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Carpenters, Contractors extend agreement four years Posted by on

Desire for stability, cooperation and competitiveness key to early negotiations and agreement

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC), the Labor Relations Division (LRD) of the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts (AGC MA) and the Building Trades Employer Association (BTEA) have agreed on a 4-year extension of their current collective bargaining agreement, pending ratification by the employer organizations and a vote by union members. The agreement covers commercial carpentry work in Boston, Eastern Massachusetts and Northern New England as well as floorcovering and piledriving in Northern New England. It extends an agreement that was set to expire on August 31, 2019 until August 31, 2023.

Tom Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of NERCC said the agreement is the result of a strong partnership based on long-term trust and shared goals between the union and employers.

“Our members and the general contractors and subcontractors who employ them understand how we rely on each other to succeed,” he said. “Extending this agreement creates a level of stability and predictability that means so much in our industry. It reaffirms our commitment to each other and to working together to confront the challenges we face, both now and in the future.”

The agreement provides specified increases to the current compensation package for each year, with those increases divided and made in March and September of the given year.

Rather than negotiating wages and benefit packages individually, collective bargaining agreements between the union and employers traditionally provide for an hourly wage and benefit rate that is then allocated to hourly wages and contributions to benefit funds, training programs and other programs. Members will consider the need for benefit plan funding and increasing hourly wages when voting how to allocate increases.

In the last two years, the union has been working to ensure the long-term strength of health and retirement funds, which are jointly overseen by labor and management trustees. While all funds are in good health according to federal guidelines, the union recognizes the need to make occasional adjustments in plans and funding to maintain benefit security.

“Workers and employers in every industry have concerns about the log-term viability of health and retirement benefits,” said Flynn. “Our union’s ongoing focus on maintaining a balance between our plans, funding and keeping union employers competitive is vital. Communication on that and other issues is at the core of our relationship with employers and played an important role in reaching this agreement to extend our contract.”

In addition to financial increases and slight changes to language in the collective bargaining agreement, the union and management agreed to expand dialogue surrounding industry concerns. Joint labor-management committees will be established to have ongoing discussions about staying competitive in this constantly changing market and positioning union carpenters to be market leaders long term.
Tom Comeau, Chief Operating Officer of Commodore Builders and Chairman of the Labor Relations Division (LRD) of the AGC, believes that the commitment to holding down costs shown by Tom Flynn and NERCC will continue to make the AGC MA and signatory BTEA partners the premier construction teams in Massachusetts.

“The partnership developed between the LRD of the AGC, the NERCC, and the BTEA, will allow us to continue to focus on the overall value, level of quality, safety, and schedule delivery that our clients have come to count on for their projects.”
Tom Gunning, Executive Director of the BTEA said the extension provides valuable stability in a very competitive industry.

"It sends a message to owners and developers that the goals of this partnership are to sustain our competitive advantage and continue delivering a quality product at an economical cost," he said. “Together, we’re delivering quality training programs, consistency in our labor-management partnership and a benefit structure that protects a carpenter’s future.”
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters represents 28,000 members in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine and upstate New York. Hundreds of construction employers are signatory to agreements within NERCCs geographic jurisdiction. They include project and construction managers, general contractors and subcontractors performing various aspects of carpentry work, including metal frame and drywall, concrete, wood framing, doors and hardware and finish carpentry.

The Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts works closely with all facets of the industry to offer fair business practices for 200 members from Cape Cod to the New York border. As the leading commercial construction association in the Commonwealth, AGC MA provides member benefits and business resources for the state’s building industry. The Labor Relations Division of AGC MA assists member firms that are signed to one or more of the basic trades with issues including: contract negotiations; agreement interpretation; mediations and arbitrations; and labor and jurisdictional disputes.

The BTEA is an active, aggressive, trade association for union construction contractors defining the skyline throughout New England. The contractor members of the BTEA represent the majority of the signatory subcontractors with NERCC. It is committed to providing a forum for contractors to exchange viewpoints and ideas, support partnerships between business and government resulting in economic development. It creates networking opportunities that generate business opportunities for contractors, offers technical assistance, monitors regulatory reform efforts and legislation on a state and national level.

