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News on Monthly Dues Posted by on

At the January 31, 2018 meeting, the Council Executive Board voted to pay 6 months of Local Union dues for all Active members who are in good standing as of March 31, 2018.

This action will pay your 2018 dues from April through September. If you have already paid your dues for all of or part of 2018, your dues will be credited 6 months going forward from your last month paid.

The Council Executive Board was able to grant this dues holiday as a result of the cost savings attained through the consolidation of our Locals.

Members in Billerica get a win Posted by on

Congratulations to union carpenters in Billerica, Mass! Monday, members attended a meeting where a Responsible Employer Ordinance was passed that will allow the town to stop construction on projects where basic laws are being violated.

Union carpenters Matthew Corum, Tyler Tranni, James Kwedor, Scott Linstrom and Ismael Vicente (pictured, with Carpenters Local Union 339 Representative Kevin Kelley) were among the Billerica residents who attended the meeting. Thanks to them for coming out to make a difference in their community!

The ordinance passed by a 4-1 vote, with one member of the Planning Board abstaining. It prohibits contractors debarred in the past three years; prohibits contractors found to be in violation of workers comp, misclassification, payroll taxes, income taxes prompt payment, prevailing wage and other wage and hour laws. It requires contractors to carry required workers' comp insurnce; properly classify workers as employees, not independent contractors; and comply with the Massachusetts Health Care Reform law.

Rather than rely on multiple state or federal agencies to react, the ordinance gives the town authority to suspend a project's building permit.

"If any person or entity that is subject to the foregoing fails to comply with any of the qualifications and conditions with respect to work on the project, this Permit shall be deemed temporarily suspended and all construction work on the entire project shall cease immediately upon issuance of a stop work order until further notice.”

By suspending the building permit, general contractors and construction managers are not able to skirt responsibility for the subcontractors they hire for their projects.

New Year, New Locals, New Meeting Times! Posted by on

Carpenters Local 326
1st Wednesday, 5:30 PM
Middletown Elks Crystal Ballroom, 44 Maynard Street, Middletown, CT

Carpenters Local 327

Last Wednesday, 5:00 PM
Florian Hall, 55 Hallet Street, Dorchester, MA

Carpenters Local 328
3rd Thursday, 5:00 PM

VFW, 114 Mystic Ave, Medford, MA

Carpenters Local 330

3rd Wednesday, 7:00 PM

14 Jefferson Park Road, Warwick, RI

Carpenters Local 336

3rd Thursday, 5:30 PM

Alternating locations: Italian American Club, 26 Dewey Road, Shrewsbury, MA and Knights of Columbus, 460 Granby Road, Chicopee, MA.

January in Shrewsbury, February in Chicopee, March in Shrewsbury, and so on through the year.

Carpenters Local 339

2nd Thursday, 5:00 PM

Shriners Auditorium, 99 Fordham Road, Wilmington, MA

Carpenters Local 346

2nd Monday, 6:00 PM

American Legion Hall, 821 South Main Street, Sharon, MA

Commercial Carpenters Local 349

2nd Wednesday, 6:00 PM at the Maine, NH and Vermont Local Union Halls

Maine: 65 Rainmaker Drive, Portland, ME

New Hampshire: 920 Candia Road, Manchester, NH

Vermont 5 Gregory Drive, S. Burlington, VT

Interior Systems Carpenters Local 352

3rd Wednesday, 5:30 PM at the Maine, NH and Vermont Local Union Halls

Maine: 65 Rainmaker Drive, Portland, ME

New Hampshire: 920 Candia Road, Manchester, NH

Vermont: 5 Gregory Drive, Burlington, VT

Important Fund Office Announcement Posted by on

The New England Carpenters Benefit Funds (NECBF) is distributing information about its upcoming merger with the Connecticut and Rhode Island funds in January. A letter and an FAQ (list of frequently asked questions) is being mailed to members. They are also available online here.

NECBF is committed to providing--and helping you understand--the best benefits in our industry. Your benefits. In addition to the information in the letter and the FAQ, changes will be discussed at upcoming local union meetings. Members are also encouraged to call with any questions they have. You can continue to call the fund office that has served always served you:
New England Carpenters Benefit Funds--800-344-1515
Connecticut State Carpenters Benefit Funds--800-922-6026
Rhode Island State Carpenters Benefit Funds--401-467-6813

Union Carpenter Volunteers Team Up with Heart 9/11 Posted by on

Brother Manny Gines is working with Heart 9/11 to coordinate members interested in volunteering their skills to help in Puerto Rico. Following Hurricane Maria, many are living in homes that leave them exposed to rain and other elements. Volunteers will be repairing tin roofs and installing tarps on roofs for temporary protection until FEMA provides long-term repairs and support.

Volunteers will travel to Puerto Rico for a week at a time, either from Wednesday through Tuesday or Monday through Sunday. Airfare will be provided and volunteers will room in rented houses with showers and meals made provided. Typical workdays are 7a-3:30pm.

Members interested should read and complete all documents below, forwarding them to Brother Gines at or by fax to Manny's attention at 508-752-6714. If you have any questions, please email Manny at

Click here to fill out the initial volunteer form.

Flu Season is Here Posted by on

​Carpenters, Jared Allen, Commodore Builders Team Up To Build Home for Wounded Warrior Posted by on

Carpenters, Jared Allen, Commodore Builders Team Up To Build Home for Wounded Warrior

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is proud to announce its partnership with Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors, Commodore Builders and other sponsors in the construction of a new home for United States Army Corporal Paul Skarinka and his wife, Jennifer, and their two children in Hanson, Massachusetts.

A ceremonial groundbreaking for the project is being held Monday, October 16 at 8:15 am at 684 State Street in Hanson.

Corporal Skarinka was eight months into his first tour with the U.S. Army when his unit came under enemy fire outside of Baghdad on September 13, 2004. Suffering a severed artery and serious damage to his left arm and leg from a rocket-propelled grenade, Corporal Skarinka has undergone 22 surgeries as well as amputation of his left leg and partial amputation of his left arm.

Corporal Skarinka currently works as an EMT/paramedic with the Plympton Fire Department and Brewster Ambulance Service. He and his family live in a home they won in Bridgewater, but it is not handicap accessible or conducive to his needs as a recent amputee. His new home will be fully handicap accessible and tailored to his injuries.

“Union carpenters are honored to be a part of this project, assisting a family and an individual who has given so much for our country,” said Tom Flynn, executive secretary-treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. “We like to put our skills and our tools to good work and we know from our union’s experience across the country with Jared Allen’s Home for Wounded Warriors how effective his team is at coordinating these construction projects.”

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters represents more than 18,000 trades workers employed by more than 1,200 general contractors and subcontractors. Because many members are serving or have served in the U.S. military, a strong bond has always existed between the Carpenters union and the soldiers who protect our freedoms. The union is an active participant in the Helmets to Hardhats program, which connects military service veterans training and career opportunities as they transition from active duty and union carpenters frequently donate their time and skills for projects that benefit veterans or active service personnel.

Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors was formed by the four-time National Football League “All-Pro” defensive end in October of 2009. Then with the Carolina Panthers, Allen had just returned home from a USO trip to U.S. military bases in the Middle East. Moved by the commitment, dedication, and sacrifices that our soldiers make every day to protect our freedom, he wanted to say thank you to every soldier in the only way that he knew how. The mission of Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors is to raise money to build and remodel handicap accessible homes to suit the individual needs of our injured United States military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Commodore Builders is a general contractor and construction manager that has been signatory with the Carpenters union for many years. They are a certified Massachusetts Veteran Business Enterprise. Founder and CEO Joe Albanese joined the United States Navy after graduating college and retired as a Captain from the United States Navy Civil Engineer Corps in 2009, after 28 years of service concurrent with his civilian career. Albanese is the chairman of the New England Center and Home for Veterans.

Local 67 reopens in temporary location Posted by on

Local 67 will reopen for business at
10 AM in a temporary location:

Carpenters Center
750 Dorchester Ave
3rd Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125


Regular business hours will start Wednesday.

Carpenters and Electeds Rally in Cambridge Posted by on

One hundred carpenters got together in Cambridge during their lunch hour for a rally. Joining them were Mayor Denise Simmons, Vice Mayor Marc McGovern, City Councilor Tim Toomey and State Representative Marjorie Decker, all of whom spoke out about the need for contractors to obey the law and respect workers.

Development in Cambridge has been hot, but companies like Callahan and Nauset have landed projects, bringing with them a business model that takes often takes advantage of subcontractors that rely on wage theft, payroll fraud and other tactics used in the underground economy.

"I am not going to tolerate in our city wage exploitation in our city," said Simmons. "Not here, not ever."

The city passed a resolution condemning Callahan and urging them to clean up their act. Yesterday's rally was another action to put contractors and developers proposing projects in Cambridge on notice that treatment of carpenters on their projects being watched and something they should pro-active steps to protect.

State Representative Marjorie Decker showed she knows how the game is played and made it clear she doesn't like it.

"We know it's a great city to do business in. You will make a lot of money doing business here. The materials cost the same, so how do you make your money when you don't pay a prevailing wage, when you misclassify someone? When you misclassify someone, you are STEALING from people's families! You will not get away with this in Cambridge and I will keep fighting for this at the State House."

Protecting our standards is a never-ending fight in every part of our council. Active members and supportive elected officials, like the ones who rallied in Cambridge are essential to any success we hope to achieve.

Labor Day 2017 Posted by on

Brothers and Sisters:

On behalf of the officers and staff of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, I want to wish you a Happy Labor Day. As members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, we take special pride in this day celebrating unions and workers because its founder, Peter J. McGuire, was also the founder of our union.

McGuire founded the UBC in the 1880s against great resistance. Employers, communities and even many carpenters opposed the struggle and ambition of McGuire and early union members. Our union still must overcome similar opposition. Many contractors don't want to pay a decent wage or abuse immigrant workers. We must stand up for ALL carpenters.

Our effort requires all of us to work together. As head of the New England Regional Council, I'm looking at what we do and how we do it to make the most efficient use of our resources. Our staff is constantly assessing the industry and responding to internal needs and external threats.

Sometimes the union makes decisions that, on the surface, don't make sense. I encourage you to learn more about what we're doing by getting more information. Attend union meetings, talk about the union at your job and use union communication outlets on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), email and texting (text nercc to 91990).

There are also direct actions rank-and-file members can take to protect our future.

--Mentor and encourage apprentices and young carpenters who will benefit from your experience and support your retirement. This means both union and unrepresented carpenters.

--Give an honest day's worth of quality work for union contractors who expect that in exchange for agreeing to pay a premium for union carpenters.

--Support ALL carpenters who are cheated out of money or made to work in dangerous conditions by their employers, regardless of their immigration status.

--Join union efforts to shame the contractors working in our region who do not meet area standards on all of their projects.

Thank you for your continued support of the Brotherhood and please enjoy Labor Day.

Tom Flynn

Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Planning for Retirement Seminar - Chicopee, MA Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar "Planning for Retirement" on Saturday, September 19th. The seminar will be held at the Castle of Knights Meeting and Banquet House located at 1599 Memorial Drive in Chicopee, MA,from 8:30-12:00 pm.

Seating is limited, so register early! Members can register online at or by contacting the Seminar Registration Line at 978-253-5101 - Option 2.

Breakfast will be available at 8:00 AM.

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the seminar include:

Choosing your Pension, Annuity and Health Benefit Options

  • Reviewing your eligibility for retirement
  • Customized Pension Benefit calculations
  • Understanding which of our Benefit Plan options fit best with your lifestyle
  • Explore your Annuity Benefit options
  • Explanation of our Retiree Health Benefit Plan
  • Overview of Social Security Benefits

Essentials for Estate Planning

  • Protecting the assets you've accumulated
  • How to plan for the transfer of assets
  • Avoiding probate
  • Keeping your documents current

Callahan Pays Penalty to Settle Lawsuit Alleging Illegal Asbestos Work Posted by on

Callahan Inc. and its consulting partner Axiom Partners settled a case in July alleging that they caused or allowed illegal asbestos work during the construction of the Quincy YMCA. A lawsuit continues against J. Kerrissey Inc. for allegedly not sealing the construction area, workers not wearing protective gear, and more during the demolition process.

According to the lawsuit, the demolition work generated visible clouds of dust and piles of waste material that contained asbestos. Asbestos, if handled improperly, can release fibers into the air, and potentially cause illnesses like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Callahan allegedly endangered the health of workers, citizens, and children who attend the YMCA's day care program.

According to AG Healey, “Companies must ensure construction and demolition work involving asbestos is done safely and legally, and we will take action against those who endanger their workers and local residents.”

Visit to learn more.

Black Women's Equal Pay Day Posted by on

Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. July 31st marks the day when Black women’s earnings finally catch up with what white men made last year. If both started work on January 1, 2016, a black woman would have to work to July 31st 2017 to earn what the man earned by December 31st 2016. That is not right.

We're proud to say this discrepancy does not exist in the Carpenters union. Our collective bargaining agreements set hourly wage rates for apprentice and journey level carpenters. Every person at each level earns the same.

With increasing success, the New England Regional Council of Carpenters is recruiting women to be carpenters and crushing barriers to their success. Our goal is to have 20% of our membership consist of women by the year 2020.

The union difference for black women? Equal pay and a voice on the job. #StatusOfBlackWomen #BlackWomensEqualPay #1u #tradeswomen #20percentby2020 #sistersinthebrotherhood

Who is the Carpenters union? Meet Dan Posted by on

Dan Duffy has been a proud union carpenter for 33 years. He grew up in Brighton, where he learned the trade and where he still lives....and works! Though his retirement is secure, he works to help his sons pay for their education and simply because he enjoys it.

"I enjoy the trade. I’d like to stay with it as long as I can. I like getting up in the morning, building things, and talking to carpenters and other tradespeople. I like working with my hands and working with people who are dedicated to the trade and to the Carpenters union. I’d like to teach apprentices how to do the work properly, watch out for their safety and bring them up in the same standard/fashion that I was brought up in. It’s a good way of life, it’s a good living."

If you'd like to enjoy your career as much as Dan does, learn more about joining the Carpenters union, as either a journey level or apprentice member. Visit for more information.

Easy Dues Pay Posted by on

Mailing a check to pay your dues?

Finding time to stop by the hall?


The union and the benefit funds are helping make paying monthly dues easier. Complete an authorization card by September 30 and you can have next year's monthly dues paid automatically from your vacation check!

