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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.





Retirement Seminar scheduled for September 6th in NH Posted by on

**As of 8/28/14 this seminar has reached capacity and registration is now closed. Please check back for information about the next seminar, to be held around November. 

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds are hosting a complimentary seminar “Planning for Retirement” on September 6, 2014. The seminar will be held at the The Executive Court Banquet Facility located at 1199 South Mammoth Road in Manchester, NH (click here for directions) from 8:30-12:00 pm. 

Seating is limited. Members should contact the Reservation Desk at 978-253-5100 to reserve a spot

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

 





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 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! 





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!





New Hampshire begins to build pathways Posted by on

The Building Pathways program, which has earned praise for its work in Boston to publicize apprenticeship opportunities in the building trades within minority communities has been deployed in New Hampshire. The goal in the Granite State is to seek out women who are interested in careers in building trades to participate in a five week pre-apprenticeship program in May and June. Carpenters Local 118 Business Manager Liz Skidmore, who has been active in both local and national "Sisters in the Brotherhood" programs, is helping to coordinate activity.

Two information sessions have already been held and two more are scheduled for March 17 and 24. Yesterday, Governor Maggie Hassan announced plans to visit the March 24 session as a show of support.

Those interested MUST attend an entire information session. Sessions are being held at Plumbers Local 131, 161 Londonderry Turnpike in Hookset from 6-7:30. Late arrivals will not be allowed entrance. No RSVP is required. For more information, contact Liz Skidmore or Joe Gallagher at 603-948-8161 or buildingpathwaysnh@gmail.com.

A short ad has been produced by the program and is being run on local cable access channels in Manchester, Concord and Nashua.The group has also set up a Facebook page.

 





Carpenters support USPS workers Posted by on

A dozen carpenters in New Hampshire joined a rally of more than 100 to support United States Postal workers in Concord, New Hampshire this week. The event was held to protest the visit of California Congressman Darrell Issa, who was in town for a Republican fundraiser. Issa has proposed ending Saturday mail delivery and outsourcing USPS work and jobs. His motives are highly suspect, since the USPS has operated at a budget surplus recently.

NH Labor News has more on the event.





Wage equality, training the focus of NH forums Posted by on

People in New Hampshire are learning more about unions and the wage and training opportunities they offer thanks to panel discussions being held, which elected officials and Carpenters Local 118 Business Manager Elizabeth Skidmore.

The forums focus primarily on the wage gap between men and women and are being sponsored by the NH AFL-CIO and New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, which is 23 cents and hour in New Hampshire and 18 cents nationally. While women are still under-represented in construction, Skidmore points out that wage equality is not an issue in the union sector.

“In union construction, women make exactly the same as men,” Skidmore said at one of the forums. “Starting 35 years ago, when women started getting into construction. Every hour we work, every dollar we get paid, we get paid exactly the same.”

In addition to collective bargaining agreements ensuring equal pay, unions also offer apprentice and journey level upgrade classes, which allow for entrance and advancement in the industry. Each of the forums, held in Manchester and Portsmouth, received prominent media coverage, including quotes from Skidmore.
 





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."
 





Architects predict strong construction growth Posted by on

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





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
 





Carpenters visit with voters in NH Posted by on

More than 50 members, representing ten local union affiliates of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, gathered in Salem and Pelham, New Hampshire Saturday to knock on some doors. Members canvassed in support of President Barack Obama, Gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan and Annie Kuster, Second District candidate for United States House of Representatives. They visited with both union carpenters and members of the general public for several hours.

 





Local 118 Endorses Hassan for NH Governor Posted by on

Carpenters Local 118 in New Hampshire recently announced that is has endorsed the candidacy of former state senator Maggie Hassan for Governor. The affiliate of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters was the first union to endorse her campaign. She will face fellow former state senator Jackie Cilley in a Democratic primary to replace retiring incumbent Democratic Governor John Lynch.