Back to School for Carpenters Posted by on

The New England Carpenters Training Center, this week, hosted the "September Slam," welcoming more than 130 first-year apprentices to their first session at the Millbury facility. It is the first of 16 weeks they'll spend in classrooms and workshops with instructors during their four-year apprenticeship.

Members were organized into 12 groups and rotated through four classes: Ergonomics, Scaffold User, Fall Protection and Aerial Lift. Each class was broken into 3 stations, which were run by different instructors and focused on different aspects of the trade or work skills that will help them successfully navigate the industry and their careers.

While first-year apprentices have already been working in the field, their time at the training center is an opportunity to focus more directly on honing their skills. They'll return to the job with more knowledge, confidence and skills that enable them to produce quality work more efficiently.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer Tom Flynn says giving apprentices separate training periods is a good mix for developing carpenters. "The industry is extremely demanding. Margins for contractors are very tight. First-year apprentices may feel like they're being thrown into the deep end of the pool and asked to swim. These early training weeks are important for them to gain skills and the confidence that they can keep up with the expectations set on the job."

Tom Fischer, Executive Director of the New England Carpenters Training Center, says it's important to strike a balance between teaching basic skills and keeping apprentices prepared for what they see day-to-day on the job.

"They've got to ramp up pretty quickly," he said, "so we're challenging them and showing them quite a bit in their first week. At the same time, they're with instructors and other first-years and we're working a curriculum developed by the UBC that we know is the best in the industry for apprentices at this stage."

Next week, the group will return to work on jobsites throughout the region. They'll be back in Millbury in a few months with more experience, more confidence and ready to take the next step in building their careers. In four years, they'll graduate to full journey-level status--complete with the full rate--and know they've got the ability to work on virtually any jobsite in the country. They'll continue to train throughout their careers, both to keep their basic skills sharp and to keep up with new products, tools and techniques. But it will be the foundations they're starting to create this week, in their initial training, that will have set them up for success.

Endorsements in NY elections on Sept 13 Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has endorsed the following candidates in targeted races in New York. Members are encouraged to VOTE and participate in campaign activity for candidates they support.

For more information about specific candidates and to learn more about campaign activity, please contact your local union.


Andrew Cuomo (D)

Lieutenant Governor

Kathy Hochul (D)

Attorney General

Sean Patrick Maloney

New York State Assembly

Don Boyajian (D), 107th District (Washington, Rensseleaer, Columbia) Local 291

Jamie Romeo (D); 136th District (Monroe) Local 276

State Senate

Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D, Sen Dem Leader) 35th District (Westchester) Local 279

David Valesky (D); 53d District (Madison, Oneida, Onondaga) Local 277

Timothy Kennedy (D); 63d District (Erie) Local 276


In New York City and the counties of Dutchess, Erie, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester, polls open at 6 am and close at 9 pm.

In all other counties, polls open at 12 noon and close at 9 pm.


Absentee ballots can be requested in person up to Tuesday, September 12 and submitted the same day.

Election Day In Massachusetts Posted by on

Today is Election Day in Massachusetts and the Carpenters union has targeted several key races in the state. First and foremost, members are encouraged to VOTE. Polls are open until 8pm.

Members looking to continue the reputation of union carpenters as campaign volunteers that hit the streets and make a difference, can do so after work at the following locations:

For Congressman Mike Capuano
25 Russell Street
East Somerville
(Home of Diane Masters)

For Dan Koh, candidate for Congress
Campaign HQ
61 Market Street

55 Union Street

For Shannon McAuliffe, candidate for Suffolk County District Attorney
Carpenters Center
750 Dorchester Ave

225 Centre Street
Jamaica Plain

401 Revere Beach Blvd.

Random Act of Gratitude Posted by on

Last Saturday, a group of carpenters volunteered to work on the roof of a home union carpenters are building for Cpl Paul Skarinka, a wounded Army veteran, as part of a team with Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors and Commodore Builders. We decided to thank one of them with a pair of tickets to tonight's New England Patriots preseason opener.

