Sunday, June 30, 2013

Nailing down a contract: Carpenters’ strike would affect WTC, other construction sites

Unless a last-minute breakthrough occurs in stalled contract talks, 350 cabinetmakers and wood installers will go on strike — affecting about a dozen commercial construction sites around New York City.

Stephen McInnis, president of the District Council of Carpenters, which represents Local 2790, said the union agreed to a 10-year-deal with wage negotiations possible in the third and seventh years, but that it wouldn’t budge on benefits. He said it was not fair to retroactively change the benefits structure for workers already on the job for 15, 20 or 30 years.

By Ginger Adams Otis / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

The carpenters union in New York plans to put the screws to a group of construction contractors by walking off job sites Monday, the Daily News has learned.

Unless a last-minute breakthrough occurs in stalled contract talks, 350 cabinetmakers and wood installers will go on strike — affecting about a dozen commercial construction sites around the city.

“We made them an offer they can live with, and they made us an offer we have to refuse,” said Stephen McInnis, president of the District Council of Carpenters, which represents Local 2790.

Projects at 4 World Trade Center, the General Motors building on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street and the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle will halt if the workers go on strike, along with many others.

The union’s been trying to hammer out a deal with the Manufacturing Woodworkers Association for more than a year, McInniss said.

The Association wants the high-end cabinetmakers and wood installers of Local 2790 to agree to a 10-year wage freeze at the current rate of $31.24, as well as greatly reduced benefits.

McInnis said the union agreed to a 10-year-deal with wage negotiations possible in the third and seventh years — but it wouldn’t budge on benefits.

“I need a proposal I can get ratified. If I went to the membership with this, it wouldn’t pass,” he said.

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.

McInnis said it was not fair to retroactively change the benefits structure for workers already on the job — although the union is open to making changes for new hires.

“Some of these guys have 15, 20 or 30 years on the job, you can’t go in now and fundamentally change how their benefits accrue,” he said.

The 350 members of Local 2790 voted Thursday night to go out on strike if necessary.

Lawyers for the MWA tried to obtain an emergency temporary restraining order against the union over the weekend, but a judge denied their request.

The District Council said it would alert its other construction locals to the problems with MWA.

“This will be an economic strike, and I anticipate a very favorable response among our members,” McInnis said.

Rebound in NYC construction spending seen

Boom in spending by private sector, especially for residential projects, is expected to drive the total up 6.2% this year and by a whopping 17% next year—to a point just 2% below the peak in 2007 in real terms.

BY MATT CHABAN

Construction spending is expected to reach $32 billion this year, according to the New York City Building Congress.
If the construction sites roaring to life across the city weren't sign enough, a new report not only confirms that New York's construction market is again booming, but goes on to forecast that by next year construction activity should approach levels not seen since the boom in 2007.

Construction spending is expected to reach $32 billion this year, according to the New York City Building Congress. That is a 6.2% increase over last year. Next year construction spending is predicted soar by 17% next year, to $37.3 billion. That is just 2% below spending levels in 2007, when adjusted for inflation.

"It's amazing, because this recovery is being driven by the private sector, which we had not expected," said Building Congress president Richard Anderson.

Leading that charge is a remarkable rebound in residential construction, which is expected to build 13,800 units this year and 16,900 next year. That is up from 11,000 last year and a sclerotic 6,000 units at the depths of the recession in 2009. And the dollars being pumped into the economy are more, as well, since developers are taking on more expensive and complicated high-rise projects. Residential spending will reach $6 billion this year and $8 billion next—more than four times the $2.3 billion spent in 2010.

This means not only good news for New Yorkers desperately seeking apartments but also construction workers, who had long been out of work. And yet residential construction has not quite reached pre-recession levels, when 30,000 units were being built a year for four consecutive years, from 2004 to 2007.

"I don't think it's a bubble because you're seeing strength in a number of sectors," Mr. Anderson said.

Construction employment across all sectors is expected to reach 120,000 jobs this year, up from 115,000 last year, while 10,000 more jobs are predicted to be added next year.

Another important factor is institutional work, which has been strong the past few years as hospitals, universities and other private universities have continued to expand. Commercial construction, of offices, hotels and retail spaces, continues to grow, as well, as the economy in general, and the tourist economy in particular, strengthens. Overall, non-residential private spending will grow 38% this year, to $13.5 billion, from $9.8 billion, and it will expand a further $2 billion next year, according to projections.

The one weak spot is government work, though even it has remained stronger than expected. In 2009 and 2010, the industry was woefully dependent on public sector work, which accounted for nearly two-thirds of all projects. Now, at $12.4 billion in 2013 spending, it has fallen to 40% of the market. Last year, public spending was $15.1 billion. There is some anticipated growth in 2014, to $13.8 billion.

The latest construction estimates are the mid-year update of the New York Building Congress' annual Construction Outlook, which is released in October, and it shows significant promise because the numbers have been upgraded significantly from previous estimates, when construction was predicted to only reach $30.2 billion, about $1.8 billion below the new estimate. Furthermore, the market was expected to contract in 2014, to $29.1 billion, rather than the new estimate of $37.3 billion.