“There is too much at stake for any of us to sit on the sidelines in this election. We need to support a leader who can win in November and that leader is Maggie Hassan,” said Brother Joe Donahue. “We’ve worked with many candidates and public officials over the years and Maggie’s records as a State Senator and Senate Majority Leader is second to none in demonstrating a firm commitment to New Hampshire’s working families.”


“Maggie is a strong and consistent advocate for the issues important to working people in New Hampshire: protecting workers’ rights to collectively bargain, standing up against attempts to make New Hampshire a so-called “right to work” state, and increasing the minimum wage.”


“I’m honored to have earned the support of the Carpenters,” said Hassan. “They represent some of the best and brightest trades people in our state and I’m excited to have them on board our growing campaign. I’m also proud to have stood with them in their ongoing efforts to prevent the abuse of workers in the construction industry.”
 





Durham Carpenters to be paid Posted by on

Carpenters who were cheated of tens of thousands of dollars in wages reached a settlement with Capstone Development and Cottage Builders yesterday to receive their pay. The companies are the owners and developers of the “Cottage of Durham,” an upscale housing project where the carpenters were employed. It will serve students attending the University of New Hampshire.

The carpenters solicited help in getting their pay after their employer, Builders Construction Services of Alabama, refused to pay them and then fired them and evicted them from company-provided housing when they asked for their wages.

The Carpenters union and local church, student and community groups supported the carpenters, holding a high profile march and demonstration last week. The event garnered significant local and regional media attention (link) that put Capstone under a public spotlight and raised questions about other troubles the Alabama-based company has had with college housing projects, including one in Connecticut.

“We’re happy that these carpenters are finally going to be paid,” said Joe Donahue a representative of the Carpenters Union in New Hampshire. “Wage theft is a real problem in the construction industry right now. It drives down industry standards and drives qualified people out of the industry. Capstone and other developers and general contractors need to be held accountable for the subcontractors they hire. They should implement better controls and have severe penalties for members of their building teams who break the law.”
 

 





Carpenters to support unpaid workers in Durham Posted by on

Union carpenters will join with church, student and community groups to hold a news conference today at 3pm at the Community Church of Durham (NH) at 17 Main Street to release information about serious violations of state and federal law--including non-payment of wages--at the "Cottages of Durham." The "Cottages of Durham" is a new student housing development for students of the University of New Hampshire. It is being developed by Capstone Development/The Cottages of Durham.

Please read this and consider visiting the Cottages of Durham Facebook page and politely ask them to do right by these workers.

Construction workers at the Cottages of Durham describe multiple and flagrant violations of state and federal labor law.

These workers say that they worked long hours for many weeks without pay. When they complained about nonpayment of their wages, they were terminated and evicted from their housing.

Union carpenters stand in solidarity with these exploited workers and demand that Cottages of Durham/Capstone Development promptly pay these workers what they are owed in wages and overtime.





New Year's resolution in New Hampshire Posted by on

The Nashua Telegraph yesterday published a piece by Mark Mackenzie, President of the New Hampshire AFL-CIO calling for a New Year's resolution to help workers in 2012. The piece was a good summary of what workers want and deserve, but aren't gettingin today's America. Click through to read the piece and consider sharing it with others.





Right to Work is Wrong for New Hampshire! Posted by on

Right to work supporters are planning a major event in Concord on Wednesday to coincide with a vote on Right to Work legislation for New Hampshire. There are rumors that Republican Presidential Candidates will attend this rally.

We have beaten back this efforts before and need to do it again. But we need to ensure that our voices are heard and our faces are seen. Please join us Wednesday at 8am in front of the State House for a demonstration in support of workers, in support of unions and against Right to Work.

Again, that’s this Wednesday, November 30 at 8am in front of the State House in Concord. Thank you.





Donahue appointed to NH Commission Posted by on

A New Hampshire commission established to consider and make recommendations on existing and potential new business regulations will include the voice of union carpenters. Joe Donahue, a member of Local 118 and employee of the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program was appointed by New Hampshire Governor John Lynch to the "Commission to Study Business Regulations in New Hampshire," a body established by legislative action earlier this year.

