July 11, 2007

NYC contractors, unions urge three strikes policy for safety violations

NYC contractors, unions urge three strikes policy for safety violations

"Coletti noted: Construction in NYC is becoming a 'Tale of Two Cities,' contractors who follow the rules and those who don't. Construction fatalities and accidents do not discriminate between union and non-union jobs, but we can't escape the fact that, according to federal government statistics, 86% of deaths occur on non-union sites."

July 9, 2007

St. James contractor evades taxes on illegal labor

"The plea by Jay Kuhn, the head of Kuhn Brothers Construction of St. James, is just the start of a large-scale federal investigation into illegal practices in the construction industry on Long Island that cheat the government out of tax revenue, according to sources familiar with the investigation."

Sizing up impact of first IRS bust of LI employer


Selling out workers' safety

Selling out workers' safety

"A 2007 New York study of the city's housing industry claims that more than two-thirds of the residential workforce is no longer treated as employees, split between so-called independent contractors and those who are off the books. These workers are not covered by the most basic labor laws such as overtime, unemployment, and workers compensation and will never be eligible for Social Security."

See how 1099 abuse costs every taxpayer & honest employer

Boston Globe
By Mark Erlich 

July 3, 2007

Fight for UNION work at 48th & 8th!!!

Hardhats face off in West Side rumble

"Construction workers squared off on a midtown street yesterday after a nonunion laborer backed a cement mixer into a crowd of protesting union workers, police and witnesses said." --Daily News


June 29, 2007

Southwest Regional's future headquarter

Regional carpenters union buys $9M plot for new headquarters

"A resurgence in the use of union labor in the construction industry finds the carpenters union preparing to build a training center and headquarters in Albuquerque that will give it much more visibility."

- New Mexico Business Weekly by Tom O'Connell

June 27, 2007

NYC: Danger & ripoffs are on the rise

How hot construction biz brings a black market, scams & deaths

"The biggest building boom in more than 30 years has spawned a cadre of scofflaw developers in every borough who routinely violate building codes, flout zoning regulations and ignore basic construction safety, a Daily News investigation shows."

"Hiring workers off the books shifts costs to taxpayers and law-abiding contractors and gives unscrupulous builders an unfair competitive advantage, especially in contracts awarded to the lowest bidder."

June 26, 2007

Executive Pay Attacked

Soaring Executive Pay Attacked by Shareholder Activists

In this spring’s round of corporate annual meetings, the Carpenters Union led an effort to clamp down on performance metric gamesmanship. The Carpenters and allied groups pushed a resolution asking corporate boards to benchmark their performance standards against competing firms. The goal: no windfalls for executives whose companies fail to beat their competitors.

Employee Free Choice Act Killed!

H.R. 800: Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 killed by Republicans!

The Senate took up the Employee Free Choice Act (S.1041). 51 Senators stood up for workers’ rights! However, 60 votes were needed to proceed on the bill at this time.

Track the Bill


June 16, 2007

Steward Admits Taking Bribe : (

Carpenters’ Shop Steward Admits Taking Bribe

On Fri., June 15, before Magistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman, former NYC District Council steward David Veltri pled guilty to charges of aiding and abetting the embezzlement of an employee benefit plan by accepting a bribe of at least $8,000 in return for leaving Union Carpenters off his steward reports for a Tri-Built Construction Inc. job in Brooklyn. The offense occurred from January through May 2004. Sentencing has been set for 9/15/2007 before U.S. District Judge William Pauley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. --ubcyes.com

Veltri Plea Press Release

May 20, 2007

Carpenter Unions And Technology

Carpenters Union using email and txt-ing to mobilize members

The Business Journal reports that the carpenters union for Seattle and Portland are using text-messaging and email to mobilize their folks before some big contract negotiations.

April 15, 2007

Terry Nelson hammers at other unions' attitude

Carpenters leader hammers at other unions' attitude

Terry Nelson didn't get to be executive secretary-treasurer of the 22,000-member Carpenters' District Council of Greater St. Louis by hiding his light under a bushel. At times he can be brash and provocative, and he peppers his conversation with one curse word after another. Nelson also can be tender and gentle and has a sentimental streak. He cares passionately about the future of the St. Louis area and its economic place in the global marketplace. On Thursday, he flew to China to visit Shanghai and Beijing, two cities where the carpenters' pension fund has invested its members' retirement funds. Nelson began this interview by explaining his two guiding principles: never fear failure and always do the right thing.

March 3, 2007

Latinos' job injuries are often crippling

Latinos' job injuries are often crippling

"We hear horror stories all the time," said Jimmy Gibbs, director of special projects for the Southeastern Carpenters Regional Council Local 225, which represents 1,500 workers, roughly 20 percent of whom are Latino. Gibbs said injuries are down among his union's members, primarily because of bilingual training. But that may not always be the case industrywide.

Demolition Work To Begin Next Week On Atlantic Yards Project

Demolition Work To Begin Next Week On Atlantic Yards Project

The job will begin with the removal of hazardous substances like asbestos, which is expected to take two to three weeks.

