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2009 NERCC Scholarship guidelines announced Posted by on

The Scholarship Sub-Committee of the Council has established the guidelines for the eligibility, application, and awarding of scholarships for 2009. They are encouraging each Local to make the guidelines available at the next regular meeting and post a copy on the Local??s bulletin board. The guidelines are listed below and will also be available in the news section of the Council website.

The Sub-Committee is seeking four retirees who would be interested in serving as essay reader/graders for 2009. They should contact Ed Flaherty at the Council for more information.

There will be a required essay on a labor-related topic. The essays will be graded by the selected reader/graders for 2009. Please note that essays are provided to the reader/graders with no student names all essays are coded by number so the grader is not aware of whose essay is being read.

The deadline for submitting letters of interest in a NERCC scholarship is March 15, 2009.

TAGS: Nercc

Local 107 member, Gines, named to MassCOSH Board Posted by on

Manny Gines, a member of Carpenters Local 107 and a full time Organizer with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters has been named to the Board of Directors for MassCOSH.

According to its website, "MassCOSH brings together workers, unions, community groups, and health, safety and environmental activists to organize and advocate for safe, secure jobs and healthy communities throughout eastern and central Massachusetts. Through training, technical assistance and building community/labor alliances, MassCOSH mobilizes its members and develops leaders in the movement to end unsafe work conditions."

Since becoming an Organizer almost two years ago, Gines has played an integral role in helping the union connect with exploited workers, particularly those who do no speak English. He has worked in multiple states and with various organizing teams to build coalitions not only in the construction industry, but within communities as well.

Obama picks LA Congresswoman for Sec of Labor Posted by on

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to nominate Congresswoman Hilda Solis to be the next Secretary of Labor. The announcement is expected to be made today. Solis is serving her fourth term in Congress, representing a Los Angeles, California district.

Solis won her seat by defeating an incumbent Democrat in significant part due to her support from unions. Her father was a Shop Steward for the Teamsters in Mexico and her mother worked on an assembly line. As a State Representative in California she was a strong advocate for raising the minimum wage.

Solis?? website contains a page on labor issues that give some insight into her positions and indicate she would be a very good choice for union members. She has had good relationships with the UBC, both in Washington and her home district, with the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters.

Conn contractor gets time for cheating workers Posted by on

Michel Pare, former President of Ben & Sons Drywall Contractors in Connecticut has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison, along with two years of supervised release in connection with a pension fraud investigation. Once a major nonunion player in the drywall industry, over the course of two years the company failed to transfer more than $175,000 it withheld from workers to a pension plan. He has been ordered to pay restitution in that amount to impacted workers. Pare was sentenced to jail time for admitting to making false statements when he signed annual reports for benefit funds that he knew were false.

At one time or another, every NERCC staff member was chasing Ben & Sons or talking to carpenters working for the company, uncovering misdeeds. Congratulations to them for finally seeing justice served. The Hartford Courant covered the story.