The commission will "study business regulations in New Hampshire, the impact they have on employment growth and business profitability, and the costs and benefits associated with the current regulatory environment. The goals of the commission shall be to:

(a) Review New Hampshire’s business oversights that fall under the umbrella of labor and workforce regulations.

(b) Review New Hampshire’s business oversights that fall under the umbrella of environmental and construction/permitting regulations.

(c) Identify potential reforms that could be made to regulations cited above, and develop legislation for the 2012 session to accomplish those reforms."

Donahue has extensive experience in political and legislative issues relating to the construction industry in New Hampshire and has been a key player in the efforts to improve enforcement, particularly relating to the issue of the misclassificaiton of workers.





NH fends off RTW: Wall St Journal takes notice Posted by on

Still unable to muster the votes to override a veto by Governor John Lynch, New Hampshire Speaker of the House William O'Brien has put off until a special session after the summer any effort to pass so-called "Right to Work" legislation.

O'Brien, a Republican, had promised a swift override, but did not deliver scheduled votes on several occasions. He may struggle to find the votes in the fall, as well, according to one Republican quoted in a Wall Street Journal article today:

"Lee Quandt, a GOP House member from Exeter, N.H., voted against the bill. "New Hampshire is doing very well without it," he said, noting the state unemployment rate is 4.8%. He said many of the state's 63,000 union members, including many police and firemen, vote Republican.

"You don't pick up money and support by sticking it to thousands and thousands of Republicans," Mr. Quandt said. "There's a pretty strong group of Republicans that are not budging."





Carpenters to rally for jobs Posted by on

Carpenters will rally on Thursday, December 17th at 4:00 pm at Bronstein Park in Manchester, NH, located on the corner of Hanover and Beech Street, in the hopes of jump-starting a large project at Manchester??s Job Corps Center.

The project was brought to a halt in November when North Branch Construction, Inc. and the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) filed a bid protest that put an end to the project.

Any and all members are encouraged to attend the rally. Labor leaders, elected officials, youth leaders, and clergy and will be speaking at the event. Hot soup will be served.

For more information about the rally, contact John Jackson at 603-365-0426.

To learn more, visit www.Plaswork.org.





NH 1099 crackdown makes news Posted by on

It took years of lobbying and campaigning to get the State of New Hampshire to recognize and address the problem with employee misclassification, specifically within the construction industry. But through the hard work of union carpenters and NERCC staff, progress was made and those labors are now bearing fruit.

The State of New Hampshire has a comprehensive, multi-agency task force set up to share information and more efficiently pursue businesses who misclassify employees as so-called independent contractors. The result is millions of dollars in lost tax revenue, workers put at risk when they are injured on the job or laid off, and a huge disadvantage to honest contractors who are bidding against cheaters.

The Manchester Union Leader published a story about the efforts of the state in today's paper. Members are encouraged to read the story and weigh in with their thoughts in the comments section immediately following the story. Remember these are public forums, so be direct, but respectful of others. Site editors reserve the right to remove comments they find objectionable.





NH raises profile of protests against Kal-Vin/GNPB/Northrock Posted by on

"Anybody driving along Route 1 in Portsmouth NH this morning couldn't help notice a large banner being held in front of the new fire station that is under construction. The message on the banner pointed readers to website called anyonebutkalvin so that local tax payers could find out how their taxes are feeding the underground economy. Can this be true? A publicly funded project that the local taxpayers fund, associated with the ?? Underground Economy??? How can this be possible and what exactly does this mean?"

Read the entire story at anyonebutkalvin.wordpress.com.





NNE carpenters ratify new agreement Posted by on

Members in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine last night voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement negotiated with contractors working in the three Northern New England states. More than 88% of members voting cast a ballot to accept the three-year agreement, which will provide a $3.90 increase in the total wage and benefit package.