Fill the card out just once. Every year, as long as you have a $400 minimum balance, the New England Carpenters Benefit Funds will deduct your monthly dues for the following year from your vacation fund balance and forward them directly to your local union. You'll get the rest of your balance in a check, the same way you always have.

Authorization cards for dues payment from your vacation fund are available from carpenter stewards, local union halls, training centers or the benefit funds office in Wilmington. They can also be downloaded here. Completed cards can be returned to local union halls or the benefit funds office in Wilmington.

NERCC Election Posted by on

Delegates to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters today elected Thomas J. Flynn to serve a four-year term as executive secretary-treasurer of the union. Flynn has been serving in the position since March 1, when he was appointed by the NERCC Executive Board to take over for the retiring Mark Erlich.

"The Flynn Team," nominated by Dave Palmisciano, included the following candidates:

Thomas Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Richard Monarca, President

Brian Richardson, Vice President

Jeff Wolcheski Warden

John Murphy, Conductor

Mynor Perez, Trustee

Paul Lander, Trustee

Joe Byrne, Trustee

Executive Committee

Jack Donahue

Gary DeCosta

John Leavitt

Bruce Lydem

John Cunningham

The only candidate to run against the Flynn slate was Rick Anderson, who nominated himself for a position on the Executive Committee. He received 10 votes, finishing sixth in a race for five positions.

The elected members will serve terms ending in June 2021. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters had awarded dispensation for the New England Regional Council to move the election of officers to June from September of this year.

The board will include three members that were not previously elected. Jeff Wolcheski and Joe Byrne ran and were elected for the first time. Mynor Perez was also elected. He had previously been appointed to fill a position left open when Erlich retired.

In anticipation of his retirement, Dave Palmisciano did not run for re-election to the board. He was the last remaining member of the board who had served since the council's formation in 1996. Al Peciaro also did not seek re-election. Formerly the director of contractor relations, he left the council last month to take a position with a union contractor.

Flynn is the fifth person to serve as executive secretary-treasurer of the New England Council since the regional governing body was formed in 1996, following David Dow (1996-1997), David Bergeron (1997-2001), Thomas Harrington (2001-2005) and Mark Erlich (2005-2017).

Congratulations to the Winners Posted by on

Congratulations to the active members who were winners of prizes at the second UPP Carpenters Appreciation Night. Prizes will be delivered to local unions and presented at union meetings in July. We hope everyone enjoyed the event and would love to hear from members about how the next event can be even better!

The winners of the 5 Grand Prizes, $5,000 vouchers for Sandals Resorts Vacations were:

Daniel Alfaiate, Local 723

Michael Melo, Local 723,

Samuel Mahew, Local 40

Michael Terry, Local 24,

Sarah Bullock, Local 67

Active members lead to win in Chelsea Posted by on

Members in Chelsea came out strong last night and won an important victory, convincing the city council to reject a move by a developer to bulldoze standards for public construction.

The Joseph J Corcoran Company is working with the Chelsea Housing Authority (CHA) on a project that includes the current site of the Innes Apartments on Central Avenue. The public-private partnership would involve demolishing the existing 96 units of public housing and replacing them with a 318-unit mixed-income development.

The city council voted down a "Home Rule" petition proposed by the CHA and Corcoran to exempt the project from important Massachusetts public construction laws, including prevailing wage requirements for construction workers. Had the home rule petition been approved, it would have been submitted to the Massachusetts legislature for approval. The City Council rejected it by a 10-1 vote.

Attending and speaking at the meeting were members of Carpenters Local 218 and Floor Coverers Local 2168 as well as some of their family members.

"We're obviously in favor of providing necessary housing for Chelsea," said Local 218 Representative Rich Pedi. "We live here. We're a part of the community. And that's why we opposed this home rule petition, because we know all too well what happens on residential projects when developers aren't held accountable. It usually hurts workers and the community. We don't want that on a public housing project."

Self service site for benefits is live Posted by on

The New England Carpenters Combined Benefit Funds has developed an online portal that puts benefit and profile-related data at members’ fingertips.

Using the self-service site, members can view the following information:

Hours reported and paid by employers
Health eligibility status
Annuity account balance
Loan information (count and balance)
Pension and vesting information
Profile and contact information
Plus more!

Members can register for an account by visiting Registering to use the service only requires your UBC, EMP or OFC number, the last four digits of your Social Security number, your date of birth and a working email address.

For more information contact

​Flynn Named New Leader of New England Carpenters Union Posted by on

The Executive Board of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC) has named Thomas J. Flynn Executive Secretary-Treasurer following the recent retirement of Mark Erlich. Flynn was sworn in to the position on March 1.

For the past five years, Flynn had been serving as the national Political Director for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC). For seven years previously, he was the regional Political Director for NERCC and the Executive Director of the New England Carpenters Labor-Management Program (NECLMP). He has held a position on the NERCC Executive Board since 2010.

“It is a tremendous honor to return to Boston to work with my Brothers and Sisters in New England on a full-time basis, and I am grateful to the Executive Board for the opportunity.”

“Working with the UBC on a national basis for five years gave me an opportunity to learn from a wide variety of people, from carpenters and union leaders, to contractors, subcontractors and developers and of course lobbyists, candidates and elected officials.”

“On a national, regional and local level, the Carpenters union is well-prepared to serve the industry. We are unique in that we serve so many different roles. We are primarily representatives of our fellow union members on the job, at the negotiating table and in administration of training and benefit funds. But we have valuable, cooperative partnerships with signatory contractors, which help both the contractors and members.”

“We advocate for unrepresented workers and help them seek justice from industry enforcement agencies. But we are also active participants in our local communities, lending our time and our skills for everything from charitable building projects to coaching youth sports.”

“Mark Erlich set a very high standard for our union and has improved the lives of thousands and thousands of trades workers. He helped not only members of the Carpenters union, but so many other workers in our industry who were vulnerable. Mark and I worked together for a long time and I'll always be grateful for the experience of working with and for such a talented and dedicated labor leader. I hope to be able to take the strong foundation he built and strengthen it.”

“The strength of our organization is the skill and dedication of our 19,000 members. We look forward to developing new programs to actively engage them. As a union, we will work to generate more work opportunities and improve standards for all carpenters in the region. We need to work with the entire carpenter workforce and in partnership with signatory contractors or we’re not going to be able to succeed.”

Flynn is a 30-year member of the Carpenters union and a native of Dorchester. He now resides in Milton with his family. One of his sons is currently a third-year apprentice carpenter.

While previously working for NERCC, Flynn was the Regional Manager for affiliated local unions in the Boston area. He has been a Trustee for the New England Carpenters Combined Benefit Funds and apprenticeship funds.

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is the regional governing body of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and represents more than 19,000 commercial and residential carpenters, pile drivers, floor coverers, mill shop workers and industrial employees. More than 1,500 general contractors, carpentry subcontractors and shop owners are signatory to collective bargaining agreements with NERCC.

Following his appointment, Flynn made the following appointments and assignments.

Mynor Perez was appointed to fill a vacant spot the NERCC Executive Committee. Perez is a Regional Manager for specialty trades in New England, which represent floor coverers, residential wood frame carpenters, pile drivers and mill shop workers.

John Murphy was named Chief of Staff, a newly created position at NERCC, and will also serve as Regional Manager for the Boston commercial carpentry local unions.

