Blog

Viewing: Local 107
Page
of 2

Carpenters Appreciation Night is around the corner Posted by on

70 BIG prizes, 3 ways to watch LIVE on March 11! Come to the Carpenters Center in Dorchester, watch from the comfort of your home or hang out at one of FIFTEEN viewing events throughout New England. All members welcome at all locations. Additional door prizes available at all live events with 25+ members! For details, click here.





Carpenters recruit by showing off training center Posted by on

There's welcome news for construction contractors in New England worried about a current or looming skilled labor shortage. Today, more than 900 students currently enrolled in vocational high schools or programs are visiting the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, Massachusetts today.

During their visit, they're learning more about the comprehensive training programs available in the diverse carpentry trade. They're also seeing some of the most sophisticated facilities in the country, combining state-of-the-art shop and work space with classrooms, dormitory, dining and recreation space.

Though some students may have experience in limited aspects of the industry, today's tour gives them a comprehensive view of the trade, work conditions and career opportunities available to trained, motivated and supprted trades workers.

A lack of skilled trades workers is consistently cited in surveys by employers as a limiting factor for company growth and their ability to deliver consistent quality work. Contractors signatory to the Carpenters union have the advantage of joint training programs and fairly negotiated wage and benefit packages that attract the most qualified applicants.

For more information on training programs visit nercc.org/training





State to review $17M tax giveaway Posted by on

In late September 2014 the Economic Assistance Coordinating Council (EACC) agreed to a panel review in response the New England Regional Council of Carpenters application to revoke state and local tax relief for Great Wolf. The EACC expects a status report from the panel review sometime in December. Read coverage of these recent events in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette and the Fitchburg Sentinel

Learn more at nercc.org/greatwolf





Retirement Seminar scheduled for November 15th 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 November 15, 2014. The seminar will be held at the New England Carpenters Training Center located at 13 Holman Road in Millbury, MA, from 8:30-12:00 pm. 

Registration will begin on October 14th. 

As of October 14th members can register online at CarpentersFund.org or by contacting the Seminar Registration Line at  at 978-253-5100 to reserve a spot. 

Seating is limited. 

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

Choosing your Pension, Annuity & 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

 





Public Citizen Illustrates Negative Effects of TPP's Threat to "Buy American" Posted by on

 

Billions of dollars belonging to U.S. citizens could be shipped overseas if the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s threat to the “Buy American” program is enacted. Learn more on the UBC site here





Senate Republicans' Latest Attack on Davis-Bacon: A Sign of the Future? Posted by on

Republican Senator Mike Lee from Utah has filed Senate Bill S2617 which, if passed, would pave the way to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act. That would put millions of carpenters at risk of being paid less than the prevailing wage. Visit the UBC's website here to learn where your government representatives stand on Davis-Bacon, and vote for those who support the basic right of earning a fair wage.





Rebuilding a community, not just a building Posted by on

In early 2009, an electrical fire damaged a Worcester building that served as a home to the Stone Soup Community Resource group, a collection of volunteer organizations. With plenty of community support, but scarce funding, the group faced an uncertain future. Local 107's Dave Minasian was an active member of Stone Soup and was able to organize help from friends in the union and the New England Carpenters Training Center to join an effort to make the space usable again.

YouthBuild Boston served as the general contractor on the project. YouthBuild helps low-income young adults between the ages of 16-24 work towards their GEDs, while learning job skills through training and pre-apprenticeship programs. In need of skilled labor to partner with, Local 107 member volunteers and apprentices working under the direction of NECTC instructors stepped up and became an integral part of the rebuild process.

The green rebuild included fire repairs, energy retrofit weatherization work, electrical and heating system updates, and wheelchair accessibility improvements.





Carpenters win right to choose representation at Electric Boat Posted by on

Carpenters in Local 1302 at Electric Boat in Groton, Connecticut have successfully beat back an effort by the Metal Trades Council (AFL-CIO) to eliminate their rights and fold them into other unions. This is the first situation in the country where carpenters have stood up, fought back and defeated this piece of the national AFL-CIO's campaign against the UBC.

In 2011, the national AFL-CIO's Metal Trades Department issued a directive to Metal Trades Councils across the country to remove UBC-affiliated locals from their council and prohibit them from continuing to represent the interests of their carpenter members. In February this year, the Metal Trades Council barred Local 1302 from participating in contract negotiations with Electric Boat. The new collective bargaining agreement reached in April removed any reference to the Carpenters union. Shortly thereafter, the MTC stripped Local 1302 of its ability to represent carpenters in the adjustment of their grievances and began a campaign to have carpenters join local unions affiliated with the Laborers, Boilermakers and Painters.