The financial increase is proportionally equivalent to those negotiated in other new agreements throughout the New England Regional Council of Carpenters this year. They will cover anticipated increases in benefit costs over the next three years.

Each year of the agreement $1.30 will be added to the total package, with increases coming in October and April. An immediate increase of $0.65, will be added to hourly pension contributions and $0.02 will be added to wages. The remaining $0.63 from the first and year will be added to hourly health benefit contributions on April 1, 2010. The increases of $1.30 in the second and third year will be divided and allocated by members at a future date.

The agreement also includes language to cover tide work and offshore work, clearly defining shifts, wage and overtime requirements and working conditions for those areas of work.





When push comes to shove, Kal-Vin "can't speak on that" Posted by on

Bannering activity in Hanover, New Hampshire has caused quite a stir, with threats of a slander lawsuit against the union and forceful denials of wrongdoing. But in the last line of a news article on the activity--triggered by the use of Engleberth Construction hiring Kal-Vin to do drywall--a Kal-Vin spokeswoman is asked directly about the companies use of intermediaries who hire "independent contractors" to do work. Her response? "I can't speak on that." Maybe they'll reconsider the lawsuits?

The project in question is Kendal at Hanover's renovation of a health center. Last week union organizers showed off a banner near Dartmouth College Green featuring Rebecca Smith, Kendal's Executive Director and saying she was "Wanted for Supporting Tax Fraud."

NERCC Organizer Marty Coyle told the Valley News "She need to accept some of the responsibility for what's happening under her care. It's very significant, and it's a huge problem, and we wish she would take it seriously."

Numerous times union organizers attempted to meet with Smith or her staff to alert them to the problems previously encountered on Kal-Vin jobs. Kal-Vin- and its sister companies GNPB Construction and Northrock Construction- have become infamous in the industry for problems on their jobs, ranging from misclassifying their own carpenters as "independent contractors," exploitation of immigrant workers and denying employee status and workers comp coverage to an employee who was seriously injured after he fell from scaffolding. The injured worker, Celso Mena, was later ruled to be an employee and awarded comp coverage and lost wages.

Just last week a "Stop Work" order was issued by the Connecticut Department of Labor against Matrix Interior Construction which was hired by Northrock Construction on a Hyatt Place Hotel in Montville. Matrix was found to be without proper worker's compensation insurance, misrepresenting workers as independent contractors and understating or concealing payroll records. One of the owners of Matrix was arrested earlier this year for dealing large amounts of oxycontin to undercover agents.





Conservative paper highlights seedy side of construction industry Posted by on

The Manchester Union-Leader, a New Hampshire newspaper that has generally stuck to its very conservative roots even as the politics of the state become gradually more moderate to liberal, printed a two-story feature in it??s Sunday edition about the dark side of the construction industry in the state.

The stories center around Juan Garcia Hernandez, a "jefe" NERCC Organizers also knew as Juan Garcia. Hernandez supplied immigrant drywall workers for several projects in the region, including projects financed by the federal government through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He was also arrested by state and federal agents on Easter weekend in New Hampshire??s biggest drug bust when he and some others were caught with 100 pounds of cocaine, worth approximately $4 million.

NERCC Organizers have been talking to employees working for Hernandez and other jefes for a long time, finding low wages promised, though sometimes unpaid. Without a concerted Federal effort to limit illegal immigration, several years ago the union decided it would be better served talking to immigrant workers and helping them fight for decent treatment.

The stories highlight how and why things have gotten so bad in the industry. Hutter Construction, who was the general contractor where Hernandez was subcontracted for drywall work, claimed they didn??t know a thing about Hernandez. Though their website brags about their skills as a company that can manage all aspects of a project including "supervision," "job records and reports," and "establish boundaries and benchmarks," they tried to run from any involvement with Hernandez in the story:

"The actual contract was with Granite State Drywall," said Chad Gibson, Hutter's project manager, adding that he was unaware Hernandez was involved in the project.
"It would be very hard for us to police three tiers down the line who is hiring them," Gibson said. "It's somewhat beyond our control."
[emphasis added]
The two stories can be read online here and here. The Manchester Union-Leader, like many news sites, allows readers to post comments about a story. Reader comments may appear beneath the story with a form for submitting more comments. Members are encouraged to use this feature and express their feelings about stories they read online concerning union and construction issues. Remember these are public forums, so be direct, but respectful of others. Site editors do reserve the right to remove comments they find objectionable.