Jack Donahue is now the Director of the NERCC Market Opportunity Fund, a program that helps union contractors bid competitively in targeted markets or locations. Donahue also remains Regional Manager for commercial carpentry local unions in Central and Western Massachusetts.

Steve Joyce will serve as the Executive Director of the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program. He will also continue as Political and Legislative Director for the region.

Nevertheless, She Persisted Posted by on

Inspired by Courtney Privett's artwork on the subject, #tradeswomen shared what they've experienced and overcome.

We're proud to celebrate our "Sisters in the Brotherhood" who were warned,

Who were given an explanation,

And who, nevertheless, persisted.

As a union, the New England Regional Council of Carpenters is committed to making sure everyone has a fair opportunity to pursue our craft and their career with dignity and respect. Our goal is to have women members reach 20% by 2020.

Visit for more information.

#nercc #ubc #construction #20percentby2020 #SIB #sistersinthebrotherhood

NERCC scores another major victory Posted by on

After months of discussion, the New England Regional Council of Carpenters has reached agreements with Force Corporation and its sister company National Framers, LLC, both of Lunenburg, MA, to become union contractors.

Force and National Framers are the largest open shop wood frame companies in New England. Force was hit with a $2.6 million fine for wage violations by the US Dept. of Labor last year. The principals subsequently made a decision to change their business model, operate legitimately, and now become union contractors.

“Force Corporation has decided to sign an agreement today with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters because we understand the challenges of the open shop sector and the opportunities in the union construction world,” said Force President Claudio DaSilva. “We look forward to bidding in a level playing field environment and being able to provide the best union benefits and training to our employees. Our reputation on production and a “get it done” attitude combined with the Carpenters organization should give us an advantage in the Eastern Massachusetts market.”

According to Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, the signing will have a lasting impact on the residential wood frame construction industry:

"This is one more step in eliminating the underground economy in the construction industry and creating a level playing field for contractors in the residential market. More importantly, another large group of carpenters in New England will now be able to earn decent wages, get health insurance for their families and achieve retirement security.”

Grassroots efforts pay off, NH House votes to kill Right-to-Work Posted by on

From Concord Monitor:

New Hampshire will not become a so-called right-to-work state today, or next year.

The Republican-led House voted to kill the union-targeted legislation Thursday afternoon, ending weeks of high-charged debate. While many expected a close vote, the final tally was much wider, at 200-177. The body then voted to ban consideration of right-to-work for the rest of the session, effectively killing it for the next two years.

Read full coverage here.

Right-to-Work legislation weakens unions by allowing people to enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining and representation by the union while making dues "optional." It's part of a long con to reduce the wages and working conditions for middle class workers, to give employers that much more power over every workers' future. It has proven to be an effective weapon in achieving that goal virtually everywhere it has been enacted.

Thanks to all the members and staff who worked hard on the campaign to kill this legislation.

Carpenters tackling two issues at once Posted by on

For Release:

January 31, 2017

Contact (Eastern Conference):

Maryanne Ham

Minuteman High School

781-861-6500, Ext. 7323

Contact (Western Conference):

Lisa Clauson

Strategic Partnerships

New England Carpenters Labor Management Program


Massachusetts Girls in Trades Announces Second Annual Conference and Career Fairs -- March 2 in Dorchester and April 13 in Holyoke

LEXINGTON – Building on its initial successes, the Massachusetts Girls in Trades organization is planning its Second Annual Conference and Career Fair for hundreds of female high school students in Massachusetts. In fact, it’s planning two.

An Eastern Massachusetts conference – open to high school students enrolled in vocational technical education programs – will be held on March 2 at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 103 in Dorchester. A Western Massachusetts conference will be held on April 13 at the William J. Dean Technical High School in Holyoke.

Massachusetts Girls in Trades was established to encourage young females to consider pursuing high-wage, high-demand careers in the construction trades. The group was formed in December of 2015 at a meeting attended by representatives of Wynn Boston Harbor, Minuteman High School, the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, Sheet Metal Workers Local 17, Building Pathways, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and SkillsUSA Massachusetts.

“We’re making progress but we know there’s still plenty of work to do,” said Elizabeth Skidmore, one of the organization’s founding members and Business Representative for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. “We need to send out a positive message that young women can have great careers in the building trades.”

The first-ever Massachusetts Girls in Trades Conference and Career Fair, held in Dorchester last year, attracted more than 400 people, including over 300 students and teachers. Students from vocational-technical programs at 18 high schools listened to speeches from successful tradeswomen, attended workshops about getting into the trades, and met with representatives from unions, contractors, and apprenticeship programs.

The March 2 event this year in Dorchester will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with doors opening at 9 a.m. for registration. Admission is free. Lunch will be provided. For more information on the Eastern Massachusetts conference, please contact Maryanne Ham by phone at 781-861-6500, ext. 7323, or by e-mail at

This year, Massachusetts Girls in Trades added a second conference to better accommodate vocational high school students living in Western Massachusetts. That event will be held on April 13 at the William J. Dean Technical High School on 1045 Main Street in Holyoke. For more information on the Western Massachusetts conference, please contact Lisa Clauson by phone at 413-206-5571 or by e-mail at

Vocational students interested in registering for either conference should contact their teacher, principal, or vocational director.

Schools are invited to attend either or both of the events, regardless of geography.

Principal sponsors of this year’s event in Eastern Massachusetts will be Wynn Boston Harbor, the Massachusetts Building Trades Council AFL-CIO, Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council, IBEW Local 103, and Gilbane Building Company.

MGM Springfield will be a principal sponsor for the Western Massachusetts conference.

The Massachusetts Girls in Trades board includes representatives from developers and contractors including Wynn Boston Harbor, Suffolk Construction, Skanska USA Building; Turner Construction, Liberty Construction Services, and Gilbane Building Company; union groups such as IBEW Local 103, Local 103 Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee of Greater Boston, the Massachusetts Building Trades Council, Boston Metropolitan District Building Trades Council, New England Regional Council of Carpenters, Building Trades Training Directors Association of Massachusetts, and the Boston Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association; organizations such as the Building Pathways Pre-Apprenticeship Program and the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues; the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; Massachusetts Department of Transportation Office of Diversity and Civil Rights; SkillsUSA Massachusetts; Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators (MAVA) CTE Directors Group; Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce, Inc.; University of Massachusetts Building Authority; U.S. Department of Labor/Women’s Bureau; the newly formed Equity in the Trades Student Leadership Council; WGBH TV; and career and technical high schools including Madison Park Technical Vocational High School, Southeastern Regional Vocational-Technical High School, and Minuteman High School.

The group holds its board meetings at Minuteman High School in Lexington.


NERCC scores major drywall victory Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and Universal Drywall, LLC of Auburn, New Hampshire have reached an agreement for the company to become a union contractor. The agreement follows months of discussions and will have a significant impact on the New England construction industry.

Universal is one of the larger drywall subcontractors in the region. Established in 2002, the company has worked on large commercial and residential projects across the six New England states. Dozens of carpenters currently working for Universal are expected to join the union and begin earning union health, dental and retirement benefits. The company will have access to additional skilled manpower through the union, alleviating a major concern in the current construction industry.

Richard Pelletier, president of Universal, said the partnership with the union will help the company in multiple ways. "Our long-term objectives are customer-focused and worker focused - to ensure that our projects are completed on time and on budget with a workforce that excels, is loyal, well provided for in pay, pension and benefits, and treated fairly. We believe that this step in joining the Carpenters will allow us to enhance these objectives, and we look forward to partnering with the Carpenters in our future work, contributing to the economy, providing good jobs, and delivering excellent work."

