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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.





Retirement Seminar scheduled for March 21st in Boston 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, March 21, 2015. The seminar will be held at the Carpenters Center located at 750 Dorchester Ave., Boston, 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 978-253-5100.

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




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





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.





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! 





Response to Globe column on housing Posted by on

Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, issued the following in response to Shirley Leung's June 4 Boston Globe column about middle class housing development in the city.

"Shirley Leung’s June 4 column on the “deafening whisper campaign” that attributes the high cost of building middle class housing to overpaid union construction workers is a shallow and misguided analysis. Yes, there is a housing crisis and all hands need to be on deck to achieve the City’s goal of 20-30,000 new units. But labor makes up less than 25% of total housing production costs and is rising far more slowly than land, fees, and other soft costs.

"The reality on the ground is that hundreds of non-luxury units are under construction in East Boston, Allston-Brighton, and Jamaica Plain – all with union labor. Further, our members have built most of the non-profit development community’s affordable housing in Boston’s neighborhoods.

"Sadly, Leung has listened to a handful of whisperers comfortably located in up-market offices and condos who seek to eliminate the job opportunities of the very men and women who are the middle class Bostonians that the City’s housing policy is designed to accommodate."





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!





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

 





Our Work - New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal Posted by on

Local 1305 Business Manager Ron Rheaume took his camera along when he visited the site of the South Terminal being built in New Bedford, MA. The $56 million terminal will be a first-in-the-nation facility designed to support offshore wind turbines. It will also handle high-volume bulk and container shipping, as well as large specialty marine and industrial cargo. The project is providing good jobs for NERCC members from Local 1305, Pile Drivers Local 56 and others.





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.





Eat smart for a healthy heart...Even when you eat out! Posted by on

On average, Americans eat over 200 meals away from home each year. Let’s face it; dining out is a big part of life. The good news is you do not have to put your nutrition on hold when you go to a restaurant. It does not have to be difficult to eat what you like and maintain, or even continue to lose weight. Just keep these tips in mind when you dine out:

  • Do not skip meals earlier in the day to “save up” for the evening. It is way too easy to overeat when you are hungry.
  • Look for key words on the menu: “roasted”, “grilled”, “poached”, and “steamed”. These terms usually mean they were prepared without extra fat or a large amount of calories. It is still always helpful to ask your server exa
  • ctly how the food is prepared. Do not be afraid to make substitutions.
  • On that same note, stay away from items that are “fried”, “smothered”, “sautéed”, “covered”, etc. These are less healthy items that can easily have twice the calories as the steamed versions.
  • Enjoy the dining experience. Take your time, eat slowly, and enjoy the social side of eating. It takes about twenty minutes for the brain to register that you are full. We consume fewer calories when we eat slower. It is also easier on the digestive system.
  • Remember to choose a blend of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats at each meal. One large bowl of pasta with cream sauce is not the best way to go. Add chicken and veggies, switch to a red sauce, scale back the amount of pasta and you have a great meal.
  • Ask for dressings and sauces to be put on the side. That way, you can decide how much to use. Remember, a little goes a long way!
  • Take at least half of your meal home. Most restaurant portions are enough for three meals, so there is no need to clean your plate! You can even ask for the takeout box when the food arrives and put half of your meal in the box right away. Portion control is the single most important thing to practice in a restaurant. It will save you more calories than you know.

Remember these tips when dining out. By making small changes over time, you can enjoy restaurant food without sacrificing good nutrition!

If you have a question or are interested in learning more about Carpenters Care please call 1-781-222-0930 or email infoboston@iorahealth.com.

In Health,
Your Carpenters Care Team
 





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.





Carpenters Care getting noticed Posted by on

What is the future of health care? Union carpenters may be finding out through "Carpenters Care by Iora Health," a practice that serves members and is creating talk among health care policy experts. The practice was solicited by the New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund to open two practice offices, one in the Carpenters Center in Dorchester and the other at Lahey Hospital in Burlington, Massachusetts. It aims to focus more patient care on individual attention and preventative care with tremendous flexibility to meet the needs and schedules of patients.

The practice was included in a "CommonWealth" magazine article about ways practice innovators are helping to "Heal Health Care." Local 1121 millwright Jerome Foureau is included in the article, describing his experience of losing 32 pounds, changing his diet and looking forward to doctors visits since he started visiting Carpenters Care last summer. The story is posted online and can be read free of charge.


 





Globe features Erlich piece Posted by on

The Boston Globe today published an opinion piece by Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

As inequality grows, 'union candidate' offers attractive vision
11/12/13
Boston Mayor-elect Marty Walsh was labeled as the union candidate early in the race. Columnists and debate moderators manufactured a perspective that Walsh’s labor affiliation was his candidacy’s albatross. Walsh does have a strong personal and family union background and recently served as the head of Boston’s building trades unions. But he had also been a state representative for 16 years with a legislative record on a full array of public policy issues.

Read more...

