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In defense of American workers Posted by on

Bob Herbert, an Opinion writer for the New York Times, makes a stirring defense of American workers and the lack of respect they receive. He uses teachers and UAW members as examples of workers who have done more for less and yet continue to be asked to do even more, for even less.

Working men and women are not getting the credit they deserve for the jobs they do without squawking every day, for the hardships they are enduring in this downturn and for the collective effort they are willing to make to get through the worst economic crisis in the U.S. in decades.

Members who have taken C.O.M.E.T or B.U.I.L.D. will recognize some of the following concepts.
The economic downturn, however severe, should not be used as an excuse to send American workers on a race to the bottom, where previously middle-class occupations take a sweatshop??s approach to pay and benefits.

The entire column is worth reading and sharing.

MASS AG hits cheaters from Mass, NH Posted by on

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's office has announced the settlement of two cases that will result in two companies paying carpenters more than $130,000 in owed wages and fines in excess of $24,000 in fines and penalties.

According to an AG Office press release, Charles J. Morris of Norwood, and his company, CJM Services, Inc., have agreed to pay $15,000 in fines and a total of $109,069.56 in restitution to seven employees for violations of prevailing wage laws and overtime laws at numerous public work sites. Morris and CJM have agreed to pay a $7,000 fine for payroll records violations and are debarred from bidding on public construction work in Massachusetts for nine months.

Alexis Construction, and its manger, James Darrah, of Manchester, NH, were also cited for failing to properly pay workers and keep records. They were ordered to pay nearly $28,000 in restitution to seven employees and over $9,000 in penalties to the state. The Attorney General's office investigated the company in response to a complaint from an employee who called the office's hotline to report that he hadn't been paid for work done at the Lexington Department of Public Works.

The Attorney General's Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing the minimum wage and overtime laws, and the payment of wages laws in the Commonwealth. Workers who believe that these laws may have been violated in their workplace are encouraged to call the Attorney General's Fair Labor Hotline at (617) 727-3465. More information about the wage and hour laws is also available in multiple languages at the Attorney General's Workplace Rights website.

Union carpenters, contractor spread some holiday spirit Posted by on

Members of Carpenters Local 67 recently partnered with union contractor Commodore Builders to help a WWII veteran in need. John MacPherson, a Normandy combat vet from Boston, was having a difficult time paying all of his bills. The NBC Nightly News did a story last month about how he had to make regular decisions about whether to pay the utility bills or buy food. Help streamed in from across the country in the form of financial contributions and offers to help secure him better benefits.

Union Carpenters and Commodore Builders eagerly jumped in to help through the Americans for Veterans Organization. Commodore Builders donated materials, supplies, and equipment and the manpower was donated by Local members. The group of volunteers included journeymen, apprentices, stewards, and some Veterans who joined the union through the Helmets to Hardhats program.

Carpenters did some basic weatherization on John's house to help keep the heating bills under control. In the spring they will return to install replacement windows and complete some other projects.

The UBC has strong ties to the armed forces, with many members themselves being veterans and many more coming into the union through the popular Helmets to Hardhats program. Helmets to Hardhats is a partnership between building trades unions and the armed services to help veterans get training and employment through unions after their service is complete.

Last night, NBC News ran a follow-up story on John and the folks who have come to his assistance. They visited John on the day union carpenters and Commodore were there doing their work. You can watch the video below.