"We tried to get a solidarity agreement with the Metal Trades Council, but it got shot down by their national people," said Bob Tardif, Chief Steward of Local 1302. "Once they shut us out of negotiations, we started to look at our options and talk to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. We wanted to keep our identity and Mark (Erlich) said that whatever resources we needed, we would have."

As a result of a petition filed by NERCC and Local 1302, a Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board has issued a decision allowing carpenters at Electric Boat to have a "severance election." The election gives carpenters the right to choose the Carpenters union to bargain with the shipyard, separate from the Metal Trades Council, which represents all other trades workers. Voting for the Carpenters union will allow Local 1302 carpenters to continue their 70-year history of membership and representation by the Carpenters union, rather than be dispersed to other unions.

The election is scheduled for later this month, though the Metal Trades Council and Electric Boat may appeal the decision to the full National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

"If the vote isn't unanimous, it will probably be really close to unanimous," said Tardif. "Right now, we're all really proud to be members of the Council and get the support we've really needed, from the Executive Board, the Delegates and everyone else.

Congratulations to the courageous union carpenters of Local 1302 for standing together and winning this important fight .





Bay State Drywall carpenters win union election Posted by on

 In an election held last night in Southeastern Massachusetts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), carpenters employed by Bay State Drywall voted for union representation from the Carpenters union by a 10-8 margin. The Freetown-based company is one of a group of contractors in the Fall River-New Bedford area, sometimes referred to as "drywall alley," that draw carpenters from the substantial Portuguese population. During peak season, they typically employ 40-50 carpenters and have been one of the larger nonunion companies in the market.

Representatives from the New England Regional Council of Carpenters have become familiar faces to Bay State employees over the years thanks to countless jobsite visits, which created a level of trust. When there were disputes with the owners over restoring pay cuts made during slow times, the workers decided to go forward with a union election.

Negotiation of an agreement with Bay State cannot start until after the NLRB resolves a union challenge to the uncounted ballots of six employees that Bay State had argued should be included in the election. Those employees are primarily tapers and the Council has taken the position that they do not fall under the definition of a carpenter bargaining unit. A Board ruling on the matter may take as long as two months.

"I'm proud of the carpenters who had the courage to stand up to the company and proud of our staff that led the organizing drive," said Mark Erlich, NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer. "NLRB elections are not that common in the construction industry and this victory sends a message that we will use every tool at our disposal to represent working carpenters in New England."





CTA signs union agreement Posted by on

CTA Construction signed a collective bargaining agreement with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters on July 2nd. The contract represents a culmination of a long campaign by the Council and extensive discussions over the past few years between the two organizations.

CTA was founded in 2000 by Lyle Coghlin and Pat Tompkins. Over the past fourteen years, the company has emerged as one of the larger public construction contractors in Massachusetts, with an annual volume of $138 million in 2013. CTA was listed as the 12th largest general contractor in the 2012 Boston Business Journal's Book of Lists and is currently ranked as the 376th biggest firm in ENR's national survey.

"We are pleased that CTA is now a union contractor," commented Mark Erlich, NERCC's Executive Secretary-Treasurer. "We believe that access to a higher caliber of subcontractors and skilled carpenters will allow the company to grow even further."
 





NERCC to be recognized at White House Summit Posted by on

The efforts of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, as part of the Policy Group on Tradeswomen’s Issues to increase women’s participation in the construction trades, are being recognized nationally at the White House Summit on Working Families this Monday. NERCC Business Representative Liz Skidmore will represent the NERCC and the PGTI at the event, which is being hosted by the White House and the Department of Labor and the Center for American Progress. Both President Obama and Vice President Biden will be attending the event.

The White House planning committee for the Summit asked the National Task Force on Tradeswomen's Issues for two "Best Practices" for getting more women into the trades. The Task Force presented them with the Minnesota Vikings stadium project, which set hiring goals and has hired a lot of women, and the work being done in New England by NERCC and the Policy Group on Tradeswomen's Issues (PGTI), which is convened by Skidmore, Susan Moir of UMass Boston Labor Resource Center, Brian Doherty of the Boston Building Trades and Janet Jones of the Dorchester Roxbury Labor Committee.

The PGTI has established a multi-stakeholder strategy of bringing key players together over time to build relationships, share expertise, identify and implement solutions. The group has met at the Carpenters Center every other month for six years and includes city, state and federal officials; General and sub-contractors, academics, compliance officers, tradeswomen, and union leaders. During this time they have published two reports: Unfinished Business, an analysis of all research done on tradeswomen in the last 25 years in the US with policy recommendations and Finishing the Job, a how-to manual for meeting hiring goals on specific construction projects. 