February 28, 2007

Vegas struggles to meet construction demand

Workers can demand -- and get -- signing bonuses, housing assistance and relocation expenses

Southern Nevada's building boom has stretched its construction workforce paper-thin, causing contractors to compete for top talent, including project managers, engineers and superintendents. Demand for skilled help has also resulted in everything from out-of-state recruiting and signing bonuses, to flex hours and 401(k)s.

UBCYES.COM: Celebrations 2/2007

Honors to Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Dudas of Lancaster on the celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary.

The occasion was commemorated with a family vacation at Peak 'N Peak and a gathering of family and friends in their daughter's home. Maryann (nee Douglas) is retired from M&T Bank. Mr. Dudas is a retired Union Carpenter. The couple has seven children and 16 grandchildren.

Happy upcoming first wedding anniversary to June and Ray Butler.

June, 76, is a retired banker from Butler, NJ. Ray, 73, is a retired member of the UBC's New York City District Council. June has three children, four grandchildren; Raymond has two living children, one deceased son, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Their previous spouses are deceased. Both are active in their church and enjoy dancing, canasta, traveling and getting to know one another. They are making their home in McMichaels, Pennsylvania.

May there be many wonderful years ahead for Kimberly D'Amore and Robert O'Driscoll
who recently announced their engagement. The future bride is a registered nurse at Richmond University Medical Center, West Brighton. The bridegroom-to-be has a bachelor of science degree in telecommunications from St. John's University, Grymes Hill. He is a Union Carpenter with Local 608, Manhattan. An April 2008 wedding is being planned.

Deal in Albany Overhauls Pay for Worker Aid

After years of stalemates and false starts, New York leaders yesterday announced a far-reaching deal to overhaul the state’s much-criticized workers’ compensation system by significantly increasing the weekly benefits that go to injured workers while cracking down on employers who cheat the system.

Lawmakers have long described the workers’ compensation system in New York as an unfathomable mess, with insurance premiums that are among the nation’s highest even while worker benefits are very low.

Edwards: unions need to start organizing internationally

Presidential candidate John Edwards has been in town and today met with the heads of the service employees union and an anti-poverty group.

February 21, 2007

Construction workers endure high rates of death, injury

Construction workers endure high rates of death, injury

ST. PAUL - More workers are killed on construction jobs than in any other occupation, according to the latest workplace fatality figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

February 20, 2007

Forum: Union Corruption @ Gotham Center

On the Take: Labor Union Corruption in New York City, Past, Present, Future

Recent scandals are the jumping off point for this forum, in which the new head of the city's Central Labor Council and distinguished scholars ask: How pervasive has labor corruption been in New York City? What has caused it? How does it compare to (or connect with) corruption in business and politics? What has been its impact on Gotham's economy and polity? What to do about it? An important and provocative evening with Ed Ott, Executive Director, New York City Central Labor Council, AFL/CIO; Mike Merrill, Dean, Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies, Empire State College; Robert Fitch, author, Solidarity for Sale; and James Jacobs, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice, New York University School of Law, author, Mobsters, Unions, and Feds: The Mafia and the American Labor Movement.

February 26th, 6:30 - Ninth Floor

The History Forum is free. Seating is limited. Admittance will be on a first come, first served basis, no reservations.
Unless otherwise noted, all forums take place at the
CUNY GRADUATE CENTER - 365 5th Avenue at 34th Street.

Construction Begins On Atlantic Yards Project

Construction Begins On Atlantic Yards Project

The Atlantic Yards redevelopment project has been the subject of a lot of debate, but it is now finally the subject of some construction.

February 17, 2007

Carpenters Support Full Funding of the Northwest Forest Plan

Carpenters Support Full Funding of the Northwest Forest Plan

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) today applauded the decision to fully fund the Northwest Forest Plan as part of the President's Fiscal Year 2008 Budget request for the U.S. Forest Service.

Carpenter Union backs Oregon immigrant against deportation

Union backs Oregon immigrant against deportation

The image of construction workers opposing illegal immigration as job threats is taking a different spin in the case of Jose Alfredo Cobin, who could be deported after an immigration hearing on Tuesday.

February 10, 2007

Record Low Temps Sock NYC, Outside Workers

Record Low Temps Sock NYC, Outside Workers

With wind gusts in the 20-30 mph range, it felt 20-30 degrees colder, making life miserable for residents who had to work outside.

Implementation of Scaffold Task Force Recommendations

Mayor Introduces Plan Aimed At Improving High Rise Workers Safety

As building projects in the city increase, so have worker deaths. Mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced a new $6 million plan Wednesday to increase training, break down language barriers between workers and contractors and regulate the suspended scaffolding industry.

City Aims to Protect Scaffold Workers by Enhancing Enforcement, Worker Outreach and Training

February 5, 2007

A look at the "coalition" of 2007.

A look at the "coalition" of 2007.

