Little Mac to the curb

On July 19, 2013 the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters which represents over 65,000 union carpenters in six states was placed under Emergency Supervision by General President Douglas McCarron. The Council represents all carpenters in SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, NEVADA, ARIZONA, UTAH, NEW MEXICO and COLORADO.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Cover letter and 30-day report and exhibits submitted to Judge Berman by the DC

Dear Judge Berman; As you know, this firm represents the New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters (“District Council”).

Following up on the discussion held during the Court’s conference on July 16, 2013, the District Council on this date has filed its Second Thirty-Day Report, and accompanying exhibits, pursuant to Your Honor’s May 8, 2013 Decision & Order (Doc. 1315) and more recent June, 11, 2013 Decision & Order (Doc. 1332). A courtesy copy of the Report, with its exhibits, is enclosed.

As discussed within the Report, the District Council anticipates that within the next several days it will file an amended Second Thirty-Day Report with updated data and statistics.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Court Transcript from the oral argument in the Bilello veto matter

Below is an excerpt from Thursday hearing regarding the Bilello veto matter

THE COURT: So the purpose of today's proceeding is to have a brief oral argument, I believe counsel requested, with respect to this matter involving Mr. Michael Bilello. So I am happy to hear briefly from each side. You don't really need to repeat a lot of what is in your briefs. I have the briefs, or your written submissions. But if you want to touch on some high points, that is fine.

MR. WALSH: I think, without hesitation, that the notion that a member of this union and the top fiduciary of this union can willfully lie in an investigation conducted by an appointee of the district court is appalling. I assign great significance to that specification. When Mr. Petrillo says Mr. Bilello is not superman, it is revealed he is not even a careful man. One of the questions which we asked all of the candidates for EST was whether they were familiar with the bylaws that had been implemented in August of 2011 and there were people who I did not approve to run for office because they could not say that they were familiar with those bylaws.

In Section 21, the question of the allocation of those payments to the welfare fund, what Mr. Petrillo talks about in that interim report was my strong recommendation that the welfare fund needed money, that the costs were excessive and any bit of income was a good thing. The document that Mr. Bilello, Mr. Cavanaugh signed and submitted to the benefit funds in June of 2012 was never submitted to me for review. I could indeed have made the argument that they failed to follow the stipulation and order by giving me prior notice, and the entire framework of the stipulation and order is based, with respect to the District Council, on the giving of prior notice. There are too many moving parts. I was not given notice of that unilateral application of asserted authority by Mr. Bilello. If I had been given notice of it, perhaps the outcome would have been different.

But as we pointed out in the papers, I am not counsel to the District Council, I am not an advisor, and I am certainly not there to tell them to watch out for every pothole that they may be about to drive over in their daily affairs. The fact is that over $900,000 was allotted to the welfare fund, which was not money that the welfare fund had to give back should the nun pro tunc vote have gone the other way. And if the delegates had decided they wanted that money as income, the chances are they would not have gotten it back. There was no obligation for the welfare fund to return that money.

With respect to the reading of the minutes of the funds, it is easy to characterize that as a minor matter, but it is not a minor matter. The executive committee of the District Council needs to be informed about the affairs of the benefit funds because this union is in a struggle. The District Council is out front trying to organize non-union companies, trying to organize non-union workers. They need to be apprised of the urgent problems confronting the benefit funds, as this court knows and as we have discussed on many occasions the problems confronting the benefits funds. I attended many of those executive committee meetings where it was apparently much more important that correspondents from the Boy Scouts and various district councils and local unions seeking to fill tables at dinner dances be read to those trustees, to those executive committee members, and I think the priorities were all wrong in that regard. It is easy to characterize each one of these specifications in a certain way.

The reality is that the careful EST, the careful fiduciary consults with counsel. The general counsel for the District Council has an office right next to the EST. He is available basically five days a week and certainly 24 hours a day by telephone. If Mr. Bilello had been inclined to consult him, perhaps we would not be here today.