Mr. Anderson credits the city itself. "I think fundamentally, it's New York," he said. "There's a lot of confidence in the future of the city. People are living here, they're buying here, they're working here, institutions are investing. People are putting money into the city because they believe in the city."

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Certified Results of Local Union 157 Delegate Election

Pursuant to Section 18 of the NYCDCC bylaws please find the credentials of the recently elected delegates to the NYCDCC.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER

John Daly                                                     

TRIAL COMMITTEE MEMBER

Robert Corrigan                                           

DELEGATES

Bernard Brady                                                         
Paul Capurso                                                
Thomas McKeon                                          
Cory Kennedy                                                         
Joseph Connolly                                           
Gerald Matthews                                         
Mitchell Sonntag                                          
Kevin Corrigan                                            
Gregory Kelty                                              
Bill Walsh                                                    
John DeFalco                                               
John Carty                                                    
Gerard Hanrahan                                        
Peter Corrigan                                              
Levy Messinetti                                           
Patrick Nee                                                  
William McKenna                                        
Daniel Dore                                                  
Kevin McCabe                                             
Philip Ficarra                                                
Robert Toal                                                  
Michael Griffin                                            
Kevin Egan                                                  
Anthony Casselano                                      
Sean O’Neill                                                
Robert Corrigan                                           
Donald Foley                                               
Thomas Kineavy                                          
George Rodriguez                                        
Oliver Christopher                                       
Jesse Drake                                                  
John Dunscomb                                           
Charles McNally                                          
John Paulsen                                                
James Noonan                                              
Vincent McGuire                                         
Michael Leonard                                          
Michael Murphy                                           
Shane Toner                                                 
Patrick Smolka                                             
Jesse Kirchoff                                              
William Davenport                                       
Dwayne Delaurentis                                    
George Wyman                                            
Charles Cano                                                
Matthew Tangredi            

Important Message from the EST

Be advised, the New York City District Council of Carpenters have authorized a strike against the Manufacturing Woodworkers Association of Greater New York (MWA). Unless the MWA management agrees to a new, fair contract on or before June 30, 2013, the strike will start on Monday morning, July 1, 2013. All MWA shops will be struck, which cover half our Local 2790 members as well as MWA install jobs in Locals 20, 45, 157, and 926's jurisdiction.

These hard working members have already endured cuts to contract terms for a year due to an arbitration ruling. Now the MWA is asking to cut even deeper. We are still hoping for an acceptable agreement, but if one is not reached the DC will be on strike on July 1, against the MWA.

Attached you will find Shops locations.

Stay informed and look for more updates at www.nycdistrictcouncil.com.

Letters to BCA & CAGNY regarding Strike July 1 2013 
List of companies we’re striking 
List of picket locations and Biz rep contacts

Monday, June 24, 2013

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the District Council and the GCA

MOA along with 2006-11 CBA between the District Council and the General Contractors Association of New York (GCA) covering Dockbuilders. Click here for Memorandum of Agreement.

Emergency Local Meeting MWA Update!

At the local meeting tonight, EST Steven McInnis and Vice President Michael Cavanaugh will be in attendance to address the 2790 Membership on the current MWA negotiation status. Current contract expires June 30, 2013. This meeting is extremely important so we recommend attending if you can.

Meeting starts at 6pm Knights of Columbus, 4918 Queens Blvd. Woodside, NY 11377. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

REPLY MEMORANDUM OF LAW OF MICHAEL BILELLO IN SUPPORT OF HIS PETITION TO VACATE THE VETO OF THE REVIEW OFFICER

Mr. Bilello respectfully submits this reply memorandum of law in support of his petition to vacate the Veto of his continued service as EST, issued by the RO on April 29, 2013.

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT – As discussed below, the RO’s Memorandum in Opposition  is marred by several fundamental legal and logical flaws, which when corrected, underscore the compelling need for relief in this matter. As an initial matter, the context of this Veto is of singular importance: Mr. Bilello was elected by the rank and tile in a successful democratic process that the Order, at its core, is in place to promote. His service has been tireless, honest and productive for the union°s members. Respectfully, it does not advance the interests served by the Order for the “RO process” and its judicial review to countenance unreasonable and unsupported charges, as here, all of which were addressable through reasonable dialogue, rather than the drastic action of veto, and one of which was required by the Order to be addressed through a Court hearing, on notice, not by RO fiat. We accordingly respectfully request that this Court reverse the Veto in the interests of democratic union process; the promotion of respect for law (which the RO’s position herein undermines in two important respects); and to bring reasonable proportion to a set of over-caffeinated and defective charges that should never have required this Court’s time and focus in the first place.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Local 157 Election Results

Members Voice 157 wins majority of delegate seats!  With a total of 1484 votes cast, Members Voice easily beat Carpenters Alliance slate. You needed a minimum of 540 votes to win a delegate seat, only Paul Capurso, Tom Mc Keon, and Cory Kennedy from Carpenters Alliance won seats.  Members Voice John Daly won and remains Executive Committee member.

