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New CT law, enforcement working well Posted by on

Full text of story posted at NERCC's website.

A new, quick and powerful enforcement tool has been used by the state Department of Labor to close down more than 85 work sites in Connecticut since last year, as officials target construction contractors with inadequate workers' compensation insurance.


Many of those hit with stop-work orders have misrepresented employees as independent contractors, underestimated payroll figures (sometimes by paying workers off-the-books cash) or misrepresented employee duties so as to avoid proper calculation of workers' comp coverage needs.


In the construction field, other state and federal agencies have authority to enforce workplace violations, but the process is invariably slow.

"This small little workers' comp measure is actually accomplishing more than all these federal and state agencies seeking out violators," Letizia said. "And it's doing it effectively, immediately and without the involvement of lawyers and courts."


"Once you misclassify someone as an independent contractor, you're not paying your share of Social Security, you're not paying unemployment tax, you're certainly not paying any overtime and are skirting the workers' comp requirement," he noted.

Donald Shubert, president of the Connecticut Construction Industry Association, said that dishonest contractors are hurting the law-abiding ones.

"A solid contractor will make a large investment managing their safety program, purchasing adequate coverage," Shubert said. "When other employers skirt the workers' comp requirements, [the law-abiding contractor] is at a tremendous disadvantage in bidding."


Letizia, a workers' comp lawyer who represents employers, said the Connecticut enforcement program is broadly beneficial.

"It's amazing when something works this well," he said. "Are we screwing business? No. Of the places shut down, no one's even asked for a hearing. So everyone has paid the fine and remedied the problem. That's the ideal of a good regulation.

"Any legitimate contractor would support this law. It evens the playing field so the crooks in the industry don't have an advantage."





What We Do- Training Posted by on

When our highly skilled union carpenters complete a project, it ranks in quality on par with the top craftsmanship in the world. From soundness of construction to aesthetics of the finish, quality is our top priority.

With 24,000 well-trained men and women across New England, we guarantee a deep pool of qualified workers for every type of project. Our apprenticeship program continues to generate the workforce of the future. In fact, more than 6,000 carpenters are taught each year by nearly 100 expert instructors at our 15 training facilities. Those apprentices reflect the diversity of all the communities throughout New England, and they graduate prepared for a career, not just a job.

We're committed to providing well-rounded carpenters across the entire range of building disciplines. Therefore skill upgrades make up a significant portion of our educational initiative. There are more than 65 training classes available at no cost to our members, including some of the industry's most in-demand topics.





Carpenters Center wins final approval Posted by on

The Boston Zoning Board of Appeals today approved NERCC plans for construction of the Carpenters Center, which will serve as the union??s headquarters at 750 Dorchester Avenue. The ruling follows the recommendation of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which approved the project last week. The ZBA ruling is the final approval needed for the project to move forward. After a review and comment period, the project will begin, with demolition of the existing building expected to begin before the end of the year.





The good: Company touts training, benefits in going union Posted by on

By Denis Paiste
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
Sunday, Sep. 14, 2008

MANCHESTER - In an industry that relies largely on subcontractors, Spectrum Floors is trumpeting a new relationship with its workers, about 17 of whom are now members of Carpenters Union Local 118.

After about four months, Spectrum president Scott Richards, 48, said, "It's been a pleasant change."

Co-owner and project manager Jeffery Chandler, 37, said that, in the past, there was always a tug of war over money with subcontractors.

"Now it's not like that," he said. "We work as a team now as opposed to working against each other."

Carpenters Union Local 118 business manager John Jackson also is enthusiastic about the new relationship with Spectrum Floors. "They're a good company, and they've got some good people working for them," he said. "It's going to be a good relationship, so we're excited as well."

Being members of the Carpenters Union makes the Spectrum workers eligible for health insurance, a retirement program and extensive training programs.

"In talking to Scott and Jeff, that was one of the things they wanted to be able to do was to have a steady workforce and to provide them with things they felt their workers should have," Jackson said. "In New Hampshire, unfortunately, what happens way too often is the people in floor covering businesses are forced to work as independent contractors and, as such, they don't get benefits. They don't even get covered by worker's compensation insurance."

Journeymen make $23.10 per hour under the Carpenters Union contract, Jackson said. Local 118 has about 450 members. The local is part of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, which has 22,000 members.

There are business advantages for Spectrum through the union affiliation as well, Jackson said. "By being part of a health plan that's part of the union, they get the cost savings by being part of bigger plan." The plans covers employees at more than 1,500 contractors in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

"All these workers for us previously were subcontractors," Richards said. "We brought them in to become part of the union, and they're actually working, I consider, much more efficiently."

"It took us a while to come to this decision," he said. "For me, the turning point was seeing the training facility. To see what these apprentices have to go for, to do, before they can get their next level pay raise, it's pretty impressive."

In business since 1985, Spectrum Floors has a diverse resume of completed projects and has developed a specialty in flooring for health-care facilities.