MWA Injunction Request Denied

Federal District Judge Richard M. Berman on Thursday denied an injunction request made by the Manufacturing Woodworkers Association of Greater New York (MWA) against the New York City District Council of Carpenters. Judge Berman had held a hearing on July 8 on the MWA's injunction motion.

The July 18, 2013 opinion and order ruled in favor of the District Council, denying the MWA’s application for an injunction that would require council representatives and members to “cease and desist from engaging in any job action or any other activity that interferes in the business activities of the Plaintiff (MWA).” Another federal district Judge had rejected on June 28 an application by the MWA for a temporary restraining order to prevent a Union strike for a new contract.

Judge Berman denied the request on the grounds that the federal courts did not have jurisdiction to intervene in a strike over the union’s efforts to come to a new collective bargaining agreement. Judge Berman also found that the no-strike language in the expired collective bargaining agreement didn't continue after June 30 when the contract expired.

The District Council has been on strike since July 1, 2013 after months of stalled negotiations with the MWA, which employs some 350 union members from various District Council locals. The previous six-year agreement between the MWA and the District Council was effective from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2012 and extended for an additional year to June 30, 2013.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

District Council Imitates Local157blogspot

The District Council has launched a first-ever “Comment Section” (we started this in 2007) that is attached to every Member News item posted on their website. The Council says the new "comment section is meant to give members a chance to weigh in on the news, events and key issues at the Council."

The Council writes, "Here’s your chance to share your thoughts and opinions with us and your fellow union brothers and sisters. The DC is doing whatever it takes to keep its membership informed and to remain transparent."

The Council is also using "the latest technologies to reach out to members via their emails, cell phones and home phones. Members who provide us with their contact information can expect to receive robocalls, emails and texts from us from time to time. Expect to receive information such as the latest picket lines, contract vote dates or when a raise will go into effect."

In order to utilize the new "Comment Section" simply follow the instructions and the District Council's Terms of Use to sign up and become part of the discussion!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Judge Berman approves GCA CBA and schedules hearing on the DC’s electronic data entry program

Below is an excerpt from Judge Berman's Order approving the GCA CBA and scheduling a hearing on the DC electronic time entry and compliance program

The Court hereby grants the District Council’s application and approves the CBA between the District Council and the GCA, including its provisions regarding full mobility and anti- corruption technology mechanisms.

The Court has been informed that the technological (anti-corruption) components that are contained in the May 8, 2013 CBA between the WC&C and the District Council and the June 11, 2013 CBA between the BCA and the District Council appear to have been poorly implemented to date. Because of this, the Court has set a hearing for September 3, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. to examine the implementation process in some detail with responsible individuals.

RO expresses strong concern about the DC’s electronic data entry program

Below is an excerpt from yesterday’s hearing on the GCA Agreement, in which Review Officer Dennis Walsh expressed his strong concern about the DC’s electronic data entry program

Mr. Walsh: You can, in a very straightforward way, see what the ratio is of reported counts to unreported counts, and anyone who looked at this can plainly see that there are issues in the District Council's getting stewards to report their time either by the devices that have been given to them by the District Council or by the telephone message or by logging onto a computer of their choice, and perhaps Mr. Murphy has some more accurate data than what's been provided to me, but there are very few instances that I see where we get anywhere near 90 percent reporting on these key three-man or more jobs. And I view this as a grave problem for the District Council. I view it as a failure of leadership by the District Council in providing written policies and indeed warnings to stewards.

This compliance component of all of these contracts is vital to the contract itself, that the linchpin here is the ability of members to log on and see the amount of time that has been reported for their jobs. Without that ability, this compliance program falls into the ground, and the District Council has got to get this squared away.

I cannot endorse implementation of the GCA agreement without some assurance from the District Council that they are all over this problem, that they have written policies for stewards that informs stewards that there will be consequences, indeed disciplinary consequences, if they don't get their time in and allow the members the ability to log on and check that time for themselves.

Mr. Murphy has this data. I think it's very troubling. I think that the senior leadership in the union needs to work with the director of operations and the director of the business center to get these policies in place. They need to call the stewards who have not entered their time, in some cases well past the 48 hours that was contemplated by the collective bargaining agreement itself, and they've got to tell these men and women that they have to get their time in or they will be taken off the jobs as stewards or they will be decertified indeed as stewards representing the District Council.