Mark Berube was randomly selected as the winner. Brother Berube is a member of Carpenters Local 330 currentely working for Century Drywall at the Hub on Causeway, in front of the TD Garden. He's also in his third year at Wentworth, where he's persuing a degree through a program set up by the school and the union.

When asked what motivated him to volunteer last week, Berube said: "I just want to help and I think any volunteer projects/programs that our union does are great and if I can be a part of any of those, I will give my time. I am very grateful for the union. It has helped me and my family in many ways and I just love what we stand for and the things we try to accomplish."

Mark stopped by the Carpenters Center to pick up the tickets from Communications Director Bert Durand. Thanks to Mark for giving up overtime work last Saturday and for being a great representative of our union. Enjoy the game, Brother!

Get Your Shine On! Posted by on

Here's a peek at training the UBC created for concrete polishing, a popular feature in modern buildings, by NECTF Floorcovering Instructor Brian Redshaw. The Carpenters union invests in curriculum development and training programs that ensure the products and methods used in today's building meet the expectations of both product manufacturers, building designers and end users. It's a model for collaboration and collective success and one of the things that makes the our union a great fit at all levels of the construction industry.

​LU 346 Business Rep to take part in the SNAP Challenge Posted by on

This month, Congress will be pushing to update the Farm Bill, which governs policy that affects farms and food. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) is part of the Farm Bill and is in danger of being cut drastically. To bring awareness to the importance of SNAP for people at risk of hunger, organizations across Massachusetts are coordinating a “SNAP Challenge.” LU 346 Business Rep John Manning will be taking part in the challenge.

“I was on the phone with State Representative Jim Hawkins and he asked me if I’d be interested in joining him in this challenge and I thought I had the opportunity to learn a lot by walking in someone else’s shoes so I committed to join him in the challenge,” said Manning.

“I’ve been fortunate as an 18-year member of the Carpenters union. I’ve made a very good living and always have been able to provide for my family. I live within a budget, of course, but I can’t imagine only having $23 to purchase food for the week.”

From Monday, June 11th to Friday, June 15th, participants will live on the average individual SNAP allowance in Massachusetts ($4.56 per day) to afford everything they eat and drink for the week.

"I hope my participation in this challenge can raise awareness of how necessary this resources is to people struggling to make ends meet.”

The SNAP Challenge is an action in solidarity with the millions of low-income Americans for whom SNAP is a vital resource. Participants will learn how difficult it is to afford nutritious food, to stay healthy, and to avoid hunger. They’ll be encouraged to consider what life would be like if the benefit weren’t available, if they had even less to spend.

Help us support Brother Manning by commenting on and sharing our daily posts chronicling his week. #MASNAPChallenge

Information for Members in New York State Posted by on

Effective May 30, 2018, the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters was dissolved and local union affiliates were merged into other existing councils, including the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. The local unions newly affiliated with the New England Regional Council include geographic jurisdiction throughout the state of New York, with the exception of New York City.

Local unions 291, 290, 279, 276 and Local 277 are now affiliated with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. New York State will be transferred to a local union affiliated with NERCC closest to where they live and members of Local 252 who reside in New York are now members of Local 51 in the New England Regional Council.

In order to keep members informed, a list of frequently asked questions has been compiled with answers. Members are encouraged to visit and the council’s social media sites regularly for updates. They should also continue to communicate with their local unions and attend union meetings.

What does this mean?
If you are a member of one of the locals referenced, we welcome you to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. You are now part of an organization that covers New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island, representing more than 28,000 union members. We believe the new structure of our council will enable us to more efficiently use resources and service both members and the industry.

What’s going on with my local?
The numbers and geographic jurisdiction of local unions have not changed. Local union staff, local union offices and local union meetings have not been changed at this time. Local union executive boards remain in place.

Will dispatch of members change as a result of the merge?
Members in New York locals will continue to use the Mix 20/20 system.

Will monthly dues go up? What about our union meetings?
There have been no changes made to union dues, local union office locations or union meetings.

