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​Friday is for the Members Posted by on

Here's a shot of Piledrivers Local 56 Steward Tony Thompson, at his job at the Fore River Bridge in Quincy, Mass., where piledrivers are installing the fender system under the bridge. He's been a member since 1984.

On what it means to be a union member, Tony says, “It's hard to describe what the union means to me. The word that comes to mind is everything! It has provided for my family, provided great health insurance, and will provide for my wife and I in our retirement. Like I said, Everything!”

Carpenters Attend Washington Trust Annual Meeting Posted by on

Representatives from the New England Regional Council of Carpenters attended the annual shareholder's meeting for Washington Trust yesterday in Westerly, Rhode Island. They attended as representatives of Carpenters union benefit funds in New England and other regional councils in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

Business Representative Derek Adamiec and Researcher Ben Branchaud spoke at the meeting about two proposals, one related to the company's auditor and another regarding CEO pay ratio disclosure and the effect of the recent Tax Reform act as it relates to the $1 million cap on taxable compensation.

Local 330 Business Representative Derek Adamiec (right) with Ned Handy, CEO and Chairman of the Board for Washington Trust.

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters has been attending shareholders meetings for companies either based in or operating in New England for several years. While day-to-day operations for companies are not discused in the meetings, they are an avenue for the union to advocate for responsible corporate governance within companies in which union funds invest.

The meetings provide a valuable opportunity for the union to begin or continue relationships regarding their investment in development or construction of their own facilities. That was the case with Washington Trust. During his presentation at the meeting, President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Gim discussed an affordable housing initiative Washington Trust had started. Following the meeting, Adamiec and Branchaud were able to approach company leaders and discuss ways in which the union and the company might work together on the initiative.

AG Rules MBTA Violated Bid Law Posted by on

The Attorney General’s office has ruled that the MBTA violated the law by failing to publicly bid construction of a new parking garage at the North Quincy MBTA station. The ruling, which requires construction of the garage to be put out to bid, was issued in response to a bid protest filed by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

Thomas Flynn, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the union, applauded the ruling.

“This decision is a welcome, common sense application of public construction laws. The garage is on MBTA property, the MBTA will have oversight on construction, the garage will serve MBTA customers and the MBTA will maintain the revenue from the parking spaces. There is no basis for the MBTA to avoid its obligations to the public and the garage needs to bid under public procurement laws.”

The MBTA issued an Invitation to Bid for the investment and development of two parcels at the North Quincy MBTA station. The project, as currently designed, would include residential and retail units and a parking garage to replace the 852 parking spots now onsite for MBTA users.

Flynn said there should be significant interest in bidding for the garage when it is put out to bid and is pleased it will be an open and fair process.

The ruling of the Attorney General’s office can be found here.