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Block Island Wind Farm Posted by on

An up-close view of America's first offshore wind farm, a project that was built by UBC members!

Comprised of 5 wind turbines, the Block Island Wind Farm is currently in its testing phase and is scheduled to begin full operation in November. It will provide 30 megawatts of clean, renewable energy to Block Island and Rhode Island, which is enough to power 17,000 homes.

Over the course of the two construction seasons totaling 18 weeks, 90 piledrivers from Locals 94, 56, 43 & 24 installed the jacket-leg foundations for the wind turbines, amounting to 170,000 hours worked. UBC millwrights also played a key role in preparing the turbine machinery for installation.




Regualar Callahan subcontractor facing litany of charges from Mass AG Posted by on

Joseph Kerrissey, whose company J Kerrissey LLC worked for Callahan on multiple projects, allegedly owes workers more than $100,000 in connection with a wage theft scheme dating back to 2011, according to an investigation from the MA Attorney General’s office. Kerrissey and his companies are also being charged with larceny and unemployment fraud for failing to contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

The investigation found that Kerrissey owes approximately $105,000 to 31 workers, with an average amount of $3,000 per worker. Additionally, by failing to contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, contractors like Kerrissey hurt legitimate companies who pay their fair share, raising rates for everybody.

In December of 2015, a number of workers came forward to say that they had not been paid for their work. Following those complaints, Joseph Kerrissey sent threatening text messages to those workers for speaking out, and continued to make excuses for not paying the workers.


“This defendant allegedly engaged in a pattern of refusing to pay his workers the wages they were rightfully owed and used a variety of methods to dissuade them from seeking to obtain those wages,” said MA Attorney General Maura Healey. “People who work hard should be able to provide for themselves and their families and we will continue to hold accountable employers who exploit their workers."

J Kerrissey LLC has been used on Callahan projects dating back to at least 2011, including Hanover High School, the Quincy YMCA, and Chelmsford Woods Multi-Family Housing. Kerrissey and his companies (J Kerrissey LLC and Sunrise Equipment & Excavation, Inc) were indicted by a Statewide Grand Jury.

Below is the full list of charges facing Joseph Kerrissey and his companies. Subcontractors like Kerrissey are part of Callahan’s business model. To learn more about Callahan, visit callahantruth.com.

Full list of charges:
Joseph B. Kerrissey, III
• Non-payment of Employer Unemployment Contribution
• Larceny by Check over $250
• Larceny by Check under $250
• Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records to the Awarding Authority
• Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records to the Attorney General
• Failure to Pay Prevailing Wages
• Failure to Pay Wages
• Failure to Pay Overtime
• Failure to Provide a Suitable Paystub

J. Kerrissey, LLC
• Non-payment of Employer Unemployment Contribution
• Larceny by Check over $250
• Larceny by Check under $250
• Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records to the Awarding Authority
• Failure to Pay Prevailing Wage
• Failure to Pay Wages
• Failure to Pay Overtime
• Failure to Provide a Suitable Paystub

Sunrise Equipment & Excavation, Inc.
• Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records to the Awarding Authority
• Failure to Submit True and Accurate Certified Payroll Records to the Attorney General
• Failure to Pay Prevailing Wage




Retirement Seminar to be held in Worcester - sign up today! Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar "Planning for Retirement" on Saturday, November 19th. The seminar will be held at the Beechwood Hotel located at 363 Plantation Street in Worcester from 8:30-12:00 pm.

Seating is limited, so register early! Members can register online at CarpentersFund.org or by contacting the Seminar Registration Line at 978-253-5101 - Option 2.

Breakfast will be available at 8:00 AM.

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the seminar include:

Choosing your Pension, Annuity and Health Benefit Options

  • Reviewing your eligibility for retirement
  • Customized Pension Benefit calculations
  • Understanding which of our Benefit Plan options fit best with your lifestyle
  • Explore your Annuity Benefit options
  • Explanation of our Retiree Health Benefit Plan
  • Overview of Social Security Benefits


Essentials for Estate Planning

  • Protecting the assets you've accumulated
  • How to plan for the transfer of assets
  • Avoiding probate
  • Keeping your documents current


View Seminar Flyer




Register and vote early or absentee Posted by on

After all the talk, it'd be a shame if you didn't take advantage of your right to vote. Please make sure you are registered to vote before your state's deadline. In some states you must be registered by a specific date. In others, you may register on election day.