According to Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, the signing will bring benefits for the union, the company, and Universal employees.

"We're proud that we've developed a partnership with Universal. Richard Pelletier and his carpenters are experienced and hard-working. We hope that union general contractors will come to appreciate what they bring to a job. We're looking forward to developing those relationships while providing Universal additional qualified manpower when they need it and providing their carpenters representation that includes the highest standards in wages, benefits, safety and training in the industry."

Block Island Wind Farm Posted by on

An up-close view of America's first offshore wind farm, a project that was built by UBC members!

Comprised of 5 wind turbines, the Block Island Wind Farm is currently in its testing phase and is scheduled to begin full operation in November. It will provide 30 megawatts of clean, renewable energy to Block Island and Rhode Island, which is enough to power 17,000 homes.

Over the course of the two construction seasons totaling 18 weeks, 90 piledrivers from Locals 94, 56, 43 & 24 installed the jacket-leg foundations for the wind turbines, amounting to 170,000 hours worked. UBC millwrights also played a key role in preparing the turbine machinery for installation.

Regualar Callahan subcontractor facing litany of charges from Mass AG Posted by on

Joseph Kerrissey, whose company J Kerrissey LLC worked for Callahan on multiple projects, allegedly owes workers more than $100,000 in connection with a wage theft scheme dating back to 2011, according to an investigation from the MA Attorney General’s office. Kerrissey and his companies are also being charged with larceny and unemployment fraud for failing to contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

The investigation found that Kerrissey owes approximately $105,000 to 31 workers, with an average amount of $3,000 per worker. Additionally, by failing to contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, contractors like Kerrissey hurt legitimate companies who pay their fair share, raising rates for everybody.

In December of 2015, a number of workers came forward to say that they had not been paid for their work. Following those complaints, Joseph Kerrissey sent threatening text messages to those workers for speaking out, and continued to make excuses for not paying the workers.

“This defendant allegedly engaged in a pattern of refusing to pay his workers the wages they were rightfully owed and used a variety of methods to dissuade them from seeking to obtain those wages,” said MA Attorney General Maura Healey. “People who work hard should be able to provide for themselves and their families and we will continue to hold accountable employers who exploit their workers."

J Kerrissey LLC has been used on Callahan projects dating back to at least 2011, including Hanover High School, the Quincy YMCA, and Chelmsford Woods Multi-Family Housing. Kerrissey and his companies (J Kerrissey LLC and Sunrise Equipment & Excavation, Inc) were indicted by a Statewide Grand Jury.

Below is the full list of charges facing Joseph Kerrissey and his companies. Subcontractors like Kerrissey are part of Callahan’s business model. To learn more about Callahan, visit

Full list of charges:
Joseph B. Kerrissey, III
• Non-payment of Employer Unemployment Contribution
• Larceny by Check over $250
• Larceny by Check under $250
• Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records to the Awarding Authority
• Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records to the Attorney General
• Failure to Pay Prevailing Wages
• Failure to Pay Wages
• Failure to Pay Overtime
• Failure to Provide a Suitable Paystub

J. Kerrissey, LLC
• Non-payment of Employer Unemployment Contribution
• Larceny by Check over $250
• Larceny by Check under $250
• Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records to the Awarding Authority
• Failure to Pay Prevailing Wage
• Failure to Pay Wages
• Failure to Pay Overtime
• Failure to Provide a Suitable Paystub

Sunrise Equipment & Excavation, Inc.
• Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records to the Awarding Authority
• Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records to the Attorney General
• Failure to Pay Prevailing Wage

Retirement Seminar to be held in Worcester - sign up today! Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar "Planning for Retirement" on Saturday, November 19th. The seminar will be held at the Beechwood Hotel located at 363 Plantation Street in Worcester from 8:30-12:00 pm.

Seating is limited, so register early! Members can register online at or by contacting the Seminar Registration Line at 978-253-5101 - Option 2.

Breakfast will be available at 8:00 AM.

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the seminar include:

Choosing your Pension, Annuity and Health Benefit Options

  • Reviewing your eligibility for retirement
  • Customized Pension Benefit calculations
  • Understanding which of our Benefit Plan options fit best with your lifestyle
  • Explore your Annuity Benefit options
  • Explanation of our Retiree Health Benefit Plan
  • Overview of Social Security Benefits

Essentials for Estate Planning

  • Protecting the assets you've accumulated
  • How to plan for the transfer of assets
  • Avoiding probate
  • Keeping your documents current

View Seminar Flyer

Register and vote early or absentee Posted by on

After all the talk, it'd be a shame if you didn't take advantage of your right to vote. Please make sure you are registered to vote before your state's deadline. In some states you must be registered by a specific date. In others, you may register on election day.

If you will be unable to go to your local polling location on November 8, please vote using an early or absentee ballot. Each state has provisions for citizens to participate in elections when they are incapacitated or away from their homes on election day for other reasons. You must request a ballot by a certain date and return it by a certain date.

Below is information, by state, for voter registration and early or absentee ballots.

Registration deadline – November 1st
Election day registration – Yes
On-line registration - Yes. Click here to register online.
Early Voting - No
Click here to request an absentee ballot.

Registration deadline – October 18th
Election day registration – Yes
On-line registration - No.Click here for voter registration information.
Early Voting – Yes, you may vote early at your city or town offices from Oct. 9th – Nov 7th.
Click here to request an absentee ballot.

Registration deadline – October 19th
Election day registration – No
On-line registration - Yes. Click here to check your registration and to register online.
Early voting in your city or town may be done in person or by mail. It will begin October 24 and end on November 4. For more information click here.
Absentee Ballots must be received back by noon November 7.
Click here to request an absentee ballot.

New Hampshire
Registration deadline – October 29th
Election day registration – Yes
On-line registration - No. Registration is at your town or city clerk's office.
Early Voting - No
Click here to request an absentee ballot.

Rhode Island
Registration deadline – October 9th
Election day registration – No
On-line registration - Yes. Click here to register online.
Early voting by mail is currently open in Rhode Island. Mail ballots must be requested by October 18. Click here for information on early mail voting.
Click here to request an absentee ballot.

Registration deadline – November 2nd
Election day registration – No
On-line registration - Yes. Click here to register online.
Early Voting – Yes. You may vote early at your city or town offices from Sept 24th – Nov 7th.
Click here to request an absentee ballot.

Carpenters building boardwalk for refuge Posted by on

Union carpenters have taken on a volunteer project in Sudbury and volunteers are needed.

The project involves buidling a boardwalk through the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury. Carpenters are measuring, cutting and installing 10' stringers and cross decking on completed support structures on the Red Maple Trail.

This is a UPP project that will be ongoing through mid-November.

Pictured are Brothers Michael Loynd (left) and Thomas Parmensi, both members of Carpenter Local 275, working on the project.

Carpenters are needed on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with extra volunteer hours possible Sunday through Thursday.

Confirmed work dates are October 12 & 13, October 26 & 27, November 2 & 3 and November 16 & 17.

The project is at 73 Weir Hill Road in Sudbury. Work starts at 8:30 am. Members should bring a hardhat, gloves, eye protection and basic hand tools.