Labor Unions: Obamacare Will 'Shatter' Our Health Benefits, Cause 'Nightmare Scenarios'

Avik Roy, Contributor

Labor unions are among the key institutions responsible for the passage of Obamacare. They spent tons of money electing Democrats to Congress in 2006 and 2008, and fought hard to push the health law through the legislature in 2009 and 2010. But now, unions are waking up to the fact that Obamacare is heavily disruptive to the health benefits of their members.

Last Thursday, representatives of three of the nation’s largest unions fired off a letter to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, warning that Obamacare would “shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

The letter was penned by James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Joseph Hansen, international president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union; and Donald “D.” Taylor, president of UNITE-HERE, a union representing hotel, airport, food service, gaming, and textile workers.

“When you and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act,” they begin, “you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat…We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision. Now this vision has come back to haunt us.”

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Important Notice: Local 157 Meeting Change

Attention Members: Tomorrows monthly Local 157 meeting will be held at the Church of St. Anthony of Padua, 154 Sullivan Street at 5pm.

We earlier reported that due to construction at the labor technical college, the July 17th local 157 meeting was going to be held at Father Demo Hall at our Lady of Pompeii church at Bleecker and Carmine StreetPresident Mitch Sonntag learned today that the Father Demo Hall was no longer available.

The Local 157 meeting will be held 5pm at the Church of St. Anthony of Padua, 154 Sullivan Street. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

MWA Strike Day 12 at the Somerville Company facility

For more MWA Strike coverage see Facebook
The New York City District Council of Carpenters continues its strike after negotiations broke down with the Manufacturing Woodworkers Association of Greater New York (MWA). The association is seeking an across-the-board wage freeze and a second-tier employee system with lower wages and benefits, while locking members into a 10-year agreement.

EST/PRO TEM FORUM Monday, July 8th, 2013

Shame on Major League Baseball and Hudson Meridian


Shame on Major League Baseball and Hudson Meridian, for contributing to the erosion of area standards for New York City Carpenters. The New York City District Council of Carpenters has a labor dispute with Hudson Meridian which is performing work at South Queens Boys & Girls Club at 110 - 04 Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hill , New York. Hudson Meridian hires sub - contractors that do not meet area labor wages and benefits , including providing or fully paying for family healthcare and pension benefits for all of its carpenter craft employees.

The New York City District Council of Carpenters objects to substandard wage employers like Hudson Meridian working in the community. In our opinion the community ends up paying the tab for employee health care. Low wages tend to lower general community standards, there by encouraging crime and other social ills.

The New York City District Council of Carpenters believes that Major League Baseball and Hudson Meridian have an obligation to the community to see that the area labor standards are met for construction work performed on their current and future projects .They should not be allowed to insulate themselves behind “independent” contractors.

PLEASE CALL: Thomas C. Brasuell Vice President, Community Affairs Major League Baseball 245 Park Avenue , New York, NY 10167 212 - 931 -7897

Letter to Judge Berman from MWA

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge Richard M. Berman from Scott Trivella dated 7/3/13 re: For the reasons herein, and to prevent delaying the MWA's pending application for injunctive relief, the MWA requests that this Court immediately return 13cv4473 to Judge Nathan.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Union Carpenters Strike Over Wage Freeze Demands

By Esther D'Amico

The New York City District Council of Carpenters entered its third day of a strike on July 3 after negotiations broke down with the Manufacturing Woodworkers Association of Greater New York (MWA). The association is seeking an across-the-board wage freeze and a second-tier employee system with lower wages and benefits, "while locking members into a 10-year agreement," the council says.

"Nobody wants a strike, especially during the celebration of our country's independence, but if we concede any further it would be detrimental to all our members and their families," Stephen McInnis, the council's executive secretary treasurer, said in a July 1 statement.

Some 350 members of the union are on strike. Members covered by the MWA contract earn an average of about $31 per hour with benefits, the council says. It adds that it has established a strike fund and an assistance hotline to help those on strike.