If you will be unable to go to your local polling location on November 8, please vote using an early or absentee ballot. Each state has provisions for citizens to participate in elections when they are incapacitated or away from their homes on election day for other reasons. You must request a ballot by a certain date and return it by a certain date.

Below is information, by state, for voter registration and early or absentee ballots.

Connecticut
Registration deadline – November 1st
Election day registration – Yes
On-line registration - Yes. Click here to register online.
Early Voting - No
Click here to request an absentee ballot.

Maine
Registration deadline – October 18th
Election day registration – Yes
On-line registration - No.Click here for voter registration information.
Early Voting – Yes, you may vote early at your city or town offices from Oct. 9th – Nov 7th.
Click here to request an absentee ballot.

Massachusetts
Registration deadline – October 19th
Election day registration – No
On-line registration - Yes. Click here to check your registration and to register online.
Early voting in your city or town may be done in person or by mail. It will begin October 24 and end on November 4. For more information click here.
Absentee Ballots must be received back by noon November 7.
Click here to request an absentee ballot.

New Hampshire
Registration deadline – October 29th
Election day registration – Yes
On-line registration - No. Registration is at your town or city clerk's office.
Early Voting - No
Click here to request an absentee ballot.

Rhode Island
Registration deadline – October 9th
Election day registration – No
On-line registration - Yes. Click here to register online.
Early voting by mail is currently open in Rhode Island. Mail ballots must be requested by October 18. Click here for information on early mail voting.
Click here to request an absentee ballot.

Vermont
Registration deadline – November 2nd
Election day registration – No
On-line registration - Yes. Click here to register online.
Early Voting – Yes. You may vote early at your city or town offices from Sept 24th – Nov 7th.
Click here to request an absentee ballot.




Carpenters building boardwalk for refuge Posted by on

Union carpenters have taken on a volunteer project in Sudbury and volunteers are needed.

The project involves buidling a boardwalk through the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Sudbury. Carpenters are measuring, cutting and installing 10' stringers and cross decking on completed support structures on the Red Maple Trail.

This is a UPP project that will be ongoing through mid-November.

Pictured are Brothers Michael Loynd (left) and Thomas Parmensi, both members of Carpenter Local 275, working on the project.


Carpenters are needed on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with extra volunteer hours possible Sunday through Thursday.

Confirmed work dates are October 12 & 13, October 26 & 27, November 2 & 3 and November 16 & 17.

The project is at 73 Weir Hill Road in Sudbury. Work starts at 8:30 am. Members should bring a hardhat, gloves, eye protection and basic hand tools.

The contact for the project is Tum Puopolo, who can be reached at 978-265-7467.




Labor Guild Fall Term to start next week Posted by on

The Labor Guild's School of Labor Management Relations will begin the Fall 2016 semester on September 26th. Classes will run through November 14th. All classes are held in one of two periods between 7:00 - 9:30 PM.

Classes are held at 66 Brooks Drive, RCAB Pastoral Center, Braintree, MA. Click here to check out the “course line-up that’s ideal for union staffers, officers, bargaining teams, stewards and unionists of every stripe.”

The mission of the Labor Guild is to provide engaging, high-quality, affordably-priced Labor-Management education. Each term, courses are offered in a variety of topic areas including: labor law, negotiations, union governance, leadership, public speaking,and economics. Faculty are top labor practitioners, attorneys and labor educators.

For more information, visit laborguild.com or call 781-340-7887.




Boston Globe Article Exposes Callahan Business Model Posted by on

A Boston Globe investigation published SundayBoston Globe investigation published Sunday details the extensive network of contractors who rely on wage theft and misclassification of employees as independent contractors to undermine and underbid legitimate contractors. Many of these subcontractors have worked or are working for Callahan Inc., as an integral component of its business model.

The front page article highlighted the stories of workers like Luis Mayancela, who at the age of 15 fell off the roof of a project in Portland, Maine, while working for Force Corporation, a regular Callahan subcontractor. Mayancela was transported to a hospital across state lines in the back of a work van, and his boss denied responsibility for the accident. A complex network of subcontractors made it almost impossible to hold anyone accountable for Mayancela’s accident, with each layer of subcontractor shifting responsibility to another.

The general contractor on that project claims he did not know about problems with Force Corporation, which include more than 100 violations since 2007, $1.5 million in OSHA fines that the US Attorney’s office is currently suing to collect, and a $2.6 million settlement for wage theft, all of which are publicly available.