Women's employment has risen from 3% to 6% of all hours worked in Boston over the last few years, a statistic made even more significant when considering the simultaneous increase in the number or work hours over the past two years.

Additional work being done by PGTI that has earned them recognition as a national best practice includes moving from 35 years of supply-only (recruitment and pre-apprenticeship training) to a supply and demand strategy that includes the supply work and adds demand - working to improve compliance with hiring goals. As a result of their work, the Integrated Science Center at UMass Boston building project, which is the first project in Boston that has met hiring goals for all three established goals (residents, minorities and women) over the course of the project.

PGTI has also compiled compliance numbers online in searchable, downloadable databases by a number of entities including the City of Boston, UMass Boston (for their $700 mil PLA), and the MA Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards. These databases are now being used by GCs and project owners to review past compliance history and in evaluating which contractors to hire.

As stated on the summit’s website, “the White House Summit will convene businesses, economists, labor leaders, policymakers, advocates and citizen to discuss policy solutions that can make a real difference in the lives of working families and ensure America’s global competitiveness in the coming decades.”

Learn more about the work of the PGTI by visiting their website here. To follow the events happening during the White House Summit on Working Families click here.





Take your career to the next level Posted by on

 The NERCC has developed a uniquely tailored program with Wentworth Institute of Technology's College of Professional and Continuing Education which allows members to earn college degrees at a discounted tuition rate and a schedule that fits the needs of working carpenters.

On June 25th members can participate in a lunchtime webinar to learn more about the program.Click here to learn more about the program including curriculum requirements, academic schedule, and the application process. 





NERCC awards $59,650 in scholarships Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters announced that it has awarded $59,650 to 152 applicants as part of the 2014 Scholarship Contest.

The NERCC Scholarship Fund is supported by settlement agreements between the union and contractors and other contributions. Its function is to help members and dependents who are attending school with the ever-increasing costs of a college education. Students must be enrolled in post-high school program and maintain a “C” average in at least three, three-credit courses to apply. All applicants must complete an essay, which is read and scored by a panel of judges who do not know the identity of the writers.

Applicants were required to write an essay of between 500 and 1000 words on the following topic: Union workers at Boeing Co. in Seattle recently vote on a proposed contract that eliminated their pension plans in exchange for guarantees of future jobs. What are your thoughts on this controversy vis-à-vis the role of the company and the role of the unions? If you were a union member there, how would you have voted and why?

A $5,000 first prize was given to Kaitlyn Benoit, daughter of Floorcoverers Local 2168’s Daniel Benoit. A second prize of $3,000 was awarded to Joseph Cunningham, whose father, Peter Cunningham, is a member of Carpenters Local 33.

Congrats to all of the scholarship recipients! 





Carpenters support event for low wage workers Posted by on

In the last year, fast food workers across the country have been building a campaign to raise wages in their industry. The campaign has given energy to efforts to raise the minimum wage nationally and in states and communities across America. But the fast food industry isn't the only one where massive profits are generated and an unreasonable gulf exists between the compensation given to employees in corporate offices and those on the front lines.

From health care to hospitality and construction to customer service, too many workers are being paid too little for working so hard. In Massachusetts, an upcoming event aims to elevate their cause.

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is joining individuals in Boston and Springfield on June 12 to support low wage workers. Hosted by Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, the Low Wage Worker Day of Action will bring information and focus attention on people who work hard and still struggle to support themselves and their families. More than that, it will encourage workers to begin standing together and acting together in a way that will make a difference.

The event matches the efforts of the Carpenters union who monitor nonunion construction sites and build relationships with nonunion carpenters. All too often, nonunion carpenters are not provided the wages and benefits they deserve, given the level of skill required and risk present on today's construction sites.

In Boston, the event will be held at Copley Square, in Springfield it will be at the Mount Calvary Church at John Street and Plainfield Street (Rt 20A). Both events will take place from 4-6 pm. Union carpenters, friends and families are invited and encouraged to participate.





Carpenters endorse Coakley for Mass Gov Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters today endorsed Martha Coakley for Governor of Massachusetts, citing her experience making government work on behalf of fairness for workers and honest business.