During an interview at Spectrum's 1600 Candia Road offices in Manchester, Richards leafed through a photo album, stopping at a picture of a locomotive in Northumberland. "We did this black rubber floor in that locomotive," Richards said.

"This guy called me, he said, 'All I do is rehab locomotives, can you do it for me?' I was amazed," Richards said.

"How many people get a chance to do a train in their career? We did a helicopter for John Stabile. So there's been a few things," he said.

"We did all the work at Wiggins Air in Manchester. We did the work for FedEx corporate regional offices in New Hampshire," he said.

Spectrum is in the final phase of a project at Concord Hospital worth over $1 million and has been awarded a contract for Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro worth about $750,000.

It has done projects for Memorial Hospital in North Conway, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston as well as at the Legislative Office Building in Concord and numerous commercial office projects in Manchester.

Medical projects have higher margins, Chandler said.

Richards estimates there will be more than $1 billion of union construction in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont over the next year.

The union also offers safety and first-aid training. "They're doing everything in their power to make sure owners are getting the best people on the job," Richards said.

"When you hire a union contractor, you know that person has been trained in all aspects of flooring," Richards said.

Read the article on the Union Leader website.





I like the NERCC. Mostly all good guys Neil O'Brie... Posted by on

I like the NERCC. Mostly all good guys Neil O'Brien, Dicky Dean and bro's like that. Good Stuff keep on swinging. Keep the faith. Organize or Die




Carpenters Center wins final approval Posted by on

(Cross posted at the Carpenters Center blog.)

The Boston Zoning Board of Appeals today approved NERCC plans for construction of the Carpenters Center, which will serve as the union??s headquarters at 750 Dorchester Avenue. The ruling follows the recommendation of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, which approved the project last week. The ZBA ruling is the final approval needed for the project to move forward. After a review and comment period, the project will begin, with demolition of the existing building expected to begin before the end of the year.




Showing what's possible Posted by on

(Cross posted at Building New England)

Commodore Builders and Union Carpenters are setting a new standard for quality building on an accelerated schedule in the buildout of office space for real estate firm Leggat McCall.

The project involves fitting out 10,000 square feet of office space in 15 days. It's a project that normally would take 12 weeks. Dubbed "15 days," Commodore is not using a 24-hour work schedule. Still, the project will qualify for Gold LEED certification and the price will be within 10% of the price for a traditional schedule using traditional materials. Any cost difference may be made up when reconfigurations of the space can take advantage of movable walls and electrical and networking connections installed in raised access floors.

Commodore has worked hard to wring all of the inefficiencies out of the process, from scheduling subcontractors to purchasing materials. The job was recently featured on the local news of WCVB Channel 5, Boston's ABC affiliate. Progress of the project can be viewed at 15Days.tv.




Carpenters Center clears another hurdle Posted by on

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) yesterday gave approval to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters for construction plans submitted for the union??s ??Carpenters Center?? at 750 Dorchester Avenue. The approval moves the project one vital step closer to the demolition and construction phase. The BRA is responsible for reviewing and approving virtually all planning and development in the City of Boston and making recommendations to zoning authorities.

Plans for the project will now go to the Zoning Board of Appeals, where final approval will be needed to start the project. If given, NERCC expects to begin work on the site before the end of the year.




The good: Company touts training, benefits in going union Posted by on

By DENIS PAISTE
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
MANCHESTER ?C In an industry that relies largely on subcontractors, Spectrum Floors is trumpeting a new relationship with its workers, about 17 of whom are now members of Carpenters Union Local 118.

After about four months, Spectrum president Scott Richards, 48, said, "It's been a pleasant change."

Co-owner and project manager Jeffery Chandler, 37, said that, in the past, there was always a tug of war over money with subcontractors.

"Now it's not like that," he said. "We work as a team now as opposed to working against each other."

Carpenters Union Local 118 business manager John Jackson also is enthusiastic about the new relationship with Spectrum Floors. "They're a good company, and they've got some good people working for them," he said. "It's going to be a good relationship, so we're excited as well."

Being members of the Carpenters Union makes the Spectrum workers eligible for health insurance, a retirement program and extensive training programs.

"In talking to Scott and Jeff, that was one of the things they wanted to be able to do was to have a steady workforce and to provide them with things they felt their workers should have," Jackson said. "In New Hampshire, unfortunately, what happens way too often is the people in floor covering businesses are forced to work as independent contractors and, as such, they don't get benefits. They don't even get covered by worker's compensation insurance."

Journeymen make $23.10 per hour under the Carpenters Union contract, Jackson said. Local 118 has about 450 members. The local is part of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, which has 22,000 members.

There are business advantages for Spectrum through the union affiliation as well, Jackson said. "By being part of a health plan that's part of the union, they get the cost savings by being part of bigger plan." The plans covers employees at more than 1,500 contractors in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

"All these workers for us previously were subcontractors," Richards said. "We brought them in to become part of the union, and they're actually working, I consider, much more efficiently."