“They don’t care. They’re going to keep using this company because they’re cheap labor. There’s a reason that they’re so inexpensive compared to the market. It doesn’t come free, that discount,” said Stacie Sobosik, a Medford attorney who represents injured workers. 1,300 complaints to the Massachusetts Attorney General in the last three years for wage and safety violations has resulted in $2.4 million in restitution and $1 million in penalties, much of which remains unpaid as companies flee to avoid enforcement.

The article goes on to highlight Callahan Inc., another company that claimed innocence over Force Corporation’s wrongdoings and has a long history of using subcontractors that rely on the underground economy. Callahan is currently the general contractor on a 447 unit development in Somerville, and recently finished the One North of Boston complex in Chelsea. A recent visit to the Chelsea site by the Globe found Universal Drywall with 30 workers on site, many of whom were listed as independent contractors. Universal was sued for this illegal practice in 2014 by the Attorney General, but remains on Callahan’s projects.

These illegal and unethical business practices are endemic to Force Corporation, Callahan Inc., and the other contractors highlighted in this investigation. Learn more about Callahan by visiting our website.




Somerville Aldermen condemn Callahan Posted by on

The Somerville Board of Aldermen unanimously passed a resolution condemning the use of Callahan Inc, and calling on developers who receive public subsidies to use responsible contractors who provide a living wage, health insurance, workers compensation, retirement benefits, and apprenticeship training to the workers that build their projects.

In particular, the resolution criticized Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) for selecting Callahan as the general contractor on their 448 unit apartment building in Assembly Row. The project received $73 million in direct and indirect public support from the City of Somerville and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and FRIT received numerous warnings from city and state elected officials, as well as residents and community organizations, that Callahan's lower bid was due to their reliance on subcontractors who utilize illegal and unethical business practices. However, the $9 billion company stated it could not afford to use union labor, and selected Callahan.

Now, the woodframing on the project is being performed by Force Corporation, a company that has been ordered to pay more than $3.9 million in back wages, fines, and fees over the last two months. "If FRIT had hired a responsible general contractor, all the various forms of public support for the project would not be benefiting contractors like Callahan and Force, whose business practices are antithetical to the public good," reads the resolution.

The resolution was sponsored by all 10 of the Aldermen who were present at the meeting, and many spoke on behalf of the resolution. "If [the project] is not making the quality of life better for the people in the city, than it's not meeting the goal that I'd like to see," said Ward 1 Alderman Matt McLaughlin.

Union carpenters and community members who live and work in Somerville were also present at the meeting. Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, addressed the Board, elaborating on the record of Callahan Inc and thanking the Board for their support.

Somerville joins communities around the area in urging developers to use responsible contractors and to look carefully at the records of general contractors like Callahan Inc. Callahan's business practices do not support a sustainable and healthy community, and area officials are rightly concerned about the impact these contractors have on their cities and towns. For more information about Callahan, visit callahantruth.com.




NERCC Hosts Department of Labor Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is proud to host the U.S. Department of Labor and their guests at the Carpenters Center in Dorchester today.

The US DOL is holding an educational event to promote apprenticeship programs and training as part of President Obama's challenge to double the number of Americans in apprenticeship programs. This session, focused on the construction industry, brings together almost 200 national and regional leaders.

Training in the skilled trades is an essential part to not only building quality, but retention of qualified workers. And when workers learn more, they earn more. We're happy to see the President focus on apprenticeship and proud to play a role in helping it succeed.

If you or someone you know is interested in a career as a carpenter, please click here to learn how to get started.




NH Retirement Seminar Scheduled Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar "Planning for Retirement" on Saturday, September 10, 2016. The seminar will be held at the Event Center at Courtyard by Marriott Nashua located at2200 Southwind Drive, Nashua, NH from 8:30-12:00 pm.

Seating is limited, so register early! Members can register online at CarpentersFund.org or by contacting the Seminar Registration Line at 978-253-5101 - Option 2.

Breakfast will be available at 8:00 AM.

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the seminar include:

Choosing your Pension, Annuity and Health Benefit Options

  • Reviewing your eligibility for retirement
  • Customized Pension Benefit calculations
  • Understanding which of our Benefit Plan options fit best with your lifestyle
  • Explore your Annuity Benefit options
  • Explanation of our Retiree Health Benefit Plan
  • Overview of Social Security Benefits


Essentials for Estate Planning

  • Protecting the assets you've accumulated
  • How to plan for the transfer of assets
  • Avoiding probate
  • Keeping your documents current


View Seminar Flyer




Community Leaders Join Rally Posted by on

NERCC members and community leaders demonstrated against Callahan, Inc. on Tuesday at Assembly Row in Somerville, Mass.