"As Attorney General, Martha Coakley has been an advocate for working families and consumers," said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the NERCC. "Her Fair Labor Division sought to limit the impact of the underground economy - protecting workers and leveling the playing field for employers that play by the rules. As a candidate for Governor, she recognizes that growing income inequality is one of the major problems facing our society. Coakley knows that advocating for workers and supporting unions is the best method to rebuild the middle class. The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is pleased to endorse Martha Coakley for Governor. We believe she will bring the lessons she has learned as Attorney General to the corner office and make Massachusetts a stronger and more equitable Commonwealth."

Coakley was proud to have the support of the Carpenters union, which boasts a strong reputation for campaign and political activism among its members.

“Together, we can create a fair economy on our terms, by leveling the playing field, protecting our workers and creating good jobs at fair wages with quality, affordable health care," Coakley said. "I am honored by NERCC's support and look forward to working with them to make Massachusetts prosperous and fair."

NERCC is the regional governing body of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, one of North America’s largest building-trades unions, with nearly a half-million members in the construction and wood-products industries. NERCC advocates for all working carpenters, unionized or not, because they believe that all workers deserve fair wages, benefits, and safe working conditions.





NERCC endorses Tolman for Attorney General Posted by on

BOSTON -- The New England Regional Council of Carpenters will announce their endorsement of Warren Tolman for Attorney General at a gathering today at the NERCC Headquarters in Dorchester. The NERCC represents over 20,000 carpenters, pile drivers, shop & millmen, and floorcoverers working in the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, endorsed Tolman because of his vow to create a progressive, proactive Attorney General's Office that prioritizes protecting Massachusetts families.

"I'm honored to have the support of the hard-working men and women of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters," Tolman said. "Keeping the middle class intact and growing our economy means leveling the playing field for working families. As Attorney General, I will never waver in my commitment to standing with our workers."

"The position of Attorney General is critical for those of us in the construction industry since that office is charged with addressing the problems of wage theft, the underground economy, and the creation of a level playing field for all participants," said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Carpenters Union. "We are confident that Warren Tolman will make an exceptional Attorney General. He brings thoughtfulness, a wealth of experience, and a zeal for public service to his candidacy. The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is pleased to endorse Warren and will work hard to support his campaign."

Earlier this month, Tolman announced the support of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the State Council of the Service Employees International Union. Tolman has the support of all four former Attorneys General, Frank Bellotti, Scott Harshbarger, Jim Shannon, and Tom Reilly. Tolman has also announced the support of Senate President Therese Murray, former State Treasurer and Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee, Shannon O’Brien, his campaign leadership team of State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, and the backing of former Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair John Walsh.

###





NECTF hosts graduation ceremony Posted by on

On May 1st, the New England Carpenters Training Center hosted a graduation ceremony for the 2013 New England Carpenters Training Fund Apprentice Graduates. 129 members, representing 20 locals, completed their training in the apprenticeship program in 2013. Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters was the Keynote speaker.

Four members were specially recognized with awards given out at the ceremony. Local 107 member Corey Wagner, Local 94 member Alex Palmisciano and Local 56 member Thomas Stone each received the Golden Hammer Award. This award is given out each year to one member from each of the trades represented in that year’s graduating class. It is awarded to the graduate demonstrating outstanding craftsmanship and dedication to the profession.

Local 33 member Emerson Ocampo received the Zachary Constant Award, recognizing the graduating apprentice who displays an all-around commitment to the craft, the union and the community.

Congratulations to all of the graduates!





Multi-million dollar tax giveaway in Fitchburg under scrutiny Posted by on

The Carpenters union is calling on local and state officials to rescind tax breaks given to a company for a project on which they and seven others had already been ordered by state investigators to stop work for legal violations. The violations were found less than three months before the tax package was announced. Further evidence gathered by investigators, which should have triggered an investigation for tax fraud, was apparently ignored.

In December, Great Wolf Lodge and others were ordered to stop work on their Fitchburg project by the Department of Industrial Accidents after a site visit revealed they did not have workers' compensation policies in place for construction workers. One of the employers told investigators at the time that “he had four employees on site who are being paid in cash, they receive their direction and control from Mr. Viveiros, all tools and equipment belong to him.” Two weeks later, an Organizer for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters visited the site and found the same employment conditions for other contractors on site.

In March, the state announced approval of a group of tax break packages, including $17.2 million for the Great Wolf Lodge. Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters sent a letter of concern to Greg Bialecki, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Development, which approved the tax breaks.

"The lack of oversight on a project involving $17 million in tax relief should be a matter of grave concern to the Patrick administration. The violations were committed before the tax relief was awarded. That relief should be rescinded," said Erlich in the letter. "Without any further action on Great Wolf, the Commonwealth is sending an unfortunate message to its taxpayers and legitimate contractors that recipients of tax relief are rewarded regardless of illegal business practices."