At press time, the council did not respond to calls for further comment, and attempts to reach MWA were unsuccessful.

For more MWA Strike coverage see Facebook

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Judge Richard M. Berman Orders– Brief oral argument

ORDER: Brief oral argument (10-15 minutes per side) on the petition of Michael Bilello, dated May 24, 2013, is hereby scheduled for Thursday July 18, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. in Courtroom 12D of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York 10007. Parties to the petition should be prepared to discuss with the Court factual circumstances and legal arguments. The Court is not planning to entertain presentations from others.

Friday, July 5, 2013

NYC carpenters’ strike leaves nonunion workers stuck without health insurance

The District Council of Carpenters terminated health coverage for 120 secretaries, draftsmen and other nonunion workers Monday — the day it declared a strike against the woodworking companies that employ them. That’s left 12 companies that comprise the Manufacturing Woodworkers Association scrambling to find private coverage.


Stephen McInnis (pictured right) is president of the District Council of Carpenters, which went on strike Monday and canceled health insurance for some 120 nonunion workers.

The NYC District Council of Carpenters’ strike against woodworking companies has turned into a real pounding for nonunion staff members who’ve lost their health insurance.

The New York union terminated health coverage for about 120 secretaries, draftsmen, administrative assistants and other nonunion workers on Monday — the day it declared a strike against the woodworking companies that employ them.

That’s left the 12 cabinet- and furniture-making companies that comprise the Manufacturing Woodworkers Association scrambling to find private coverage.

“For almost 10 years the union has enabled us buy health care coverage for our private employees that is similar to what the carpenters get,” said Anthony Rizzo, co-owner of the family-run Rimmi Woodcraft Corporation and president of MWA.


“They surprised us with a letter two days before the strike. I’ve had to rush to find a way to cover my workers. It costs more, but I can’t leave them without.”

Rizzo is challenging the union’s action in court — including its position that none of the 120 workers are eligible for COBRA benefits under the union’s terminated deal. COBRA is a federal program that extends health insurance for temporarily jobless workers.

“We feel it’s illegal for the union to deny COBRA. We will challenge it but it takes time. I have an employee in the hospital who was denied coverage and that can’t happen,” Rizzo said.

They’re also challenging the legality of the union’s strike, he said, and will be in federal court Monday looking for an injunction.


District Council of Carpenters represents the 350 woodworkers and wood installers in Local 2790 who walked off the job Monday in protest over stalled contract negotiations.

The MWA wants to cap benefit contributions at 40 hours a week so it would no longer have to make pension, vacation and health care contributions on overtime pay.

It’s a deal that Stephen McInnis, president of the District Council of Carpenters, says he “has to refuse.”

But Rizzo, who said there used to be about 70 woodmaking companies in the region — now down to about 12 — said the union’s demands were driving employers into bankruptcy.

“We’re not asking for lower wages, just to lower some of the benefits. It’s not even a major concession,” Rizzo said.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day

On July 4, 1776 the First Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In that document the Founding Fathers formally declared our independence from British rule and sounded a call to action that would transform 13 colonies into the Unites States of America.

Americans will celebrate 237 years of freedom today in many different ways. We’ll fly the Stars and Stripes, barbecue in the backyard, enjoy ballgames, spend time with family and friends and, of course, ooh and aah at fireworks.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Neither side budging in carpenters strike


Hundreds of union carpenters went on strike this week over a contract dispute in a move that threatens a number of ongoing projects in the city.

The strike comes after over a year of contentious contract negotiations between the New York City District Council of Carpenters and the Manufacturing Woodworkers Association of Greater New York, an association of contractors. The carpenters' contract expired June 30, and they have balked at the association's request for a 10-year deal with lower benefits and a wage freeze on the cabinetmakers and wood installers, 350 of whom stopped working Monday to protest.

Stephen McInnis, president of the District Council of Carpenters, has said the union would agree to a 10-year contract with wage negotiations possible, but won't compromise on benefits.

"We feel we've made a number of concessions throughout these negotiations, and we just can't concede any more," said Kwame Patterson, a spokesperson for the carpenters. "There's no more to give."