Union carpenters, other tradespeople, and community members heard remarks from NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Erlich; Somerville Aldermen Mark Niedergang, Ward 5; Matt McLaughlin, Ward 1, which covers the project; Senator Patricia Jehlen, 2nd Middlesex District; and Tim Toomey, Cambridge City Council, who spoke about the Policy Order unanimously approved the night before.


Before leading the group in a march in front of the Callahan project, Erlich remarked, "We're not talking about someone who is nonunion and we just don't like them. That's not the issue. We're talking about people who cheat as a business model. Cheat as a way of making money. Cheat as a way of undercutting legitimate contractors. Cheat taxpayers…That’s our objection."







Carpenters Rally Against Unscrupulous Business Model Posted by on

On Monday, Carpenters gathered in Quincy, MA, to rally against Callahan, Inc., a firm which relies on a business model based on the use of subcontractors that often misclassify employees as 'independent contractors,' pay cash, and take advantage of undocumented workers. The following day, the Department of Labor issued a news release announcing the $2.4 million settlement against Callahan subcontractor Force Corp. involving unpaid overtime for 478 workers.




Cambridge City Council Condemns Callahan Posted by on

Just days after a $2.6 million settlement was reached against yet another Callahan subcontractor, the Cambridge City Council voted unanimously in favor of a Policy Order condemning Callahan and urging developers to avoid doing business with general contractors who continually engage in utilizing unscrupulous contractors.

The Policy Order, which passed unanimously, cited Callahan's long record of hiring subcontractors who pay their workers under the table, misclassify employees as independent contractors, violate health and safety requirements, and engage in all other manners of illegal and unethical behaviors. An online copy of the order links to numerous newspaper articles and press releases from government agencies documenting the violations of Callahan's subcontractors.

Mayor Denise Simmons proposed the order, which was also sponsored by Vice Mayor Marc McGovern and Councilor Leland Cheung.

"The net effect of engaging in such practices is to make it virtually impossible for honest, law abiding contractors to compete, to cheat the government out of needed tax revenue, to place a heavy strain upon the community's social service programs and affordable housing stock, and to exploit and endanger the welfare of often vulnerable workers;" reads the order. It goes on to criticize project owners who "perpetuate these immoral practices by hiring Callahan."

Cambridge joins Quincy, Somerville, Waltham, and other municipalities in their concern over general contractors such as Callahan, who "regularly turn a blind eye to the role their subcontractors may be playing in supporting the underground economy." These business practices do not support a sustainable and healthy community, and area officials are rightly concerned about the impact these contractors have on their cities and towns. For more information about Callahan, visit callahantruth.com.





Friday is for the Members Posted by on

NERCC is starting a new weekly program on Facebook and Instagram. We want to show off our members and their work. Post a picture of yourself and/or the crew on your job on Friday to Instagram or the NERCC Facebook page and we'll share it! Whoever gets the most people to like their photo by the next Friday wins a prize!

Include information about the project, the contractor you're working for and the work you're doing. Be sure to name and tag the othe r members on the job and tell us the local unions represented. For Instagram, tag nercc_ubc. On Facebook, tag @New England Regional Council of Carpenters and check your settings to ensure that your picture can be shared.



Only members of NERCC-affiliated local unions are eligible to win.

Pictures should be taken during breaks or at the start or end of the day, not during work time.




Cheating continues to be Callahan's business model Posted by on

Callahan subcontractor Force Corporation was recently forced to pay more than $4,500 in back wages to three workers after being confronted by community groups about the wage theft. The workers, who installed windows and doors on a Pulte Homes project in Weymouth, said Force Corporation had not paid them in many weeks. A letter to Force and Pulte from the workers states, "our families should not have to go another day without our hard earned wages."

This kind of behavior is commonplace for Force Corporation, who was recently fined $91,000 for OSHA violations, and whose predecessor companies were sued just last month for $1.3 million in outstanding OSHA fines and fees. Force was also the target of a Boston Globe article exploring wage theft on the CATS academy project in Braintree. Force Corporation worked for Callahan on their Pinehills Independent Living Facility in Plymouth, and is currently working on Callahan's Assembly Row project.

