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Architects predict strong construction growth Posted by on

The American Institute of Architects is confidently projecting strong growth in nonresidential construction this year and next, with increase of 5% in 2013 and 7.2% in 2014. Commercial construction is expected to lead the way in growth, followed by industrial work, while institutional construction will grow at a slower pace. The AIA is basing its predictions on a comparison of its own "Architecture Billings Index" with forecasts from six different industry groups. The consistency in forecasts leads them to believe they will be very reliable.





State, Feds raid Stamford mega-sites Posted by on

The Connecticut Department of Labor was joined by the US Department of Labor, OSHA and local and state police in raids of at least four construction sites in Stamford last week in an unprecedented effort to crack down on payroll fraud. The Stamford Advocate covered the raids and published a column by Angela Carella calling for developers to clean up their businesses.

The raids targeted three sites being built by Building and Land Technology and another by Greenfield Partners. The sites have all previously been the target of numerous public complaints as well as demonstrations by union carpenters and other trades workers. The Harbor Point project being built by BL&T has also been the site of numerious enforcement actions. More than 34 "Stop Work" orders had been issued at the project prior to last week's raids.

Investigators talked to more than 200 workers, according to media reports, and will sort out possible violations in the coming weeks after reviewing those interviews.
 





Standing up, speaking out in Waltham Posted by on

 A group of union carpenters were joined by senior citizens and others at a crowded meeting in Waltham to discuss the future of a former Polaroid site. The parcel is one of a handful of large projects slated for the Metro-West city. Union carpenters are watching closely to see if they will be the source of good jobs for local people or rampant fraud and profiteering by developers. With persistent action, they hope to ensure the former.

The Polaroid project--to be done in phases--will involve the construction of 180,000 square feet of retail space, 100,000 square feet for a Market Basket and another 100,000 square feet of office space.

Members of Local 275 were joined by members of other UBC locals who live in Waltham. Local 275 Business Manager Kevin Kelley was one of the few speakers at the meeting, expressing his desire for developers to make a commitment to decent standards on the project. The meeting was not open for everyone to speak, so carpenters made their feelings known by holding up and rotating small signs that read "Save The Middle Class"  on one side and "Build Union" on the other.

Members in Waltham plan to be active a other upcoming meetings, to discuss the Polaroid project as well as work at One Moody Street, with an eyee toward cementing Waltham as a strong union city. Members in and around Waltham who are interested in participating can contact Brother Kelley at Local 275's union  hall.

 

 




Ice Fishing Derby Posted by on

The 5th Annual New England Carpenters Ice Fishing Derby will be held Sunday, February 17 from 7am-2pm at Singletary Lake in Millbury, Massachusetts.

Organizer Joe Broderick will be set up at 5am at the lake, which can be accessed by West Main Street in Millbury. Look for a banner with the carpenters emblem by the boat ramp. There is a $20 fee to enter. Twenty-five percent of proceeds will be donated to the Valley Tech Educational Fund

Power augers will not be allowed before 7am and no tickets will be sold after 9am. Awards and a shore drawing will be held at the boat ramp at 2pm. Prizes will be awarded to the heaviest fish of any species, with 40% of proceeds going to the winner, 25% to 2nd place and 10% to 3rd place. Ties will be broken by fish length. All fish must be brought in alive.

For questions, please call Joe Broderick of Local 535 at 781-983-1383.





Helping Hammers: Carpenters in Haiti Posted by on

On January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti, devastating an already impoverished nation. With much of the country's medical infrastructure destroyed, plans that were in place to build a 110-bed community hospital had to be revamped. The Ministry of Health, along with Partners In Health, launched a far more ambitious plan to build a 320-bed state-of-the-art teaching hospital in Mirebalais, which is located thirty-five miles north of Port-au-Prince in the Central Plateau.

Haiti's building industry, however, was simply unable to meet the needs of the new building design. Massive donations of time, materials and skills would be needed for the project to succeed. Union carpenters and contractors stepped up to the challenge to help secure materials and volunteer their time and labor to help build the hospital while teaching Haitian workers valuable craft skills 

To learn more, check out the piece NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Erlich wrote for Commonwealth magazine about this amazing project following a trip to Haiti in 2012.





Contractor: Being union is beneficial to all Posted by on

David Rampone, President of Hart Engineering, a signatory contractor based in Cumberland, Rhode Island isn't shy about being a union contractor. Last year he volunteered to be one of the latest union contractors to do a radio ad on behalf of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. Now, he's published an opinion piece in the Providence Journal explaining why his business is better with a union partnership. Click through to read it.

The following opinion piece appeared in the January 10 print edition of the Providence Journal-Bulletin.

The benefits of employing unionists

DAVID RAMPONE

Regarding Charles Chieppo’s Dec. 20 column, “Unions are 1 percenters in Mass.,” in which he portrayed the construction industry inaccurately:

As the chief executive of a major Rhode lsland construction firm that does work all over New England, I’ll set the record straight. I am the president of Hart Engineering Corp., a general and process mechanical contractor founded over 70 years ago and based in Cumberland.