BCA Signs Off on July 1 Implementation of CBA Wage & Benefit Increases

BCA signs off on July 1 implementation of new collective bargaining agreement providing for wage and benefit increases effective that date totaling $4.53 per hour, with the next raise of $2.40 per hour accelerated by nearly three weeks to be effective on August 20. These dates were approved by the Delegate Body at its June 12 meeting. Click to read letter from BCA.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Congratulations – Members Voice 157 Wins!

Members Voice 157 wins 37 Delegate seats!

With 1484 votes cast, Members Voice easily beat Carpenters Alliance slate , only Paul Capurso, Tom Mc Keon, and Cory Kennedy from Carpenters Alliance won Delegate seats.  Members Voice John Daly won and remains Executive Committee member.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Vote Members Voice

Sunday, June 16, 2013

MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN RESPONSE TO THE PETITION OF MICHAEL BILELLO

On April 29, 2013, the Review Officer vetoed the position of Michael Bilello as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New York City District Council of Carpenters ("District Council"), based on five findings supported by the Declaration of his Chief Investigator Jack Mitchell; the Mitchell Declaration detailed evidence including interviews and documents and was further supported by exhibits, including the declarations of others. This memorandum is submitted in response to Mr. Bilello's petition challenging the veto.

The veto should be upheld. The veto was a proper exercise of the RO's authority under Paragraph 5.b.iii of the Stipulation and Order entered in United States v. District Council of New York City and Vicinity of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, et al., 90 Civ. 5722 (RMB), on June 3, 2010. It should be affirmed under the applicable standard of review as the RO's findings are plainly reasonable and supported by substantial evidence in the record as a whole and consistent with the law, as discussed below. See United States v. District Council, et al. (Nee), 2012 WL 5236577, at *5 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 23, 2012); see also United States v. District Council, et al. (Passero), Decision and Order at 4 (S.D.N.Y. June 5, 2013).

Friday, June 14, 2013

Do you believe the Balls!

Delegate Body Approves $1.93 Per Hour Wage Increase to Begin July 1,2013

The New York City District Council of Carpenters’ Delegate Body on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 ratified by a roll call vote a $1.93 per hour wage increase to begin July 1, 2013 for the members working under the following collective bargaining agreements.

Building Contractors Association (BCA) Independent Building and Construction Agreement The Association of Wall-Ceiling and Carpentry Industries (WC&C)

Carpenters working under these agreements accounted for approximately 9.7 Million Hours of work within the past 12 months, and we look forward to breaking the 10 Million hour mark as more carpenters will be going to work.

Additionally, another $2.40 per hour increase will be allocated on August 20, 2013.

This follows the May 22 decision in which the delegate body overwhelmingly ratified by a roll call vote the new BCA agreement providing a nearly 11% wage and benefit increase over the life of the contract.

The wage and benefit package will rise to $94.36 on July 1, 2014, from a current level of $85.03.

The NYCDCC Executive Committee and the BCA reached a tentative agreement in February. Judge Berman approved the manning provisions of the BCA agreement on June 12.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Status Report to Judge Berman

Status Report –First Thirty-Day Compliance Report Regarding Electronic Job Reporting Under the Association of Wall-Ceiling & Carpentry Industries of New York CBA.

Friday, June 7, 2013

EST June 2013 Town Hall

The following is video of the EST forum held June 3, 2013.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Decision and Order––Passero Appeal is denied

On February 12, 2013 we reported that Review Office Dennis Walsh vetoed Joseph Passero as President of Local 1556. Last March, Passero sent a letter to to Judge Berman requesting judicial review of the veto. 

Today, the Court issued its decision and wrote: "The decision to veto Passero as President of Local Union 1556 was within the RO's broad mandate and authority. (Stip. & Order at 3 ("[T]he presence and activity of an independent court-appointed officer. .. are essential to the eradication of corruption and racketeering as they affect union carpenters and union employers.").) The RO has broad authority to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by officers, members and trustees and to review and veto persons currently holding office or employment. (Stip. & Order 5.a, 5.bj, iii); see also Dist. Council of New York City, 2012 WL 5236577, at *5; Inri Bhd. Of Teamsters, 970 F. 2d at 1137 (The Court "must give 'great deference' to the decisions of' a court-appointed officer.); Dist. Council of New York City, 2010 WL 5297747, at *8 (The RO's powers are "broad and should be so construed.")."

Members Voice 157 Fund Raiser

Members Voice 157 Fund Raiser— Thursday June 6, at 4:30 Slatterys Midtown Pub, 8 East 36 Street & 5 Ave.

Brothers and Sisters come out and help support Members Voice 157, this may be the last opportunity we get to stop the wholesale sellout of our hard working members by the CONTRACTORS ALLIANCE.



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Sixth Interim Report Of The Review Officer

Review Officer Dennis Walsh has issued his Sixth Interim Report, (with exhibits) the report contains numerous items of interest and is a must read for all members.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

NLRB Notice to Employees