Callahan was also recently caught using Lighthouse Masonry, a company whose violations are well documented by area newspapers. In 2010, the state ordered all exterior wall panels removed from the federal courthouse being constructed in Salem after a panel fell on a worker, causing serious leg injuries. DCAM later ruled that the accident was entirely due to Lighthouse Masonry using the wrong type of screw, and they were debarred for a year. Now, Lighthouse is doing the masonry work on Callahan's "The District" project in Burlington. While we have primarily focused on Callahan's choice in carpentry subcontractors, it is clear that it shares the same disregard for safety, quality, and workers' rights across all trades.

The regularity with which subcontractors such as Force Corporation and Lighthouse Masonry are hired by Callahan Inc. is well documented, and should give pause to any end user considering hiring Callahan as a general contractor.




Union Talk: Mark Erlich's Summer Report Posted by on

In this episode of Union Talk, Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, speaks about income inequality in the United States and the importance this year’s presidential election has on addressing the issue.





Local 210 members rally at Stamford project Posted by on

Members of Carpenters Local 210 at the Rogers Magnet Elementary school project in Stamford, CT, where state labor officials found a 13-year old boy doing electrical work on the $77 million project funded partly by the state.

Quoted in an article in the Stamford Advocate, Nancy Steffens, said “[this] situation was very dangerous,” … noting that electricity is not one of the “very limited” number of occupations teenagers can undertake.




Child found working at Stamford school construction site Posted by on

“For a kid in the richest city in Connecticut, in a first-world country, he should not be living a third-world nightmare,” said Ted Duarte, a senior organizer for the union. “I guess the thinking is if it’s for kids, it should be built by kids.”

Read media coverage here at the Stamford Advocate.




NERCC Awards $56,000 in scholarships Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has awarded more than $56,000 to 138 students as part of its annual scholarship program. In the last five years, the program has given away awards totaling more than a quarter of a million dollars.

A brother and sister won the top two awards this year! Joshua Webber was awarded $5,000 while Rachel Webber won $3,000. Their father, Theodore Webber, is a member of Carpenters Local 33 in Boston.

Applicants were required to write an essay of between 500 and 1000 words on the following topic:

Over the past 30 years, the U.S. has entered into Free Trade agreements with numerous countries. Now the Obama administration has proposed the new Pacific trade and investment deal, the Trans Pacific Partnership. Discuss the pros and cons of this and past free trade agreements. Are they beneficial to the U.S. economy? What is the impact of this agreement on American jobs, and the wages of American workers?

Joshua and Rachel attended the NERCC Delegate’s meeting last weekend in Millbury, where they read their essays. Following is a list of scholarship winners, listed with their member parent or guardian and their local union affiliation.

Joshua Webber (Theodore Webber, Local 33)

Rachel Webber (Theodore Webber, Local 33)

Francesca Ambrose (Michael Ambrose, Local 56)

Gabriel Bamforth (David Borrus, Local 56)

Emma Barile (Timothy Craw, Local 108)

Gabriel Cain (Christopher Cain, Local 107)
(click here to read the entire list)

Information about the NERCC Scholarship Program

NERCC SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE

Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer

Brian Richardson, Organizing Director

Al Peciaro, Director of Contractor Relations, Executive Director of NECLMP

Beth Conway, NERCC Controller

AWARDS
Year # students Award
2012 151 $50,350
2013 107 $52,050
2014 153 $59,650
2015 124 $56,100
2016 138 $56,650
Total 673 $274,800

ELIGIBILITY
1. Members in good standing and dependent children of members in good standing from any Local of the Council are eligible to apply. Grandchildren are eligible only if the grand parent is the legal guardian of the student. Children who are not legal dependents of a member are not eligible. Children of members who died within five years prior to January 1, 2016 are eligible.

2. Applicants must be enrolled in a post high school program.

3. College level programs must consist of at least three courses of three credits each.

4. Courses in technical or specialty schools such as automotive training, computer training, etc. can qualify if the program is at least six months in duration, is full-time, and awards a certificate or diploma upon completion.

5. Students must have a "C" average to apply.

6. Students can apply for a scholarship each year throughout their undergraduate years (not to exceed four years). The Committee will have the final say as to a particular student’s eligibility.