While I have read several opinion pieces by “public-relations experts” articulating the “evils” of the unionized construction industry, it needs to be pointed out that these experts have no actual experience in the construction industry and draw their conclusions based purely on anecdotal information provided by those who wish to see the unionized construction industry fail.

For the record, the National Labor Relations Act lets construction companies decide for themselves whether to be affiliated with the industry’s trade unions. It is the only industry that has such a provision. Since its inception, our firm has made the business-driven decision to be affiliated with several trade unions — a decision that has been beneficial to both our company and employees.

Currently we employ more than100 union tradesmen and women on dozens of jobs, large and small, throughout New England. These employees receive a fair wage, full health-care benefits and pension contributions — a package that lets them provide their families with a respectable standard of living. And in light of the negative attention cast on public-sector unions in these times, note that unionized construction workers are not guaranteed employment. In fact, Rhode Island unionized construction workers average about 1,500 hours worked a year. They do not receive vacation time, sick days or holiday pay, nor do they receive any benefits if they do not work the required number of hours a year — usually between 1,200 and 1,400, depending on the trade union involved.

Beyond my own company, the performance of Rhode Island’s trade unions and union contractors speaks for itself. There are more than 200 local contractors with union agreements in the Rhode Island area, and there have been more than 50 all-union project labor agreements (PLAs) worth billions of dollars completed in this area, including most of the state’s highest-profile projects. Most of these PLAs have been in the private sector.

These agreements symbolize the marketplace at work. Owners, construction managers and contractors enter into these agreements for one reason only: It is in their best interest to do so. And why? The trade unions in partnership with their contractors invest millions of dollars annually recruiting, training and retraining their workers to provide the safest, most skilled workforce in our industry. In today’s world, owners want their projects completed safely, on time, under budget and to the highest level of quality possible. That is why owners from small firms to Fortune 500 companies enter into project labor agreements.

While there are far fewer PLAs in the public sector than in the private sector, they are becoming more prevalent. However, before any public entity in Rhode Island can implement a PLA, it must complete an independent “objective and reasoned” study that recommends their use.

The trade unions’ record of providing contractors and owners with a safe and productive workforce is unmatched in our industry. Those who oppose them assert that using nonunionized workers would provide the owner with great savings. Unfortunately, those savings are usually the result of substandard wages, failure to provide health-care benefits to employees, or misclassifying employees to pay them a lower wage.

For 70 years we have provided our clients with the safest, most capable and productive work force in the industry, and our employees with a fair wage and benefits for them and their families. We are proud of what we have been able to achieve with our union partners.

David Rampone is president of Hart Engineering Corp., in Cumberland.  





NERCC Retiree Club Holiday Party Posted by on

Brother Richie Trahan checked in to report on the Holiday Party held at the Carpenters Center for NERCC's Boston Retirees Club last month. Members from the four Boston locals were invited to attend and several dozen did. A group of retired members from Carpenters Local Unions 33, 40, 67 and 218 began meeting  last fall to develop a club for members who had hung up the tools, but not their desire to stay connected to each other and the union.

The group is meeting regularly on the 2nd Monday of the month at the Carpenters Center and hopes to schedule social, educational and union-building activities. The time for the meeting has not been made permanent. For more information or scheduling, contact Richie Trahan at 781-848-9597.

 

 





Got Training? Posted by on

Registration is now open!

Registration is now open for 2013 Spring Semester. All training is provided FREE to UBC members. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early!

To register, log onto the training website NECTF.org by using your UBC number (found on your union card) and your date of birth.

Check out nercc.org/training2013 for more info. 

 





Our Work - The Unum Buildling Posted by on

 

 

Learn more about the Unum Building project by clicking here to see it in our online portfolio.





Welcome to the Carpenters Center Posted by on

The Carpenters Center, located at 750 Dorchester Avenue in Boston, is the headquarters of NERCC and the Boston Carpenters Training Center.

The 70,000 square foot facility represents all aspects of the Carpenters Union – member representation, training, organizing, funds information, banking services, and a vision center. It is a member-built facility to provide services for our members.

The design of the building celebrates the history of the Carpenters Union and the pride of the organization’s members. The bold use of colors, wood, metal and glass, and the very open interior reflects the organizational ideals. The Carpenters Center celebrates the rich history of the Carpenters Union while showcasing the training programs that keep the organization at the forefront of the ever-evolving construction industry.

 





2013 NERCC Scholarship Now Accepting Applications Posted by on

 

Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 New England Regional Council Scholarship Program. Last year 148 students applied and a total of $50,000 was awarded, including the top prize scholarship of $5,000.

To be considered for an award, a completed application package must be received by 5:00 pm on April 12, 2013.

Please review the Eligibility and Guidelines for the program before completing the application. Applicants will be required to write an essay of between 500 and 1000 words on the following topic:

What impact does “Right to Work” legislation have on labor unions, economic development and the standard of living in a state that adopt the law?

To eliminate bias, the scholarship committee is blind to the identity of the applicant. Essays are numerically coded to prevent any reader from having knowledge of the writer. Winners of the top two prizes will be asked to read their essays at the June 2013 delegate meeting. Persons awarded first or second place in a prior year are ineligible for first or second place in subsequent years.




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