The contact for the project is Tum Puopolo, who can be reached at 978-265-7467.

Labor Guild Fall Term to start next week Posted by on

The Labor Guild's School of Labor Management Relations will begin the Fall 2016 semester on September 26th. Classes will run through November 14th. All classes are held in one of two periods between 7:00 - 9:30 PM.

Classes are held at 66 Brooks Drive, RCAB Pastoral Center, Braintree, MA. Click here to check out the “course line-up that’s ideal for union staffers, officers, bargaining teams, stewards and unionists of every stripe.”

The mission of the Labor Guild is to provide engaging, high-quality, affordably-priced Labor-Management education. Each term, courses are offered in a variety of topic areas including: labor law, negotiations, union governance, leadership, public speaking,and economics. Faculty are top labor practitioners, attorneys and labor educators.

For more information, visit or call 781-340-7887.

Boston Globe Article Exposes Callahan Business Model Posted by on

A Boston Globe investigation published SundayBoston Globe investigation published Sunday details the extensive network of contractors who rely on wage theft and misclassification of employees as independent contractors to undermine and underbid legitimate contractors. Many of these subcontractors have worked or are working for Callahan Inc., as an integral component of its business model.

The front page article highlighted the stories of workers like Luis Mayancela, who at the age of 15 fell off the roof of a project in Portland, Maine, while working for Force Corporation, a regular Callahan subcontractor. Mayancela was transported to a hospital across state lines in the back of a work van, and his boss denied responsibility for the accident. A complex network of subcontractors made it almost impossible to hold anyone accountable for Mayancela’s accident, with each layer of subcontractor shifting responsibility to another.

The general contractor on that project claims he did not know about problems with Force Corporation, which include more than 100 violations since 2007, $1.5 million in OSHA fines that the US Attorney’s office is currently suing to collect, and a $2.6 million settlement for wage theft, all of which are publicly available.

“They don’t care. They’re going to keep using this company because they’re cheap labor. There’s a reason that they’re so inexpensive compared to the market. It doesn’t come free, that discount,” said Stacie Sobosik, a Medford attorney who represents injured workers. 1,300 complaints to the Massachusetts Attorney General in the last three years for wage and safety violations has resulted in $2.4 million in restitution and $1 million in penalties, much of which remains unpaid as companies flee to avoid enforcement.

The article goes on to highlight Callahan Inc., another company that claimed innocence over Force Corporation’s wrongdoings and has a long history of using subcontractors that rely on the underground economy. Callahan is currently the general contractor on a 447 unit development in Somerville, and recently finished the One North of Boston complex in Chelsea. A recent visit to the Chelsea site by the Globe found Universal Drywall with 30 workers on site, many of whom were listed as independent contractors. Universal was sued for this illegal practice in 2014 by the Attorney General, but remains on Callahan’s projects.

These illegal and unethical business practices are endemic to Force Corporation, Callahan Inc., and the other contractors highlighted in this investigation. Learn more about Callahan by visiting our website.

Somerville Aldermen condemn Callahan Posted by on

The Somerville Board of Aldermen unanimously passed a resolution condemning the use of Callahan Inc, and calling on developers who receive public subsidies to use responsible contractors who provide a living wage, health insurance, workers compensation, retirement benefits, and apprenticeship training to the workers that build their projects.

In particular, the resolution criticized Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) for selecting Callahan as the general contractor on their 448 unit apartment building in Assembly Row. The project received $73 million in direct and indirect public support from the City of Somerville and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and FRIT received numerous warnings from city and state elected officials, as well as residents and community organizations, that Callahan's lower bid was due to their reliance on subcontractors who utilize illegal and unethical business practices. However, the $9 billion company stated it could not afford to use union labor, and selected Callahan.

Now, the woodframing on the project is being performed by Force Corporation, a company that has been ordered to pay more than $3.9 million in back wages, fines, and fees over the last two months. "If FRIT had hired a responsible general contractor, all the various forms of public support for the project would not be benefiting contractors like Callahan and Force, whose business practices are antithetical to the public good," reads the resolution.

The resolution was sponsored by all 10 of the Aldermen who were present at the meeting, and many spoke on behalf of the resolution. "If [the project] is not making the quality of life better for the people in the city, than it's not meeting the goal that I'd like to see," said Ward 1 Alderman Matt McLaughlin.

Union carpenters and community members who live and work in Somerville were also present at the meeting. Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, addressed the Board, elaborating on the record of Callahan Inc and thanking the Board for their support.

Somerville joins communities around the area in urging developers to use responsible contractors and to look carefully at the records of general contractors like Callahan Inc. Callahan's business practices do not support a sustainable and healthy community, and area officials are rightly concerned about the impact these contractors have on their cities and towns. For more information about Callahan, visit

NERCC Hosts Department of Labor Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is proud to host the U.S. Department of Labor and their guests at the Carpenters Center in Dorchester today.

The US DOL is holding an educational event to promote apprenticeship programs and training as part of President Obama's challenge to double the number of Americans in apprenticeship programs. This session, focused on the construction industry, brings together almost 200 national and regional leaders.

Training in the skilled trades is an essential part to not only building quality, but retention of qualified workers. And when workers learn more, they earn more. We're happy to see the President focus on apprenticeship and proud to play a role in helping it succeed.

If you or someone you know is interested in a career as a carpenter, please click here to learn how to get started.

NH Retirement Seminar Scheduled Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar "Planning for Retirement" on Saturday, September 10, 2016. The seminar will be held at the Event Center at Courtyard by Marriott Nashua located at2200 Southwind Drive, Nashua, NH from 8:30-12:00 pm.

Seating is limited, so register early! Members can register online at or by contacting the Seminar Registration Line at 978-253-5101 - Option 2.

Breakfast will be available at 8:00 AM.

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the seminar include:

Choosing your Pension, Annuity and Health Benefit Options

  • Reviewing your eligibility for retirement
  • Customized Pension Benefit calculations
  • Understanding which of our Benefit Plan options fit best with your lifestyle
  • Explore your Annuity Benefit options
  • Explanation of our Retiree Health Benefit Plan
  • Overview of Social Security Benefits

Essentials for Estate Planning

  • Protecting the assets you've accumulated
  • How to plan for the transfer of assets
  • Avoiding probate
  • Keeping your documents current

View Seminar Flyer

Community Leaders Join Rally Posted by on

NERCC members and community leaders demonstrated against Callahan, Inc. on Tuesday at Assembly Row in Somerville, Mass.

Union carpenters, other tradespeople, and community members heard remarks from NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Erlich; Somerville Aldermen Mark Niedergang, Ward 5; Matt McLaughlin, Ward 1, which covers the project; Senator Patricia Jehlen, 2nd Middlesex District; and Tim Toomey, Cambridge City Council, who spoke about the Policy Order unanimously approved the night before.

Before leading the group in a march in front of the Callahan project, Erlich remarked, "We're not talking about someone who is nonunion and we just don't like them. That's not the issue. We're talking about people who cheat as a business model. Cheat as a way of making money. Cheat as a way of undercutting legitimate contractors. Cheat taxpayers…That’s our objection."

Carpenters Rally Against Unscrupulous Business Model Posted by on

On Monday, Carpenters gathered in Quincy, MA, to rally against Callahan, Inc., a firm which relies on a business model based on the use of subcontractors that often misclassify employees as 'independent contractors,' pay cash, and take advantage of undocumented workers. The following day, the Department of Labor issued a news release announcing the $2.4 million settlement against Callahan subcontractor Force Corp. involving unpaid overtime for 478 workers.