"It took us a while to come to this decision," he said. "For me, the turning point was seeing the training facility. To see what these apprentices have to go for, to do, before they can get their next level pay raise, it's pretty impressive."

In business since 1985, Spectrum Floors has a diverse resume of completed projects and has developed a specialty in flooring for health-care facilities.

During an interview at Spectrum's 1600 Candia Road offices in Manchester, Richards leafed through a photo album, stopping at a picture of a locomotive in Northumberland. "We did this black rubber floor in that locomotive," Richards said.
"This guy called me, he said, 'All I do is rehab locomotives, can you do it for me?' I was amazed," Richards said.

"How many people get a chance to do a train in their career? We did a helicopter for John Stabile. So there's been a few things," he said.

"We did all the work at Wiggins Air in Manchester. We did the work for FedEx corporate regional offices in New Hampshire," he said.

Spectrum is in the final phase of a project at Concord Hospital worth over $1 million and has been awarded a contract for Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro worth about $750,000.

It has done projects for Memorial Hospital in North Conway, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston as well as at the Legislative Office Building in Concord and numerous commercial office projects in Manchester.

Medical projects have higher margins, Chandler said.

Richards estimates there will be more than $1 billion of union construction in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont over the next year.

The union also offers safety and first-aid training. "They're doing everything in their power to make sure owners are getting the best people on the job," Richards said.

"When you hire a union contractor, you know that person has been trained in all aspects of flooring," Richards said.

http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=The+good%3A+Company+touts+training%2C+benefits+in+going+union&articleId=fa62d33a-df93-4592-9aa5-6852b8d5d4d4




Did You Know? Posted by on

Heron of Alexandria created the earliest known automatic door in the 1st century AD during the era of Roman Egypt. The first foot-sensor-activated automatic door was made in China during the reign of Emperor Yang of Sui (r. 604, C618), who had one installed for his royal library. The first automatic gate operators were later created in 1206 by the Arabic inventor, Al-Jazar

Source: Wikipedia





Carpenters Center clears another hurdle Posted by on

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) yesterday gave approval to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters for construction plans submitted for the union??s ??Carpenters Center?? at 750 Dorchester Avenue. The approval moves the project one vital step closer to the demolition and construction phase. The BRA is responsible for reviewing and approving virtually all planning and development in the City of Boston and making recommendations to zoning authorities.

Plans for the project will now go to the Zoning Board of Appeals, where final approval will be needed to start the project. If given, NERCC expects to begin work on the site before the end of the year.





Carpenters to kick off member-to-member canvassing in NH Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is kicking off general election efforts in New Hampshire this weekend, with members going door-to-door to talk to fellow members. There are more than 2,000 members of the UBC that live in New Hampshire, which is expected to be the only New England state realistically up for grabs in the Presidential election. The senate and both congressional races in New Hampshire are also nationally targeted contests.

Members of all Local Unions in all New England states are invited to join the effort. To participate, members should meet Saturday morning at 8:30 am at the New Hampshire office at 991 Candia Road in Manchester. The contact for activity is Brother Joe Donahue, who can be reached at the Manchester office, or by calling 603-621-0004.

Canvassing will continue every Saturday and Sunday until the election. For future weekends, Local Unions will ??adopt?? weekends, when members of those locals will lead the efforts. For a full schedule, see the News and Events section of necarpenters.org.




Fierro elected RI State Rep Posted by on

Chris Fierro, a researcher for the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program, won a six-way Democratic primary for state representative in Woonsocket, Rhode Island yesterday. Because there is no Republican running in the general election, the victory means Fierro is assured a seat in the Rhode Island House.
Fierro ran for the open seat in District 51 on an economic platform, vowing to fight for green jobs that can??t be exported and holding the line on property taxes. He is also planning to fight for a statewide education funding formula and to rollback tax breaks given to the state??s 500 richest citizens. He will, of course, also bring his expertise on issues specific to carpenters and the construction industry.
Only 28, Fierro is the third generation of his family to live in the Woonsocket neighborhood that he, his wife and three children call home. He holds both a Bachelor??s Degree in Political Economy and a Master??s Degree in Labor Relations.




Did You Know? Posted by on

"As a construction material, wood is 4 times more efficient as an insulator than an equivalent thickness of cinder block, 6 times more efficient than brick, 15 times more efficient than concrete, 306 times more efficient than steel, and 1,770 times more efficient than aluminum."

Source: Oregon State University Wood Science and Engineering Department





Happy Labor Day Posted by on

To all of our Brothers and Sisters in the New England Regional Council we would like to wish you a Happy Labor Day. It is significant that the history and achievements of American workers are honored with a federally recognized holiday.

While you??re enjoying what little we have left of summer, please take time out to recognize the wages, working conditions and other benefits that we enjoy because of the committed labor advocates who have come before us. Also remember that our work is never done. Many of the good things we enjoy as a result of solidarity and collective bargaining are under attack and are absent for far too many in the American workforce. In the words of UBC founder Peter McGuire, who also founded the Labor Day holiday, we must continue to ??Educate, Agitate and Organize!??



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