 





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

 





Walsh unites Boston, elected Mayor Posted by on

Buoyed by the support of a broad coalition that included union workers, minority communities, small business owners and middle class residents, State Representative Martin J. Walsh was elected Mayor of Boston last night, defeating City Councillor John Connolly. Walsh will succeed the enormously popular Thomas Menino, who is the city's longest serving mayor.

The following statement is from Mark Erlich, Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, which endorsed Walsh in both the primary and general election. Erlich is also a Boston resident.

"Last night, Marty Walsh was elected to serve as the next Mayor of Boston. Marty's victory has implications far beyond the city's borders. Boston is, in many ways, the primary economic engine of New England and the leadership at City Hall sets the tone for the regional development and construction industry. For the past 20 years, Mayor Tom Menino has been a staunch ally of construction's union sector and his stance has helped our members find gainful employment in Boston and beyond.

"Marty's election will only serve to further elevate the profile of unions in our region. As a building trades leader who spoke proudly of his involvement in the labor movement, his victory flies in the face of the prevailing political winds that dismiss or attack the value of unions in today's society. Marty had to withstand withering attacks in the Boston media that claimed he would bankrupt the city by not being able to stand up to the city's public employee unions. Marty never backed down from his loyalty to organized labor as the best vehicle to re-build the middle class in the city.

"This election has national implications. While there have been a few Senators and Congressmen that have been clear about their pro-union beliefs, it is far more rare to find someone running for an executive position -- Mayor or Governor -- who doesn't feel the need to criticize unions in an effort to show they are "fiscally responsible". Marty made it clear that you can be committed to running a sound budget in a major American city and still maintain respect for trade unions.

"Marty was also able to win the support of nearly all of the elected officials from the city's minority community, demonstrating that today's labor movement is welcoming, diverse, and inclusive.

Marty is a personal friend of ours, a friend of the Carpenters, a friend of labor, and a friend of all those people who want to work, play by the rules, and have a chance at the American Dream.

Thanks to everyone who worked to get Marty Walsh elected. It can be the beginning of a new era for labor and politics."





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.





Our Work - New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal Posted by on

 
Photos courtesy of Ron Rheaume, Local 1305.

Learn more about the Marine Commerce Terminal Project by clicking here to view it in our online portfolio.

Read more about this project here





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





NERCC election Posted by on

Nominations and election for the Executive Board of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters are being held today at a Special Call Delegates Meeting at the New England Carpenters Training Center. The following nominations have been made:
 

Executive Secretary-Treasurer
Mark Erlich, Local Union 40, nominated by Dan Kuhs, Local Union 56. Seconded by Bill Callahan, Local Union 24.

President
Richard Monarca, Local Union 24, nominated by Andy Hendrickson, Local Union 24. Seconded by John Murphy, Local Union 33.

Vice President
--Al Peciaro, Local Union 33, nominated by Brian Richardson, Local Union 56. Seconded by Michael Robinson, Local Union 24.
--Rick Anderson, Local Union 624, self-nominated. Seconded by Joe Power, Local 40.

Warden
--Local Union Jack Donahue, Local 107, nominated by Ray Bissonnette of Local Union 107. Seconded by Fred Taylor, Local 107.

Conductor
--John Murphy, Local Union 33, nominated by Tom Flynn, Local Union 67. Seconded by Richard Monarca, Local Union 24.

Trustees (3) 
--George Meadows, Local Union 43, nominated by Bill Baker, Local Union 43. Seconded by Tim Moriarty, Local Union 43.
--Brian Richardson, Local Union 56, nominated by Ted Duarte, Local Union 210. Seconded by Mynor Perez, Local Union 2168.
--Paul Lander, Local Union 94, nominated by Chris Shannon, Local Union 67. Seconded by Mike Antunes of Local Union 94.
--David Palmisciano, Local Union 94, nominated by Bill Holmes, Local Union 94. Seconded by Richard Monarca, Local Union 24.
--Paul Hughes, Local Union 218, self-nominated. Seconded by Jeff Donahue, Local Union 218.

Executive Committee (5)
--Thomas Flynn, Local Union 67, nominated by Victor Carrara of Local Union 67. Seconded by Brian Richardson, Local Union 56.
--Bruce Lydem, Local Union 24, nominated by David Jarvis, Local Union 24. Seconded by Mike Turner, Local Union 24
--Gary DeCosta, Local Union 1305, nominated by John Cunningham, Local Union 210. Seconded by John Cabral, Local Union 1305.
--John Leavitt, Local Union 1996, nominated by John Murphy, Local 33. Seconded by Jim Carey, Local 275.
--John Cunningham, Local Union 210, nominated by Gary DeCosta, Local Union 1305. Seconded by Ted Duarte, Local Union 210. 





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.
 