Cambridge City Council Condemns Callahan Posted by on

Just days after a $2.6 million settlement was reached against yet another Callahan subcontractor, the Cambridge City Council voted unanimously in favor of a Policy Order condemning Callahan and urging developers to avoid doing business with general contractors who continually engage in utilizing unscrupulous contractors.

The Policy Order, which passed unanimously, cited Callahan's long record of hiring subcontractors who pay their workers under the table, misclassify employees as independent contractors, violate health and safety requirements, and engage in all other manners of illegal and unethical behaviors. An online copy of the order links to numerous newspaper articles and press releases from government agencies documenting the violations of Callahan's subcontractors.

Mayor Denise Simmons proposed the order, which was also sponsored by Vice Mayor Marc McGovern and Councilor Leland Cheung.

"The net effect of engaging in such practices is to make it virtually impossible for honest, law abiding contractors to compete, to cheat the government out of needed tax revenue, to place a heavy strain upon the community's social service programs and affordable housing stock, and to exploit and endanger the welfare of often vulnerable workers;" reads the order. It goes on to criticize project owners who "perpetuate these immoral practices by hiring Callahan."

Cambridge joins Quincy, Somerville, Waltham, and other municipalities in their concern over general contractors such as Callahan, who "regularly turn a blind eye to the role their subcontractors may be playing in supporting the underground economy." These business practices do not support a sustainable and healthy community, and area officials are rightly concerned about the impact these contractors have on their cities and towns. For more information about Callahan, visit

Friday is for the Members Posted by on

NERCC is starting a new weekly program on Facebook and Instagram. We want to show off our members and their work. Post a picture of yourself and/or the crew on your job on Friday to Instagram or the NERCC Facebook page and we'll share it! Whoever gets the most people to like their photo by the next Friday wins a prize!

Include information about the project, the contractor you're working for and the work you're doing. Be sure to name and tag the othe r members on the job and tell us the local unions represented. For Instagram, tag nercc_ubc. On Facebook, tag @New England Regional Council of Carpenters and check your settings to ensure that your picture can be shared.

Only members of NERCC-affiliated local unions are eligible to win.

Pictures should be taken during breaks or at the start or end of the day, not during work time.

Cheating continues to be Callahan's business model Posted by on

Callahan subcontractor Force Corporation was recently forced to pay more than $4,500 in back wages to three workers after being confronted by community groups about the wage theft. The workers, who installed windows and doors on a Pulte Homes project in Weymouth, said Force Corporation had not paid them in many weeks. A letter to Force and Pulte from the workers states, "our families should not have to go another day without our hard earned wages."

This kind of behavior is commonplace for Force Corporation, who was recently fined $91,000 for OSHA violations, and whose predecessor companies were sued just last month for $1.3 million in outstanding OSHA fines and fees. Force was also the target of a Boston Globe article exploring wage theft on the CATS academy project in Braintree. Force Corporation worked for Callahan on their Pinehills Independent Living Facility in Plymouth, and is currently working on Callahan's Assembly Row project.

Callahan was also recently caught using Lighthouse Masonry, a company whose violations are well documented by area newspapers. In 2010, the state ordered all exterior wall panels removed from the federal courthouse being constructed in Salem after a panel fell on a worker, causing serious leg injuries. DCAM later ruled that the accident was entirely due to Lighthouse Masonry using the wrong type of screw, and they were debarred for a year. Now, Lighthouse is doing the masonry work on Callahan's "The District" project in Burlington. While we have primarily focused on Callahan's choice in carpentry subcontractors, it is clear that it shares the same disregard for safety, quality, and workers' rights across all trades.

The regularity with which subcontractors such as Force Corporation and Lighthouse Masonry are hired by Callahan Inc. is well documented, and should give pause to any end user considering hiring Callahan as a general contractor.

Union Talk: Mark Erlich's Summer Report Posted by on

In this episode of Union Talk, Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, speaks about income inequality in the United States and the importance this year’s presidential election has on addressing the issue.

Local 210 members rally at Stamford project Posted by on

Members of Carpenters Local 210 at the Rogers Magnet Elementary school project in Stamford, CT, where state labor officials found a 13-year old boy doing electrical work on the $77 million project funded partly by the state.

Quoted in an article in the Stamford Advocate, Nancy Steffens, said “[this] situation was very dangerous,” … noting that electricity is not one of the “very limited” number of occupations teenagers can undertake.

Child found working at Stamford school construction site Posted by on

“For a kid in the richest city in Connecticut, in a first-world country, he should not be living a third-world nightmare,” said Ted Duarte, a senior organizer for the union. “I guess the thinking is if it’s for kids, it should be built by kids.”

Read media coverage here at the Stamford Advocate.

NERCC Awards $56,000 in scholarships Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has awarded more than $56,000 to 138 students as part of its annual scholarship program. In the last five years, the program has given away awards totaling more than a quarter of a million dollars.

A brother and sister won the top two awards this year! Joshua Webber was awarded $5,000 while Rachel Webber won $3,000. Their father, Theodore Webber, is a member of Carpenters Local 33 in Boston.

Applicants were required to write an essay of between 500 and 1000 words on the following topic:

Over the past 30 years, the U.S. has entered into Free Trade agreements with numerous countries. Now the Obama administration has proposed the new Pacific trade and investment deal, the Trans Pacific Partnership. Discuss the pros and cons of this and past free trade agreements. Are they beneficial to the U.S. economy? What is the impact of this agreement on American jobs, and the wages of American workers?

Joshua and Rachel attended the NERCC Delegate’s meeting last weekend in Millbury, where they read their essays. Following is a list of scholarship winners, listed with their member parent or guardian and their local union affiliation.

Joshua Webber (Theodore Webber, Local 33)

Rachel Webber (Theodore Webber, Local 33)

Francesca Ambrose (Michael Ambrose, Local 56)

Gabriel Bamforth (David Borrus, Local 56)

Emma Barile (Timothy Craw, Local 108)

Gabriel Cain (Christopher Cain, Local 107)
(click here to read the entire list)

Information about the NERCC Scholarship Program


Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Brian Richardson, Organizing Director

Al Peciaro, Director of Contractor Relations, Executive Director of NECLMP

Beth Conway, NERCC Controller

Year # students Award
2012 151 $50,350
2013 107 $52,050
2014 153 $59,650
2015 124 $56,100
2016 138 $56,650
Total 673 $274,800

1. Members in good standing and dependent children of members in good standing from any Local of the Council are eligible to apply. Grandchildren are eligible only if the grand parent is the legal guardian of the student. Children who are not legal dependents of a member are not eligible. Children of members who died within five years prior to January 1, 2016 are eligible.

2. Applicants must be enrolled in a post high school program.

3. College level programs must consist of at least three courses of three credits each.

4. Courses in technical or specialty schools such as automotive training, computer training, etc. can qualify if the program is at least six months in duration, is full-time, and awards a certificate or diploma upon completion.

5. Students must have a "C" average to apply.

6. Students can apply for a scholarship each year throughout their undergraduate years (not to exceed four years). The Committee will have the final say as to a particular student’s eligibility.