7. Graduate students and students working toward a second bachelor’s degree are not eligible.






Rethinking Boston Housing Development Posted by on

The construction of new, workforce housing in Boston has been a popular subject for political debate and media coverage. But many of the discussions include an assumption presented as fact that's just not accurate. It's a mistake that could cost workers good jobs and Boston good housing. In this week's Boston Business Journal, Mark Erlich sets the record straight.

ViewPoint: Developers have a disconnect on wages
by Mark Erlich
June 17, 2016


Boston is booming, as some 172,000 newcomers moved to the area between 2010 and 2014. And there are no signs of a slowdown.


The demand for housing - particularly workforce and affordable housing - exceeds the supply. According to the city of Boston, 4,700 new residents will have to be housed every year to meet 2030 population projections. As a result, Mayor Martin J. Walsh has called for the construction of 53,000 units over the next 15 years.

It has become an article of faith in some corners of the development community that high union labor costs are the primary barrier to accomplishing the mayor's ambitious goals. As it turns out, this perspective is not supported by data in several studies of housing costs in Boston and New York City.

In both cities, construction labor and materials make up 59 percent of total development costs, while over 40 percent is attributable to land costs (at 18 percent) and soft costs such as financing, architecture and legal fees (22 percent).
Over the last decade, land acquisition in Boston has climbed 4.4 times faster than the rate of inflation. Similarly, financing costs have risen 5.4 times faster. Yet during the same period, labor and materials have increased only three-fifths as fast as inflation. In a striking comparison, land costs are up 42 percent, while construction costs are only 6 percent higher over the last 10 years.

As former BRA economist John Avault's study of the New York City multifamily housing industry notes, "with construction worker wages comprising 17 percent of construction industry billings, and construction costs representing about 60 percent of total development costs, construction worker wages are estimated as 10 percent of total costs."

Given labor's limited portion of total costs, how can eliminating union participation address the real concerns? In fact, during the years covered by these studies, the typical annual construction union increases for wages and benefits have been between 1 percent and 3 percent.

Some developers point to New York City as a model since multiunit residential construction there has become increasingly non-union. It has also become the Wild West of the industry. A Fiscal Policy Institute report estimates that 36 percent of the construction workers in the city's residential sector are employed illegally - either off the books or misclassified as "independent contractors" and, incredibly, that number doubles in the affordable housing industry.

Last November, the New York Times ran an exposé of safety in the city's construction industry. While building activity is up 11 percent, construction accidents have skyrocketed by 52 percent, and the majority of deaths and injuries involve undocumented workers.
The ultimate irony is that developers who seek to build their workforce apartment buildings with low-waged, non-union labor plan to market their units to teachers, nurses, firefighters and other similar occupations - all of which are unionized and can, therefore, support the rents. Yet those developers reject the notion that the men and women who build their projects should earn sufficient wages to live there.

Mark Erlich is the executive secretary-treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters




Carpenter funds sell most of interest in Radius Bank Posted by on

On June 3, 2016 the New England Carpenters Pension and Annuity Funds and the Northeast (formerly Empire State) Carpenters Pension Funds closed on a transaction reducing their collective ownership of Radius Bank (formerly known as First Trade Union Bank) from more than 99% to less than 5%. The New England Carpenters Pension Fund received $14,320,185.96 and the Guaranteed Annuity Fund received $8,007,144.59 in addition to shares representing a 2.49% interest (valued at approximately $1,158,000) in the Bank’s reorganized holding company. A group of private investors now owns 95% of Radius, and they invested an additional $18 million of new equity capital to be used towards the Bank’s growth.

The decision to reduce the Funds’ ownership position in Radius was prompted by concerns over the application of the "Volcker Rule" in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act which prohibits banks and their affiliates from making many of the types of investments that are traditionally held by pension funds. An unintended consequence of the Volcker Rule forced the Funds to terminate their controlling interest in the Bank in order to have the ability to make a broad range of prudent investments necessary to meet their obligations to their participants and beneficiaries.

“It is the end of one chapter and the beginning of another in our relationship to the Bank,” said Mark Erlich, chair of the New England Carpenters Benefit Funds. “The proceeds of the sale will be invested in our Funds in accordance with the existing asset allocation.”




​Wynn issued building permit for Everett casino Posted by on

Construction of the $2 billion Wynn Boston Harbor hotel and casino is set to begin soon, as a building permit was issued by the city of Everett this week. Though some environmental litigation is still pending, 40% of the site is unaffected by the dispute and work can begin there.

Suffolk Construction has been selected to led the project, ensuring that carpentry work will be performed by union carpenters employed by union subcontractors.