How will we be represented at the regional council?
Eastern District Vice President Mike Capelli will be working with Executive Secretary-Treasurer Tom Flynn and the New England Regional Council Executive Board to establish a process and structure for electing and seating delegates. An initial plan may be created to ensure short-term representation. David Haines and New York Regional Manager Bill Banfield will continue to work on many day-to-day operations in the state as will other staff previously assigned to New York State and the New York State local unions.

What is the status of our contracts, wage rates and benefit fund contributions?
All collective bargaining agreements existing between the union and contractors in New York remain in place. There are no changes to wage and benefit rates or working conditions as outlined in those agreements.

Have there been changes made to benefits or benefit funds?
There have been no changes made to the benefit funds or benefit plans for members in New York locals. All contributions will continue to be made to the same funds at the same rates, as established in the applicable collective bargaining agreements. Likewise, all benefits will continue to be paid in the same manner by the same funds.

In time, the funds associated with the former Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters may be dissolved and funds merged into existing funds in councils now representing covered members. In such a case, you will receive communications from the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the benefit funds involved.

Have there been changes made to apprenticeship training?
The training and apprenticeship funds and programs have not been changed. Members scheduled for training should continue to attend classes and sessions at the same locations.

In time, the training funds and programs associated with the former Northeast Regional may be merged into the New England Carpenters Training Fund. In such a case, apprentices would receive communications from the fund and other information would be distributed by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters to members.

If I have more questions, where can I get answers?
Executive Secretary-Treasurer Tom Flynn and other members of the council executive board and senior staff will be attending local union meetings throughout New York. Business agents and organizers will also be available to answer questions on an ongoing basis. Frequently asked questions will also be answered on a regular basis using NERCC Alerts, our text-based platform. To subscribe to NERCC Alerts, text NERCC to 91990 on your mobile phone.

UBC announces changes for NERCC and New York Posted by on
This morning, UBC General President Douglas McCarron announced that the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters was dissolved and local union affiliates were merged into other existing councils, including the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. The local unions newly affiliated with the New England Regional Council include geographic jurisdiction throughout the state of New York, with the exception of New York City.

Local unions 291, 290, 279, 276 and Local 277 are now affiliated with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. Additionally, members of Local 251 who reside in New York state will be transferred to a local union affiliated with NERCC closest to where they live and members of Local 252 who reside in New York are now members of Local 51 in the New England Regional Council.

This move follows a decades-long trajectory of aligning regional councils with membership and market share. UBC General President McCarron said "Creating opportunities for our members and employers is the foundation of every decision we make. Since the last reorganization, we see further opportunities to consolidate council jurisdictions to match the construction markets throughout the Eastern corridor."

The expansion of the New England Regional Council will not only significantly increase the union's market share growth opportunities, but will also strengthen their members' collective bargaining power with other sectors.

Tom Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters welcomed the staff and members of the New York-based local unions.

"We see this as a tremendous opportunity to increase the voice of our members on the job and at the bargaining table throughout the area. While there is work to be done in joining our operations, we're confident that work schedules for our members and employer-contractors will not be interrupted during the process. We look forward to a stronger future with increasing market share for union carpenters and contractors."

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters will be communicating with members on, using social media, other technology and through their local unions. We hope to answer all relevant questions as quickly as possible.

Hamm joining UBC new leader announced for NECTF Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC) is pleased to announce that Lyle Hamm, the Executive Director of the New England Carpenters Training Fund (NECTF) has accepted a position as Senior Technical Coordinator with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC). He will begin work as a Senior Technical Coordinator at the union’s International Training Center (ITC) in Las Vegas in August.

NECTF has selected Tom Fischer to succeed Hamm as the Executive Director of the Fund. Fischer is a 32-year member of the union. He is currently a Technical Coordinator for NECTF.

Hamm is a 34-year member of the Brotherhood who was named the Executive Director of NECTF in 2011.

Tom Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of NERCC, thanked Hamm for his work with NECTF and wished him the best in Las Vegas.

“We’re very happy to see the talent and success Lyle has demonstrated here In New England recognized by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters,” he said. “He has been offered a tremendous opportunity and we’re confident our loss will be a tremendous gain for the UBC.”