7. Graduate students and students working toward a second bachelor’s degree are not eligible.

Rethinking Boston Housing Development Posted by on

The construction of new, workforce housing in Boston has been a popular subject for political debate and media coverage. But many of the discussions include an assumption presented as fact that's just not accurate. It's a mistake that could cost workers good jobs and Boston good housing. In this week's Boston Business Journal, Mark Erlich sets the record straight.

ViewPoint: Developers have a disconnect on wages
by Mark Erlich
June 17, 2016

Boston is booming, as some 172,000 newcomers moved to the area between 2010 and 2014. And there are no signs of a slowdown.

The demand for housing - particularly workforce and affordable housing - exceeds the supply. According to the city of Boston, 4,700 new residents will have to be housed every year to meet 2030 population projections. As a result, Mayor Martin J. Walsh has called for the construction of 53,000 units over the next 15 years.

It has become an article of faith in some corners of the development community that high union labor costs are the primary barrier to accomplishing the mayor's ambitious goals. As it turns out, this perspective is not supported by data in several studies of housing costs in Boston and New York City.

In both cities, construction labor and materials make up 59 percent of total development costs, while over 40 percent is attributable to land costs (at 18 percent) and soft costs such as financing, architecture and legal fees (22 percent).
Over the last decade, land acquisition in Boston has climbed 4.4 times faster than the rate of inflation. Similarly, financing costs have risen 5.4 times faster. Yet during the same period, labor and materials have increased only three-fifths as fast as inflation. In a striking comparison, land costs are up 42 percent, while construction costs are only 6 percent higher over the last 10 years.

As former BRA economist John Avault's study of the New York City multifamily housing industry notes, "with construction worker wages comprising 17 percent of construction industry billings, and construction costs representing about 60 percent of total development costs, construction worker wages are estimated as 10 percent of total costs."

Given labor's limited portion of total costs, how can eliminating union participation address the real concerns? In fact, during the years covered by these studies, the typical annual construction union increases for wages and benefits have been between 1 percent and 3 percent.

Some developers point to New York City as a model since multiunit residential construction there has become increasingly non-union. It has also become the Wild West of the industry. A Fiscal Policy Institute report estimates that 36 percent of the construction workers in the city's residential sector are employed illegally - either off the books or misclassified as "independent contractors" and, incredibly, that number doubles in the affordable housing industry.

Last November, the New York Times ran an exposé of safety in the city's construction industry. While building activity is up 11 percent, construction accidents have skyrocketed by 52 percent, and the majority of deaths and injuries involve undocumented workers.
The ultimate irony is that developers who seek to build their workforce apartment buildings with low-waged, non-union labor plan to market their units to teachers, nurses, firefighters and other similar occupations - all of which are unionized and can, therefore, support the rents. Yet those developers reject the notion that the men and women who build their projects should earn sufficient wages to live there.

Mark Erlich is the executive secretary-treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters

Carpenter funds sell most of interest in Radius Bank Posted by on

On June 3, 2016 the New England Carpenters Pension and Annuity Funds and the Northeast (formerly Empire State) Carpenters Pension Funds closed on a transaction reducing their collective ownership of Radius Bank (formerly known as First Trade Union Bank) from more than 99% to less than 5%. The New England Carpenters Pension Fund received $14,320,185.96 and the Guaranteed Annuity Fund received $8,007,144.59 in addition to shares representing a 2.49% interest (valued at approximately $1,158,000) in the Bank’s reorganized holding company. A group of private investors now owns 95% of Radius, and they invested an additional $18 million of new equity capital to be used towards the Bank’s growth.

The decision to reduce the Funds’ ownership position in Radius was prompted by concerns over the application of the "Volcker Rule" in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act which prohibits banks and their affiliates from making many of the types of investments that are traditionally held by pension funds. An unintended consequence of the Volcker Rule forced the Funds to terminate their controlling interest in the Bank in order to have the ability to make a broad range of prudent investments necessary to meet their obligations to their participants and beneficiaries.

“It is the end of one chapter and the beginning of another in our relationship to the Bank,” said Mark Erlich, chair of the New England Carpenters Benefit Funds. “The proceeds of the sale will be invested in our Funds in accordance with the existing asset allocation.”

​Wynn issued building permit for Everett casino Posted by on

Construction of the $2 billion Wynn Boston Harbor hotel and casino is set to begin soon, as a building permit was issued by the city of Everett this week. Though some environmental litigation is still pending, 40% of the site is unaffected by the dispute and work can begin there.

Suffolk Construction has been selected to led the project, ensuring that carpentry work will be performed by union carpenters employed by union subcontractors.

The permit allows work to be performed for "the installation of deep foundations, including the excavation and perimeter foundation walls."

Completion of the mega-resort is expected to take about two and a half years.

Get your hearing checked FREE Posted by on

It's important to get your hearing checked. WE SAID IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET YOUR HEARING CHECKED!

Carpenters Care now provides free audiology screenings the second Tuesday of every month at the Carpenters Center in Dorchester. Screenings will be completed by a licensed audiologist, free of charge to the member or dependent, and last no more than 30 minutes. Call 617-782-0100 to book your appointment.

Stamford project up to 11 "Stop Work" orders Posted by on

Carpenters in Stamford this week held a demonstration at the site of a construction project where "Stop Work" orders were issued by the state because of apparent violations of laws related to workers' compensation insurance and payroll. The Stamford Advocate published a story on the action and underlying issue in their print edition.

Falcon Construction, based in Floral Park, New York, was cited by the Connecticut Department of Labor last week while working on a 209-unit building that is part of the Park Square West IV project. Union staff had previously talked to workers employed on the site who had given them information that led them to believe that the company was misclassifying them as independent contractors.

Dan Ravizza, a researcher with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, was quoted in the story saying the "Stop Work" order was "the direct evidence of labor practice violations committed by Falcon Construction. I'm mainly concerned for the taxpayers in this situation. When the contractor is skipping out on payroll taxes, that revenue is made up by the taxpayer."

Another, now completed, portion of the Park Square West IV project was the subject of ten "Stop Work" orders.

Morganti Group of Danbury is the general contractor on the project. Trinity Financial of Boston is the developer. Neither responded to the paper’s inquiries to explain the violations on their project.

Shaughnessy launches new company with union support Posted by on

How often do you see a new company issue a press release announcing their launch that includes mentions of their relationships with labor unions? And quotes from union representatives?

It happened today when industry veteran Kim Shaughnessy announced her launch of ACK Marine and General Contracting.

Shaughnessy has become known while working for Cashman Equipment and JM Cashman and will operate ACK as a certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE).

The press release details not only her extensive qualifications, but her partnerships with labor.

"During her career, Shaughnessy has formed close working relationships with labor unions including Pile Driving & Divers, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and the International Union of Teamsters, and plans to continue those relationships in her new company."

It also includes quotes from labor leaders, including Pile Drivers Local 56 Business Representative Dave Borrus.

“Pile Drivers Local 56 looks forward to working with ACK Marine & General Contracting and supporting their operations with skilled marine construction workers,” said David Borrus, Business Representative of Pile Drivers Local 56. “We have worked with owner Kim Shaughnessy for many years during her tenure at Cashman Equipment and J.M. Cashman Inc., we know her to be an experienced and responsible manager, and wish her every success with the launch of her new company.”

We look forward to working with Kim Shaughnessy and ACK Marine and General Contracting for a long time.