"Great Wolf promised in its application that it would not knowingly hire subcontractors or other third parties that did not have Massachusetts workers' compensation insurance. Great Wolf's Senior Director of Design and Construction acknowledged the "Stop Work" order to a newspaper."

Misclassification of workers as “independent contractors” is an illegal, but unfortunately common model used in the construction industry to provide unscrupulous contractors with a significant advantage in a highly competitive industry. Misclassification costs the state and federal government hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue and strips workers of important workplace protection, as well as the right to unemployment and retirement benefits.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Summary List of Stop Work Orders
1. Great Lake Services dba Great Wolf Lodge of New England (WI)
2. Colonial Tile and Flooring (Clinton, MA)
3. Timothy Michael Locklear (NC)
4. Villnave Construction Services (VCS) (NY)
5. Wisconsin Exteriors & Drywall (WI)
6. Butters Fetting Co. (WI)
7. States Drywall (WI)
8. Weber Group (IN)





Seems like a clear objective, right? Posted by on

Union Carpenters continued their show of support for the "Jobs Not Jails" campaign over the weekend in Boston. Among the members of Local 107 and 108 who attended a rally on the Boston Common were NERCC Council Reps Rocky Thompson and Manny Gines, who were visible in this story on Boston Channel 7s news coverage.

Carpenters Locals 107 and 108 endorsed the Jobs Not Jails campaign this month. It is calling for the Commonwealth to spend $2 billion building schools, roads, and other public projects rather than building and expanding prisons.

The group is looking for volunteers to hold up banners covered with 30,000 petition signatures around the State House from 11:00 AM- 1:00 PM next Wednesday, April 30th. For more information about the campaign, including ways to help, visit JobsNotJails.org.





Retirement Seminar scheduled for May 31 Posted by on

**Update: As of 5/8/14 this seminar has reached capacity and registration is now closed. Please check back in August for details on seminars coming up this Fall.

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar “Planning for Retirement” on May 31, 2014. The seminar will be held at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center located at 1657 Worcester Rd in Framingham (click here for directions) from 8:30-12:00 pm. 

Members can click here to register online or contact the Reservation Desk at 978-253-5100. 

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

Choosing your Pension, Annuity & 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

 





Reminder - Scholarship Applications due April 11th Posted by on

Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 New England Regional Council Scholarship Program. Last year 106 students applied and a total of $52,000 was awarded, including the top prize scholarship of $5,000.

Please review eligibility guidelines before applying. Guidelines and applications may be downloaded from nercc.org/scholarship and are available at locals union affiliates. The deadline for applications to be returned to NERCC is APRIL 11, 2014, 5:00 p.m. No exceptions! If you have any questions about the application, please call Malerie Anderson at (617) 307-5112. Winners will be notified in June.





Save the date - Retirement Seminar coming up in May 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 May 31, 2014. The seminar will be held at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center located at 1657 Worcester Rd in Framingham (click here for directions) from 8:30-11:30 am.

Members should check back in the coming weeks for registration information. 

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

Choosing your Pension, Annuity & 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

 





Members participate in St. Patrick's Day parade Posted by on

Members from Carpenters Local 107 participated this past Sunday in the 32nd Annual Worcester County St. Patrick's Day parade. Parade organizers estimate that about 7,000 people participated in the nearly two-hour parade that marched down Park Avenue from Mill Street to past Elm Park.

For more pictures, visit Local 107's Facebook page by clicking here





Wentworth to host Spring Open House Posted by on

The NERCC has developed a uniquely tailored program with Wentworth Institute of Technology's College of Professional and Continuing Education which allows members to earn college degrees at a discounted tuition rate and a schedule that fits the needs of working carpenters. On March 25th, Wentworth is hosting an Open House for individuals interested in learning more about the program.

Date: March 25, 2014

Time: 5:30 PM

Location: 107 Dobbs Hall, 500 Huntington Ave., 1st Floor

Register online by clicking here





Revere again votes yes on casino Posted by on

Plans for Mohegan Sun to build a $1.3 billion hotel and casino at the Suffolk Downs horse track in Revere were approved by voters in that city for a second time yesterday. The fate of the project still hangs in the balance, as it will now go head-to-head for state approval for the single Eastern Massachusetts gaming license with a proposal by Steve Wynn in Everett. State officials are expected to hand down a decision in May or June. Union carpenters in Revere played a significant role in the campaign to approve the proposal, as they have in each of the gaming votes across the state.