The contractors, however, believe the district council prematurely halted discussion. "They called a strike immediately when the contract expired," said Catherine Condon, an advocate for their association. "We were in negotiations and they just took a hard line."

Ms. Condon said settling on a contract is crucial to the survival of the unionized woodworking industry in New York, and blamed the industry's loss of market share on union workers doing jobs for nonunion contractors. "One of the reasons for the [industry's] decline is that union installers have been installing work in Manhattan that is made by nonunion shops," she said. "We are constantly competing with nonunion workers so at the moment we're just trying to get a contract that will make for fair competition in New York."

A consultant to developers in the city said as nonunion contractors have taken on more complicated jobs in the last several years, the carpenters have become increasingly desperate for work, causing some to resort to nonunion gigs, thereby accelerating the trend.

"The union guys have been unable to hold out. They’ve had to put bread on the table, and they’re taking more and more nonunion jobs," said the consultant, who requested anonymity to protect relationships in the industry. "The nonunion labor pool is starting to be very competitive in terms of skills with the union workforce because in many respects, it’s one and the same. It overlaps tremendously now."

Ms. Condon urged the district council to resume contract negotiations and end the strike. "Let the men go back to work," she said. "Let them get paid."

But Mr. Patterson said the strike is necessary despite the financial toll it takes on the workers. "This really hurts [the carpenters'] pockets, but this is the only recourse we have at this point," he said. "We're standing by the phones waiting for [an acceptable contract], but that hasn't come in yet."

For now, both sides are hopeful that the strike will end soon, but neither appears willing to make the next concession. The union said many large construction projects around the city could be halted by the strike, including 4 World Trade Center, General Motors' building on Fifth Avenue and the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle.

"The carpenters walking off can easily shut down an entire contract, because they have so much responsibility, especially with interior work," the consultant said.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Daily Strike Report

From Local 2790

At Island Architectural & Midhattan Woodworking, there are union carpenters who are members of the North East Regional Council who refuse to honor the picket line!

At William Sommerville, there are members of Local 157 & Local 1556 who are installing woodwork from Sommerville right around the corner!

Actions like this only serve to weaken our union and should be frowned upon by every brother and sister member!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Reminder to our Members–Local 157 Voluntary Dental Plan Registration Dates

Rolling Enrollment Continues!!!  Sign up by August 10th to have coverage beginning September 1st. Note: for the PPO option the August 10th date also establishes coverage starting September 1st.

Please mail in your paperwork asap! For the Healthplex DMO and  the Healthplex PPO. 

For more information or questions contact:

Lois Riccobono
Benefits Consultant
(631) 249-0500  Ext. 6385.

NYC Carpenters Strike for Fair Contract

Monday, July 1, 2013


Hundreds of New York City District Council (DC) carpenters went on strike Monday after months of stalled negotiations with one of its largest contractor associations. This strike of more than 350 members will affect major construction projects around New York City and New Jersey.

“Nobody wants a strike, especially during the celebration of our country’s independence, but if we concede any further it would be detrimental to all of our members and their families,” said Stephen McInnis, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

The tipping point was the association’s demand for drastic wage and benefit cuts.

The Manufacturing Woodworkers Association of Greater New York (MWA), which employs union members from various District Council locals, demands a wage freeze and a second-tier employee system with lower wages and benefits.

The DC made a number of concessions to the MWA, both before and during negotiations.

The MWA’s unreasonable position isn’t good faith bargaining, according to union officials. “It’s bleeding a turnip.”

This work stoppage directly impacts more than 350 hard working New Yorkers and their families. Their work includes constructing and installing architectural woodwork and cabinetry, store interiors and fixtures, display and exhibit equipment, and architectural metal products.

Certain construction projects at 4 World Trade Center, the General Motors building on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street and the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle could be potentially halted if the workers remain on strike.

On average, members covered by this MWA contract make approximately $31 per hour with benefits. The council has started a strike fund and an assistance hotline to help its members who are now out of work.

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


At 6am this morning the carpenters working in the twelve MWA shops went on strike.