Bill Maheris of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, who serves as the NECTF Co-Chairman said the board was also excited about Fischer taking over as Executive Director.

“Tom brings a breadth of experience in construction, teaching, curriculum development and administration. We think his unique combination of skills will benefit our instructors, union members and the employers who rely on the skills and professionalism our programs develop.”

Fischer has extensive experience as both a commercial and residential carpenter and close to twenty years of experience as an educator and administrator in both high school and within the New England Carpenters Training Fund.

At Hopedale High School, he was an Engineering and Design teacher and also served as the Unified Arts department head and a curriculum coordinator.

He worked with the Massachusetts Department of Education and Secondary Schools as a member of the Assessment Development Committee, assisting the department in the review and development of MCAS test questions and scoring rubrics in order to assure alignment with the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks and MCAS performance standards.

For sixteen years he has been an instructor with NECTF, with certifications to teach numerous areas within the program. He developed the curriculum currently being used by NECTF for OSHA 10 and 30-hour Construction Safety course.

The New England Carpenters Training Fund is jointly administered by labor and management trustees and offers apprenticeship programs and lifelong skills upgrade training for members of locals union affiliated with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. It operates 14 training centers, including a residential facility in Millbury, Massachusetts.

The union and contractors annually invest $11 million in training, ensuring the most qualified pool of skilled workers in the construction industry. The four-year apprenticeship provides classroom, workshop and jobsite employment experience. Both the apprenticeship and skills upgrade classes are provided at no cost to members, meaning union carpenters earn decent wages and benefits while they train without accumulating tens of thousands of dollars in student debt.

NERCC and NECTF work closely with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters to develop curriculum focused on both technical skills and professional development. They have also created “Career Connections,” a skills and professionalism curriculum used by more than 30 vocational high schools and programs in New England.

Carpenters mourn loss of member Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters regrets to announce the passing of Woodframe Local 723 carpenter Luis Rodriguez following a jobsite fall yesterday in East Boston. The accident occurred at the site of Paris Village, a new 32-unit residential building being framed by Northeast Framers.

Rodriguez, 48, lived in Worcester and leaves behind his wife, Evelyn Villegas, and four children.

“We are grieving for Brother Rodriguez, his wife and the friends he had, both on the job and away from work,” said Local 723 Business Agent Craig Ransom. “Though he was new to the union, he was a Brother to all of us—every carpenter--as soon as he started working with the tools. We will remember him and honor his memory by doing more to prevent similar, future accidents. This is a very sad time for Local 723.”

The loss of Brother Rodriguez is a tragic reminder of the need for safety training, the proper use of safety equipment and making safety a priority while working. When a carpenter leaves their home and family in the morning, we all need to work together as an industry to ensure that they return safely at the end of the day.

Local 723 is making arrangements to offer assistance to Brother Rodriguez’ family. Details of the arrangements will be shared with affiliates and members who wish to contribute when they are available.

​Friday is for the Members Posted by on

Here's a shot of Piledrivers Local 56 Steward Tony Thompson, at his job at the Fore River Bridge in Quincy, Mass., where piledrivers are installing the fender system under the bridge. He's been a member since 1984.

On what it means to be a union member, Tony says, “It's hard to describe what the union means to me. The word that comes to mind is everything! It has provided for my family, provided great health insurance, and will provide for my wife and I in our retirement. Like I said, Everything!”

Carpenters Attend Washington Trust Annual Meeting Posted by on

Representatives from the New England Regional Council of Carpenters attended the annual shareholder's meeting for Washington Trust yesterday in Westerly, Rhode Island. They attended as representatives of Carpenters union benefit funds in New England and other regional councils in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

Business Representative Derek Adamiec and Researcher Ben Branchaud spoke at the meeting about two proposals, one related to the company's auditor and another regarding CEO pay ratio disclosure and the effect of the recent Tax Reform act as it relates to the $1 million cap on taxable compensation.

Local 330 Business Representative Derek Adamiec (right) with Ned Handy, CEO and Chairman of the Board for Washington Trust.