Yesterday's vote was the second held for a proposal at the site. An earlier version was voted down by Revere and Boston voters, which led to modifications of the project so that the gaming facility would sit entirely on the Revere portion of the Suffolk Downs property.

As part of the state's approval of legalized gaming, three gaming licenses will be issued for casinos and one for a slot parlor. One casino license will be issued in a zone in western Massachusetts, one in a zone that covers the central and eastern part of the state, excluding southeastern Massachusetts and one is being held for a proposal for a Native American-owned proposal in southeastern Massachusetts. MGM Resorts has received local approval for a casino in Springfield, the only pending proposal for the western zone. A proposal for the southeastern zone is still pending.

Three slot parlors proposals by different developers are under consideration for locations in Raynham, Leominster and Plainville.





Scholarship applications available Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters Scholarship program has been opened for 2014. The program is supported by settlement agreements between the union and contractors and other contributions. Last year, more than $52,000 was awarded to 106 members and dependents furthering their post high school education, including top scholarships of $5,000 and $3,000.

Please review eligibility guidelines before applying. Guidelines and applications may be downloaded from nercc.org/scholarship and are available at locals union affiliates. The deadline for applications to be returned to NERCC is APRIL 11, 2014, 5:00 p.m. No exceptions! If you have any questions about the application, please call Malerie Anderson at (617) 307-5112. Winners will be notified in June.





Meet Our Community - Rich Brow Posted by on

 It’s not often you have to bring your passport for a volunteer project with the Carpenters union. But as Local 107 member Rich Brow can tell you, it’s not never, either. Read more of his story here





Retirement Seminar registration is closed Posted by on

Registration for the complimentary seminar "Planning for Retirement," to be held on November 16, 2013, is now closed. A record number of respondents registered for the event - nearly 130!

The New England Carpenters Benefits Fund will be planning a 2014 Retirement Seminar Series, check back for updates. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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

Choosing your Pension, Annuity & 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

 





Retirement Seminar to be held - register 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 November 16, 2013. The seminar will be held at the Wyndham Boston Andover Hotel located at 123 Old River Road in Andover, MA (click here for directions) from 8:30-11:30 am. RSVP by November 1st by clicking here to fill out an online registration form. Members can also register by calling 617-482-4000.

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

Choosing your Pension, Annuity & 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

Click here to find more information about the seminar, including the online registration form.





2013 Carpentry Expo Posted by on

The 2013 Carpentry Expo was held last week at the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, MA. Over 1,000 students, representing 43 high schools attended the event. Students, along with their teachers, were given guided tours of the training facility by members of the NERCC staff. 44 NERCC apprentices participated in the event working on projects throughout the facility. These live demonstrations gave the students a better look at what a career as a union carpenter might look like.

Live demonstrations included: Infection Control Risk Assessment, Interior Systems, Flooring, Residential Wood Framing, Scaffolding Erector Certification, Cabinet Installation, Door Hardware, Finish Carpentry, Welding, Concrete Formwork, Insulated Concrete Forms, Pile Driving, Under Water Welding, Exterior Siding, and Stair Layout and Framing.





NERCC Election Results Posted by on

 Following are results from today's elections for positions on the New England Regional Council of Carpenters Executive Board. The elections were held as part of a Special Call meeting of Delegates to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. Nominations were posted on this blog earlier in the day.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer: Mark Erlich, unopposed. One vote was cast by the Chair. Erlich elected.

President: Richard Monarca, unopposed. One vote was cast by the Chair. Monarca elected.

Vice President: Al Peciaro, 75 votes. Rick Anderson, 24 votes. Peciaro elected.

Warden: Jack Donahue, unopposed. One vote was cast by the Chair. Donahue elected.

Conductor: John Murphy, unopposed. One vote was cast by the Chair. Murphy elected.

Trustees (Three positions): Brian Richardson, 84 votes. David Palmisciano, 66 votes. Paul Lander, 63 votes. George Meadows, 35 votes. Paul Hughes, 24 votes. Richardson, Palmisciano and Lander elected.

Executive Committee (Five positions)

Thomas Flynn, Bruce Lydem, Gary DeCosta, John Leavitt and John Cunningham ran unopposed. One vote was cast by the Chair. Flynn, Lydem, DeCosta, Leavitt and Cunningham were elected.

Elected candidates were sworn into office following the reading of the results by the Election Committee and will each serve a four-year term, expiring in September 2017





Enforcement against cheating businesses jumps in Mass Posted by on

More than $21 million has been collected from employers in Massachusetts who violated labor laws in the last 18 months, according to the annual report of the Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification. The amount represents more than the total that was recovered in all previous years.

