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.

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