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has been attending shareholders meetings for companies either based in or operating in New England for several years. While day-to-day operations for companies are not discused in the meetings, they are an avenue for the union to advocate for responsible corporate governance within companies in which union funds invest.

The meetings provide a valuable opportunity for the union to begin or continue relationships regarding their investment in development or construction of their own facilities. That was the case with Washington Trust. During his presentation at the meeting, President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Gim discussed an affordable housing initiative Washington Trust had started. Following the meeting, Adamiec and Branchaud were able to approach company leaders and discuss ways in which the union and the company might work together on the initiative.

AG Rules MBTA Violated Bid Law Posted by on

The Attorney General’s office has ruled that the MBTA violated the law by failing to publicly bid construction of a new parking garage at the North Quincy MBTA station. The ruling, which requires construction of the garage to be put out to bid, was issued in response to a bid protest filed by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

Thomas Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the union, applauded the ruling.

“This decision is a welcome, common sense application of public construction laws. The garage is on MBTA property, the MBTA will have oversight on construction, the garage will serve MBTA customers and the MBTA will maintain the revenue from the parking spaces. There is no basis for the MBTA to avoid its obligations to the public and the garage needs to bid under public procurement laws.”

The MBTA issued an Invitation to Bid for the investment and development of two parcels at the North Quincy MBTA station. The project, as currently designed, would include residential and retail units and a parking garage to replace the 852 parking spots now onsite for MBTA users.

Flynn said there should be significant interest in bidding for the garage when it is put out to bid and is pleased it will be an open and fair process.

The ruling of the Attorney General’s office can be found here.

NECBF Annuity Bonus Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is pleased to announce that participants in the New England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund will be awarded a near-record bonus in their accounts for 2017 of 10.02%!

In addition, participants with accounts in the New England Carpenters Guaranteed Annuity Fund will also be credited with the guaranteed return of 1.86% for a total of 11.88%. Accounts will be credited in the coming weeks and viewable in the online self-service portal. Participants will also receive their annual Guaranteed Annuity Fund statement in May reflecting the bonus amounts.

NERCC Reps for Drywall and Floorcovering Olympics Selected Posted by on

Congratulations to the Champions of the New England Regional Finals in the Drywall and Floorcovering Olympics. Jose Sanchez Hernandez, from Local 336 is the Drywall winner. Michael Jacques is the Floorcovering Winner. Both will represent the New England Regional Council of Carpenters in the Eastern District competion in May and try for a place in the national finals at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters' International Training Center in Las Vegas in June.

Hernandez works for Century Drywall, who also employs Victor Gutierrez, the runner-up.

Jacques works for Business Interiors, as does Jose Zayas, the runner-up in the Floorcovering competition.

Eight drywall participants earned a place in today's competition at the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury through competitions throughout the region last month. They represented their local unions and their employers, the leading interior systems contractors in New England.

Six members from Massachusetts and Connecticut were selected by union representatives and contractors to participate in the floorcovering competition.

All participants in today's regional finals earned a $200 Red Wing gift card. First and second place finishers in the drywall competition were given PLS Laser Systems. First and second place finishers in the floorcoverers competition were given Hilti laser range finders.

Congrats to drwyall olympics participants Posted by on

Recently, the New England semi-finals of the 2018 UBC Drywall Olympics were held at NECTF training centers throughout New England. Each of the four locations had two members move on to the next round, which will take place at NECTF Millbury on March 17th. Congrats to all 30 contestants who were chosen to compete throughout the region and good luck to those who move forward to the finals next month!

1st Place: J Gill Marquez-Hernandez, Century Drywall - Local 327
2nd Place: Pierre Sirois, Sweeney Drywall - Local 328

1st Place: Victor Muro Gutierrez, Century Drywall - Local 330
2nd Place: Roberto Raposo, Citywide Contracting - Local 330

1st Place: Jason Chiarini, Connecticut Acoustics - Local 326
2nd Place: Martin Dulac, Murry Enterprise LLC - Local 326

1st Place: Alan Hall, North & South - Local 352
2nd Place: Chris Barber, Central Ceilings - Local 339

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.

TAGS: true

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.

Regular 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