The joint task force was created in 2008 and was a welcome development to union carpenters and others who had been working to bring attention to the issue of misclassification. Tens of millions of dollars in state and federal revenue are lost each year due to employee misclassification while employers who play by the rules are put at a competitive disadvantage and workers are stripped of essential protections such as workers' compensation coverage and eligibility for unemployment insurance, Social Security and Medicare.

The issue is especially acute in the construction industry, where the fairness of direct competitive bidding can easily be undermined by a bidder misclassifying employees as independent contractors to save 20-30% on labor cost. Perhaps the largest recent case involved more than $1.1 million in unreported wages found at the renovation of the Boston Marriott Copley Place, where one contractor was paying $4 an hour to employees who were recruited from a substance abuse program in Connecticut. Contractors were issued more than $100,000 in fines on the project.

"The work of the Task Force is invaluable in reducing the growth of the underground economy in the state's construction industry," said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. "Taking on the illegal practices of wage theft, misclassification and tax and insurance fraud creates a more level playing field, which ultimately benefits legitimate employers, tradesmen and women and taxpayers."

The joint task force brings together various state agencies, including the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the Attorney General's Fair Labor Division, the Insurance Fraud Bureau and others.

Both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald covered the issue.
 





Enforcement against cheating businesses jumps in Mass Posted by on

More than $21 million has been collected from employers in Massachusetts who violated labor laws in the last 18 months, according to the annual report of the Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification. The amount represents more than the total that was recovered in all previous years.

The joint task force was created in 2008 as a result efforts by the Carpenters union and others to educate Governor Deval Patrick, state legislators and leaders of several executive branch agencies who enforce laws and policies related to employee misclassification. Tens of millions of dollars in state and federal revenue are lost each year due to employee misclassification while employers who play by the rules are put at a competitive disadvantage and workers are stripped of essential protections such as workers' compensation coverage and eligibility for unemployment insurance, Social Security and Medicare.

The issue is especially acute in the construction industry, where the fairness of direct competitive bidding can easily be undermined by a bidder misclassifying employees as independent contractors to save 20-30% on labor cost. Perhaps the largest recent case involved more than $1.1 million in unreported wages found at the renovation of the Boston Marriot Copley Place, where one contractor was paying $4 an hour to employees who were recruited from a substance abuse program in Connecticut. Contractors were issued more than $100,000 in fines on the project.

"The work of the Task Force is invaluable in reducing the growth of the underground economy in the state's construction industry,” said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. “Taking on the illegal practices of wage theft, misclassification and tax and insurance fraud creates a more level playing field, which ultimately benefits legitimate employers, tradesmen and women and taxpayers."

The joint task force brings together various state agencies, including the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division, the Insurance Fraud Bureau and others.

Both the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald covered the issue.





The latest issue of New England Carpenter is on its way! Posted by on

Keep an eye on your mailbox, the latest issue of the New England Carpenter magazine will be arriving this week. The issue features a story about the economic recovery slowing spreading across New England as well as a cluster of stories about NERCC members and their involvement in the community. You can read the issue online and find additional content, including links to video content, by clicking here





Donahue wins in Worcester Posted by on

Dan Donahue, son of Jack Donahue, who is the Business Manager of Local 107, Regional Manager for Central and Western Massachusetts and Warden for the NERCC, was the winner of a special election Democratic primary election for state representative last night. Donahue will take on Republican Carla Claros in a general election on September 10 for the 16th Worcester District seat, from which John Fresolo recently resigned.





Our Work - WRTA Bus Hub Posted by on

Learn more about the WRTA Bus Hub project by clicking here to see it in our online portfolio.





Apprentice Graduation Ceremony Posted by on

 On April 25, the New England Carpenters Training Center hosted a graduation ceremony for the 2012  New England Carpenters Training Fund Apprentice Graduates. 101 members, representing 15 Locals, completed their training in the apprenticeship program in 2012.  Keynote speakers included: Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, NERCC; William Irwin, Executive Director, Carpenters International Training Fund; David Powell, Director, Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts; and Larry Carr, Dean, Wentworth Institute of Technology.

Congratulations to all of the graduates! 

 





Our Work - St. Vincent Cancer Center Posted by on

Learn more about the St. Vincent Cancer Center project by clicking here to see it in our online portfolio.





Scholarship application deadline approaching 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.





Our Work - The Albert Shurman Center Posted by on

Learn more about the Albert Shurman Center at UMass Medical School building project by clicking here to see it in our online portfolio.





