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Step one: diagnose the problem Posted by on

Efforts by Union Carpenters or other advocates to uncover bad deeds often run into a wall of ignorance or denial. But two prominently featured stories on Boston.com today shine a bright light on some significant issues in the construction industry and elsewhere that clearly need some attention.

The first relates to public work being awarded to contractors despite their previous violations of various laws and their failure to disclose those violations as required by law.

The story focuses on stimulus money given to companies for paving projects, but the lack of oversight is clearly a problem that carries into other projects at the state and local level. At it's worst, the problem is intentional, as awarding authorities ignore likely or confirmed violations of prequalification or bidding laws in order to hire the contractor that simply has the lowest price.

A clear example of this can be found in Hanover, where the town awarded a public school project to Callahan Construction, despite multiple warnings from the Attorney General's office that the company had misled the town. At issue there was the company's attempt to prequalify for the project by taking credit for similar work that was done by another company. Though they claim to be a successor, they did not disclose financial problems they would've been required to include in documents if that were the case.

The second is about the massive settlement Wal-Mart just reached with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This time out, the company is paying $40 million to almost 90,000 workers for illegally lowering workers pay by refusing to pay overtime, manipulating time cards and making workers skip legally mandated breaks.

Yes, 90,000 workers. Hardly a mistake with paperwork. And don't make the mistake of thinking Wal-Mart is being a good corporate citizen by settling the suit; it was filed in 2001!





Green area renamed Posted by on

The Carpenters Union worked in conjunction with neighbors in the area to spruce up the pedestrian cut-though located on the corner of Dorchester Ave. and Howell Street.

The park has been renamed Paul??s Triangle in memory of long time Howell Street resident and community advocate Paul Markilis. Mr. Markilis?? family still resides on the street.

The neighborhood surrounding the park and the Carpenters Center is known as the ??Polish Triangle.?? In this area, Dorchester Avenue, Boston Street and Columbia road converge, literally, into a triangle that extends out into South Boston.

The triangular design of the pergola built by the Carpenters Union is part of an effort to brand the Polish Triangle neighborhood.


Desmond Rohan, neighbor and member of the McCormick Civic Association, which is involved in various beautification efforts throughout the community, including Paul??s Triangle, recently thanked the Carpenters Union saying, ??Your efforts will certainly make it possible to continue improving the area and without your support we would not have made the progress we have to date.??

The McCormack Civic Association, through the support of local merchants and businesses, recently hung wreaths for the holiday season along Dorchester Ave. To learn more about this group, visit their website at www.mccormackcivic.com.




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