The permit allows work to be performed for "the installation of deep foundations, including the excavation and perimeter foundation walls."

Completion of the mega-resort is expected to take about two and a half years.




Get your hearing checked FREE Posted by on

It's important to get your hearing checked. WE SAID IT'S IMPORTANT TO GET YOUR HEARING CHECKED!

Carpenters Care now provides free audiology screenings the second Tuesday of every month at the Carpenters Center in Dorchester. Screenings will be completed by a licensed audiologist, free of charge to the member or dependent, and last no more than 30 minutes. Call 617-782-0100 to book your appointment.




Stamford project up to 11 "Stop Work" orders Posted by on

Carpenters in Stamford this week held a demonstration at the site of a construction project where "Stop Work" orders were issued by the state because of apparent violations of laws related to workers' compensation insurance and payroll. The Stamford Advocate published a story on the action and underlying issue in their print edition.

Falcon Construction, based in Floral Park, New York, was cited by the Connecticut Department of Labor last week while working on a 209-unit building that is part of the Park Square West IV project. Union staff had previously talked to workers employed on the site who had given them information that led them to believe that the company was misclassifying them as independent contractors.

Dan Ravizza, a researcher with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, was quoted in the story saying the "Stop Work" order was "the direct evidence of labor practice violations committed by Falcon Construction. I'm mainly concerned for the taxpayers in this situation. When the contractor is skipping out on payroll taxes, that revenue is made up by the taxpayer."

Another, now completed, portion of the Park Square West IV project was the subject of ten "Stop Work" orders.

Morganti Group of Danbury is the general contractor on the project. Trinity Financial of Boston is the developer. Neither responded to the paper’s inquiries to explain the violations on their project.





Shaughnessy launches new company with union support Posted by on

How often do you see a new company issue a press release announcing their launch that includes mentions of their relationships with labor unions? And quotes from union representatives?

It happened today when industry veteran Kim Shaughnessy announced her launch of ACK Marine and General Contracting.

Shaughnessy has become known while working for Cashman Equipment and JM Cashman and will operate ACK as a certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE).

The press release details not only her extensive qualifications, but her partnerships with labor.

"During her career, Shaughnessy has formed close working relationships with labor unions including Pile Driving & Divers, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and the International Union of Teamsters, and plans to continue those relationships in her new company."

It also includes quotes from labor leaders, including Pile Drivers Local 56 Business Representative Dave Borrus.

“Pile Drivers Local 56 looks forward to working with ACK Marine & General Contracting and supporting their operations with skilled marine construction workers,” said David Borrus, Business Representative of Pile Drivers Local 56. “We have worked with owner Kim Shaughnessy for many years during her tenure at Cashman Equipment and J.M. Cashman Inc., we know her to be an experienced and responsible manager, and wish her every success with the launch of her new company.”

We look forward to working with Kim Shaughnessy and ACK Marine and General Contracting for a long time.




Burrows elected to Billerica Planning Board Posted by on

Congratulations to Local 275 carpenter John Burrows, who was elected to the Planning Board in Billerica, Massachusetts on Saturday. In his new capacity, Burrows could be named to the town's School Building Committee as it takes on construction of a new $183 million high school.

Saturday's election was Burrows second run for the seat. After having lost by only 22 votes last year, he ran again, generating support from carpenters local unions as well as from other building trades. He finished second, winning one of three seats up for election.




Get Active: Join the Callahan Campaign Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is targeting Callahan, Inc because of the way it does business. We've documented some of the problems that have occurred on Callahan projects or are attributable to regular Callahan subcontractors on a website, CallahanTruth.com. They include wage theft, fraud, child labor, lawsuits and delays and added costs for owners.

Callahan is responsible for the consequences of choosing dangerous, illegal and unethical subcontractors and the Carpenters union wants to hold them accountable through our campaign.

The participation in members will be crucial. Can we count on you to help?

Please contact the Business Agent for your Local Union or email NewEnglandCarpenters@gmail.com.




Labor Guild Spring term begins March 14th Posted by on

The Labor Guild's School of Labor Management Relations has released its schedule of classes for the Spring 2016 semester. Classes begin March 14th and run through May 9th. All classes are held in one of two periods between 7:00 - 9:30 PM.

Classes will be held at the Guild’s new location, 66 Brooks Drive, RCAB Pastoral Center, Braintree, MA. Click here to check out the “course line-up that’s ideal for union staffers, officers, bargaining teams, stewards and unionists of every stripe.”