Carpenters Union and Hospitality Workers Union Announce Joint Endorsement of Boston City Council Candidates Posted by on

CARPENTERS UNION AND HOSPITALITY WORKERS UNION ANNOUNCE JOINT ENDORSEMENT OF BOSTON CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

 

Endorsement Marks Historic Coalition Between Two Organizations
September 9th, 2013 – Boston, MA - The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC) and Boston’s Local 26 (UNITE HERE) are pleased to announce their joint endorsement of several Boston City Council candidates. The endorsement is a product of the two organizations, representing over 26,000 workers, jointly interviewing City Council candidates over a series of days.

“This is more than just an endorsement of candidates for Boston City Council – this is two organizations that represent the diversity of Boston ensuring that working families will have a voice at City Hall. These are the leaders who have proven they can build strong communities,” said Brian Lang, President of Local 26 and resident of Jamaica Plain.

"We came together to consider the candidates as two unions with progressive and independent traditions. Our joint endorsements matter because, between us, we represent the full range of working families in the city," said Mark Erlich, President of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and resident of Jamaica Plain.

The two organizations are proud to support incumbent Councilor Steven Murphy (At-Large), incumbent Councilor Ayanna Pressley (At-Large), Michelle Wu (At-Large), Michael Flaherty (At-Large), Joshua Zakim (District 8) and Timothy McCarthy (District 5).

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. NERCC is part 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.

UNITE HERE Local 26 represents over 6,500 workers in the City of Boston including most of the major Boston hotels, food service workers on college campuses, convention centers, Fenway Park and Logan Airport. Boston's Local 26 is one of the most politically powerful and diverse unions in the City of Boston.

###

For more information contact Harry Grill, Political Director, Boston’s Local 26 at (617) 838-4201 or Stephen Joyce, Political Director, New England Regional Council of Carpenters at (617) 438-8011.

 





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





Dear Carpenters Care Posted by on

How do I know if I have Lyme disease?

It is summer in New England, that means outside work, outside play, and exposure to everything that comes with being outdoors. Lots of people come in to see us with topical skin complaints these days: a rash, a burn, a bump or lump. While the urban legend (probably rooted in some kind of fact) that a bull’s-eye rash after a tick bite is how you diagnose Lyme disease, CDC studies show that fewer than 50% of patients with Lyme disease recall a tick bite and fewer than 50% of patients with Lyme disease recall any rash. So what does that mean for you and Lyme disease?

Anyone who works or plays outdoors is at risk. Deer ticks like cool, moist environments like tall grass around the edges of yard or along side roads. They also like moist gardens and shrubs in wooded areas; they can even fall off of trees! The list is endless and so is the risk for exposure even right in your own backyard.

Performing daily skin checks, wearing DEET repellent and wearing socks and shoes decrease your risk for tick bites. You should contact your doctor if you have symptoms such as a rash, aches or pains and ask about an evaluation for Lyme. It’s not just a bull’s-eye rash anymore. 

If you have a question or are interested in learning more about Carpenters Care please call
1-781-222-0930 or email infoboston@iorahealth.com.

 





Carpenters Care is accepting new patients Posted by on

Attention Eastern MA carpenters: Carpenters Care is accepting new patients!

The New England Carpenters Benefit Funds & Iora Health have partnered to offer new primary care doctor's office for members and other adults covered by the Health Fund. The doctor's office convenient after-work hours and has locations in Burlington, MA & Dorchester, MA. Carpenters Care patients, have no co-pays and enjoy free access to fitness & other group classes. Fund participants can join at any time with no commitment and no changes to their benefits. Joining is completely free and voluntary.

Learn more about the Carpenters Care team by clicking here

 





Carpenters Care available in Eastern Mass. Posted by on

The New England Carpenters Benefit Funds & Iora Health have partnered to offer new primary care doctor's office for members and other adults covered by the Health Fund. The doctor's office convenient after-work hours and has locations in Burlington, MA & Dorchester, MA. Carpenters Care patients, have no co-pays and enjoy free access to fitness & other group classes. Fund participants can join at any time with no commitment and no changes to their benefits. Joining is completely free and voluntary. To become a Carpenters Care patient, call 1-781-222-0930 or go online to CarpentersCare.com to learn more.

 





Ride with an Angel - 1st Annual Run Posted by on

The Ledwell family, many of whom are Local 56 members, has organized a motorcycle run in memory of Caitlin Ledwell. All proceeds from the event will go to a scholarship in her honor.

Saturday, June 29, 2013 
Motorcycles | Hot Rods | Antique Cars

Run Starts: A Dancer’s World, 150 Industrial Drive, Halifax, MA  See Map
Run Ends: Upland Club, 67 Upland Road, Plympton, MA See Map

Registration will be held from 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
$20/rider and $15/passenger (includes t-shirt and cookout)
$15 at the door
Kick stands up at 11:00 AM

A benefit will be held after the run beginning at 1:00 PM at the Upland Club.
*Food
*Raffles
*Live entertainment
*Silent auction
*And much more!

All proceeds from the day’s events will go to the Caitlin Elizabeth Ledwell Memorial Scholarship Foundation. For more information click here.





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.





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."
 





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. 

 





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