As union members, we must be aware of this menacing factor in our industry. Interesting...nowhere in this NY Times article is any mention of the safety hazards presented by the non-union labor.

According to press release by Building Trade Employers’ Association’s (BTEA) annual safety conference held at the Hilton New York in Nov. 2006...

"86% of All NYC Fatalities Occur on Sites Employing Non-Union Labor"

Recent Construction Related Accidents

Construction Worker Hospitalized After Fall

A construction worker was hospitalized Friday after falling 20 feet from a work site at 16th Street between 10th and 11th Avenue in Chelsea.

Welder Critical After 30 Foot Fall in Brooklyn

Construction Worker Rescued From 20-Foot Hole @ 65th street and Second Avenue

Construction Worker Dies After Fall In The Bronx

N.J. man gets U.B.C post

Frank Spencer, 56, of Haddonfield, will be in charge of 120,000 union carpenters in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region, from Maine to West Virginia.

The New Jersey union leader managed to negotiate a five-year deal with the famously union-averse Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will become a vice president of the national United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

January 22, 2007



• Furlough period is 10 weeks to begin 1/1/2007, with a requirement that each employee’s first furlough period must be at least six consecutive weeks.

• Over a four week period beginning 1/2/2007, each employer with ten or more “A” journeypersons will furlough 15% of their total “A” journeypersons and replace them with an unemployed journeyperson.

January 18, 2007

Nets' Future Brooklyn Home To Be Called Barclays Arena

Nets' Future Brooklyn Home To Be Called Barclays Arena

The Nets and Forest City Ratner Companies announced Thursday that London-based Barclays Bank has agreed to a deal for the naming rights of the planned arena in the Atlantic Yards project for Downtown Brooklyn.

January 14, 2007

NYC Contractors Allegedly Defrauded Carpenters Union

Two contractors have been indicted for participating in an 11-year scheme to defraud the carpenters union benefit funds
by using non-union labor, paying union carpenters off the books and bribing shop stewards and an employee of the union benefit funds to assist in the fraud!



One-fifth of Union Activists Illegally Fired During Unionization Campaigns

About 1 in 5 union organizers or activists can expect to be fired as a result of their union organizing, according to a new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

The paper, “Dropping the Ax: Illegal Firings During Union Election Campaigns,” by John Schmitt and Ben Zipperer, finds a steep rise in illegal firings of pro-union workers in recent years.

December 26, 2006

Job market shifting in construction industry

As building of homes slows down, commercial real estate picks up slack

Although residential construction continues to grow, the pace of employment expansion in the housing sector is a fraction of what it was earlier this year.

However, nonresidential sectors are poised to pick up the baton, a welcome development for construction workers who otherwise might have lost jobs tied to residential realty.

By George Avalos,

December 25, 2006

Brian McLaughlin

The Sinner Within

How Brian McLaughlin betrayed the labor movement and conned us all
by Tom Robbins
Village Voice

From Wikipedia

December 11, 2006

Atlantic Yards foes pin hopes on pol

Atlantic Yards foes pin hopes on pol

Opponents of Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn are hoping that the "Silver bullet" can strike for a third time and at least delay the 22-acre, $4.2 billion megadevelopment.

By Michael Clancy
amNewYork City Editor

Labor Presses for Measure to Ease Unionizing

Labor Presses for Measure to Ease Unionizing

Claiming a major role in the Democrats’ victory last month, labor leaders are pressing Congressional Democrats to enact a measure to make it easier for workers to unionize.

New York Times
Published: December 8, 2006

December 10, 2006



Workers yesterday began taking apart the black-shrouded, ruined Deutsche Bank AG skyscraper that has languished above Ground Zero since 9/11.


Annie Leibovitz & the Times Building

Photographer Annie Leibovitz & the Times Building

"With our skyline forested with cranes, it’s a good time to be a construction worker. Workers at the 52-story New York Times Building, rising across from the Port Authority, are practically celebrities: The developer hired superstar photographer Annie Leibovitz to spend her mornings shooting them. Ironworkers Teddy Noller and Cyril Stapleton and ironworker apprentice Brandon Gonzales (pictured left) sat down with Arianne Cohen."

By Arianne Cohen
New York Magazine

Union protests labor practice

Union carpenters assulated

Two union carpenters are pursuing assault charges against a Braintree condo developer who they say pushed them off the sidewalk, yelled racial insults at them, and ripped a sign from their hands as they picketed his project late last month.

By Robert Knox
Boston Globe

Risky business: Only the best need apply

Risky business: Only the best need apply

Three generations of Cook Inlet construction divers say the dangers of the job bind them like family

By Melissa Campbell
Alaska Journal of Commerce

Fatal Construction Accidents in the City Rise Sharply Over 12 Months

Fatal Construction Accidents in the City Rise Sharply Over 12 Months

"Of the 28 incidents in which the 29 workers were killed, 19 involved companies with 10 or fewer workers and 21 involved workers who were immigrants or had limited English proficiency and 24 involved nonunionized workers."

New York Times
Published: November 22, 2006