The mission of the Labor Guild is to provide engaging, high-quality, affordably-priced Labor-Management education. Each term, courses are offered in a variety of topic areas including: labor law, negotiations, union goverance, leadership, public speaking,and economics. Faculty are top labor practitioners, attorneys and labor educators.

For more information, visit laborguild.com or call 781-340-7887.





Helping Hammers: Boston Fire Department Moon Island Posted by on

As union carpenters, we understand the importance of training, from reaching our full potential as crafts workers to making sure we're as safe and whole going home as we were arriving at the job. For members of the Boston Fire Department, training is even more important. Day in and day out, they're working to save the lives and property of the people of Boston. That’s why Boston Firefighters Local 718 recently enlisted the help of the New England Carpenter Training Fund for our latest “Helping Hammers” endeavor.As part of their supervised training, union carpenter apprentices built a structure to be used in Rapid Intervention and Thermal Imaging Rescue training. It was built at the Boston Fire Training Academy on Moon Island in Quincy, MA, and will be invaluable to their ongoing firefighting and lifesaving training programs.





NERCC work leads to jail fines for cheating contractor Posted by on

From the Manchester Union-LeaderManchester Union-Leader:

"A city dry-wall contractor was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $780,000 for his role in an under-the-table payroll scheme."

"Cruz E. Galvan, 39, who operated Four Star Drywall, was ordered to pay the IRS restitution totaling $786,553. Authorities said he had paid $100,000 of that amount several weeks before being sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court."

Through countless job-site visits, staff of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters uncovered the dishonest business practices of Four Star Drywall and Cruz Galvin. They spread the word to general contractors, end users, public officials and enforcement agencies.

The end result is that Mr. Galvin has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, will pay $786,553 to the Internal Revenue Service and will be deported upon his release from prison.

We will continue to find and expose behavior like that of Mr. Gavlin and Four Star Drywall and hope that general contractors will refuse to hire subcontractors that operate in that way.

A pat on that back to Manny Gines and all of the other Organizers and Agents who worked on this.

MANCHESTER — A city dry-wall contractor was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $780,000 for his role in an under-the-table payroll scheme.

Cruz E. Galvan, 39, who operated Four Star Drywall, was ordered to pay the IRS restitution totalling $786,553. Authorities said he had paid $100,000 of that amount several weeks before being sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court. - See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20160210/NEWS03...
MANCHESTER — A city dry-wall contractor was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $780,000 for his role in an under-the-table payroll scheme.

Cruz E. Galvan, 39, who operated Four Star Drywall, was ordered to pay the IRS restitution totalling $786,553. Authorities said he had paid $100,000 of that amount several weeks before being sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court. - See more at: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20160210/NEWS03...



Local 108 Winter Party Posted by on

Local 108 recently hosted its annual Winter Party at the Castle of Knights in Chicopee, MA. 250 members and their dates attended. A pin ceremony was held during the party and three members received special recognition. Matt McGurn received Member of the Year, Jason Gauthier received Steward of the Year, and Julie Boucher received Apprentice of the Year, along with a $150 scholarship funded by donations in memory of two departed members.


TAGS: Local 108



The Troubling Disappearance of the Middle Class in America Posted by on

Michael Snyder wrote an interesting post at Washingtons Blog focused on the disappearance of the middle class. The post, based on numbers released by the Social Security Administration and other sources, paints a troubling picture for what used to be the pride of America.

"51 percent of all workers in the United States make less than $30,000 a year. Let that number sink in for a moment. You can’t support a middle class family in America today on just $2,500 a month – especially after taxes are taken out. And yet more than half of all workers in this country make less than that each month. In order to have a thriving middle class, you have got to have an economy that produces lots of middle class jobs, and that simply is not happening in America today."

He notes that the federal poverty level for a family of five is $28,410 and yet 38% of American workers made less than $20,000 in 2014, 62% made less than $40,000 and 71% made less than $50,000.

Living at a middle class level requires income of $50,000. But four of ten adults made less than half of that. 51% made only slightly more than half of that. And this only accounts for Americans able to find work. At the time of the post, Snyder noted that 102.6 Americans did not have jobs.

Americans are no less willing to work than previous generations. Unfortunately, there are fewer jobs paying decent wages available to them. Meanwhile, salaries for upper management and corporate profits soar.




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