Bouchard retiring Posted by on

Bryan Bouchard, who serves as Business Manger of Local 1996 in Vermont, Regional Manager for Northern New England and a member of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters Executive Board has announced his retirement, effective March 11. Bouchard is a 36-year member of the UBC.


Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Erlich is appointing John Leavitt to fill Bouchard's unexpired term on the Executive Board as well as his role as Regional Manager for Northern New England.


"Bryan served the members on staff for the Carpenters Union for 26 years," Erlich said. "He has been a quiet but effective leader who always carried himself with dignity and integrity. He will be sorely missed by his members and the Council. We wish him a long and happy retirement."
 





Carpenters highlight thefts at Botany Bay Posted by on

NERCC staff recently spoke to a group of five workers employed at the Botany Bay development in Worcester who were owed more than $25,000 in wages and began making noise about it. Regular bannering was done at the site and last week a rally drew members of Local 107, representatives of the MetroWest Worker's Center, religious leaders and Worcester City Councilor Sarai Rivera.

The event led to pieces in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette and Vocero Hispano, which highlighted the wage theft and the unwillingness of the project developer to do anything but turn a blind eye. The bad publicity may force his hand, though, as regular events are gaining attention and the support of the community.
 





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.





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.





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.





Misclassification crackdown, publicity Posted by on

Misclassification has been a serious problem in the construction industry for years, and something against which the Carpenters union has led the fight locally, regionally and nationally. Union efforts resulted first in greater understanding and awareness among elected officials and now regularly lead to enforcement and publicity on the issue that is either directly a result of union action or an indirect result of efforts initiated by the union.

Two items broke this week that reinforce that point. In Worcester, Telegram and Gazette columnist Clive McFarlane wrote about efforts by NERCC Organizer Manny Gines to chase down employers who cheat by misclassifying workers as independent contractors or cheat them out of their wages.

McFarlane's column ties into an announcement earlier in the week by the Executive Office of Labor in Massachusetts that more they had found more than 2,300 workers misclassified by just three employers. Though the three companies were not involved in the construction industry, the eye-popping $11 million in unreported wages and millions of dollars the state should have received for unemployment insurance payments generated new stories that put the issue in front of the general public.





Clean sweep in New England Posted by on

To all staff and local unions:

Yesterday was a good day for union carpenters across New England. Amazingly, all of the Council’s endorsed candidates won election. Obama swept the six states, including winning swing-state New Hampshire by a larger-than-expected margin. In the critical races -- Warren in Massachusetts, Murphy in Connecticut, Hassan/Kuster/Shea-Porter in New Hampshire, King in Maine, Cicilline in Rhode Island – our picks were all winners!!

There is no doubt in my mind that some of the credit for these outcomes belongs to all of you and our members. We worked as hard as we ever have in an election season. We used all the tools available to us – new and old techniques – to educate and mobilize our members. And they responded. Door knocking, phone banks, rallies, visibilities, robo-dials, tele-Town Halls. We had a good story to tell…and we told it well and often.

But it’s important to keep a clear-eyed perspective on where we stand the morning after Election Day 2012. In many ways, we “held serve”. We helped fend off the right wing Republican assault on the middle class. There should be a clear message to the nation’s anti-union forces that their philosophy is not welcome, that the voters do not buy an agenda that favors the wealthy over working families. Yet we still have a divided Congress; we still have a Republican Party that attacks unions. We have some new articulate champions but we also have some old foes. Paul Ryan is still chair of the House Budget Committee and there are no signs yet that the House leadership is prepared to move forward in terms of solving our country’s problems as opposed to scoring political points.

So, as much as all of us deserve to take a deep breath and feel a justified sense of pride in our efforts, we will need to remain vigilant. The economy will not fix itself; it will require more federal and state action to invest in jobs and people. And it will require our continued involvement. Our members need to work; that’s why we endorsed the candidates who understood that the best social program is a job.

Thank you all for your efforts these past weeks and months. It was worth it. Congratulations.

Mark Erlich
Executive Secretary-Treasurer
New England Regional Council of Carpenters
 





The Warren-Carpenter connection Posted by on

Only two weeks ago, an ad for Elizabeth Warren featured Local 107's Jack Donahue. It was the latest sign that Elizabeth Warren and union carpenters share the same vision for the future of Massachusetts and the United States. This week, Donahue takes a backseat to Brother Richard Brow, another Local 107 carpenter featured in an ad for Elizabeth Warren. In the ad, Brow talks about the importance of creating jobs and how Scott Brown has voted no on multiple jobs bills since arriving in the Senate. Take a look and remember to share with all of your friends and family.