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Happy Labor Day! Posted by on

A message to union carpenters...

The construction industry is facing one of its toughest period in a long time. But as union carpenters, we still have reason to be proud. Proud of our skills, our union and the history of working people in which we all play a part.

Though now as often viewed as the milestone for the end of the summer, Labor Day exists to recognize and celebrate the working men and women of the United States who make it what it is. Few have more of a visible impact than the construction workers who build the roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, offices and homes of America.

So congratulations on the very important role you play by giving your skills, your hard work and your dedication. You have earned the respect of our nation.

To learn more about the origins (some disputed) of Labor Day, we invite you to visit the three articles linked below and to share them with others so that they might better understand and appreciate the role that unions have played and still play in our country.

The History of Labor Day, from the United States Department of Labor.
The Origins of Labor Day, from the News Hour with Jim Lehrer (2001).
Why Do We Get Labor Day Off? by Brendan I Koerner, for

TAGS: Unions

W.Mass training joins Mass fund, Millbury Posted by on

The Western Massachusetts Carpenters Training Fund this week voted to merge with the Massachusetts Carpenters Training Fund and participate in the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury. Apprentices from Western Massachusetts Local 108 will begin training at the NECTC in October.

The Eastern Massachusetts Training Fund voted to merge with the Western Massachusetts Fund and change its name to the Massachusetts Carpenters Training Fund. The Western Massachusetts Fund becomes the fourth major participant in the Fund, which was formed last year as the Eastern Massachusetts Carpenters Training Fund when programs from Central Massachusetts, Southeastern Massachusetts and Northeastern Massachusetts merged.

Jason Garand, Business Manager for Local 108 said the merger will offer his members multiple improvements.

??Where we??ve had a program that ran from April to October with one instructor teaching everything, members will now be able to train year round with multiple instructors that are the very best at what they do. There is a fulltime coordinator that does nothing but work on developing a scheduling training and helping members access the programs.??

Garand said Local 108 apprentices will benefit from participating in a truly regional program. The Western Massachusetts construction market, he said, has traditionally been more self-contained than other areas, but that things have started to change dramatically. Building relationships and learning about conditions in other locals will better prepare apprentices to succeed, he said.

Bert Rousseau, Chairman of the Massachusetts Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund (MCATF) said ??This merger will improve efficiency and provide members the opportunity to participate in the MCATF Journeyman Skills Training Enhancement Program (STEP) through courses offered in our Northeast, Southeast, Central and now Western MA Training centers.??

Additional information about trainings through the program is available on the web at

TAGS: Training

NERCC, Carpenters Center featured in Dorchester Reporter Posted by on

The Carpenters Union is a traditional organization that has been around for over a hundred years. While it has a very rich history, it is also very modern and innovative. The design of the Carpenters Centers celebrates both the history and the future of the Carpenters Union.

Reporter Matthew DeLuca, with the Dorchester Reporter, recently visited the Carpenters Center to get a closer at what he calls ??the changing nature of unionism.??

In the lobby on the third floor of the new Carpenters Center at 750 Dorchester Avenue are sleek black chairs and hardwood floors and the receptionist behind her desk hums along to the radio on this quiet August afternoon. Beside the long counter of the reception desk is a small metal sculpture of a carpenter wielding a hammer that make one think more of a dentist??s office or the Museum of Contemporary Art than Woody Guthrie and Eugene V. Debs.

This idea, that unionism has changed in recent years, is reiterated again and again through the new building, both in details of its structure and design and by the people who work there.
To read the article, click here. You can also read the article on the Dorchester Reporter's website here.