OSHA proposes $118k+ for fall hazards in CT Posted by on

OSHA has proposed in excess of $118,000 in fines for a Tennessee-based contractor working in Torrington, Connecticut. The fines are the result of "15 alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards," according to the OSHA press release.

"OSHA's inspection found employees working on scaffolding, in an aerial lift and on the roof at the 492 East Main St. worksite, were exposed to falls of up to 22 feet. The inspection also identified electrical, overhead and chemical hazard communication deficiencies at the worksite."
------
"Specifically, 4 Brothers, which also operates as VP Stucco Co. Inc., was issued six repeat citations, with $84,000 in proposed penalties, for no fall protection for employees in an aerial lift; lack of guardrails on the scaffold; employees climbing the scaffold's side and cross braces; employees not trained to recognize scaffold hazards; no protective helmets; and failing to have the scaffold erected and dismantled under the supervision of a competent person. OSHA cited the company in 2007 and 2008 for similar hazards at worksites in Concord, N.H., and Plainville, Conn.

"The Torrington inspection also resulted in nine serious citations, with $34,650 in proposed penalties, for employees working on a roof without fall protection; an improperly supported scaffold; unguarded walkways between scaffolds; using an ungrounded extension cord to power a mixing drill; and lack of a hazard communication program, training, material safety data sheets, and protective gloves for employees working with cement and hazardous chemicals. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.
Emphasis added.





What do we have to offer? Posted by on

Why should an owner or developer hire union carpenters, employed by union contractors? Take a look.





Feds hit NH companies on 1099s for $500k Posted by on

The U.S. Department of Labor delivered an early stocking full of coal to the Poulins and their trio of cheating companies yesterday, ordering them to pay 99 workers close to $500,000 in back wages and damages as well as a civil penalty of $108,900.

Di-pat Construction, Jerry Construction and Kel-Rick Construction management, owned by Johanne, Jerry and Patrick Poulin respectively were cited for ??willful and repeated violations of the [Fair Labor Standards Act] minimum wage, overtime and record keeping provisions.?? All three companies are based in New Hampshire and have overlapping operations.

??Our investigation found that these employers were intentionally misclassifying workers as independent contractors instead of ??employees?? to avoid paying them time-and-a-half for overtime hours they worked,?? said George Rioux, director of the Labor Department??s Wage and Hour Division district office in Boston. ??They paid the workers straight time for overtime hours and sometimes did not even pay for all hours worked. As joint employers, they switched workers among the companies in a further attempt to avoid the requirements of the law. Such behavior by any employer will not be tolerated by the Labor Department.??

According to the Department of Labor??s press release ??the defendants agreed to entry of the judgment without admitting liability.?? As part of the judgment, Jerry Poulin is prohibited from ??serving in the future as an owner, director or executive of any business entity covered by the FLSA.??

Manchester Union-Leader reports here. Nashua Telegraph story here.





A message to undocumented workers Posted by on





Jobsite accident in Waltham leads to two member deaths Posted by on

Two members of New Hampshire Local 118 were killed as the result of an accident on a job in Waltham, Massachusetts on Friday. Union Brothers Peter Marchese and Chris Beste were hurt when a lift they were moving went over. Marchese was killed instantly. Beste passed away Monday evening due to head injuries suffered in the accident.

The members were employed by Lymo Construction of Merrimack, New Hampshire and had been putting exterior metal panels on an AstraZeneca building.

Marchese, 40, was a resident of Nashua, New Hampshire a 4-year member of the UBC, and a longtime employee of Lymo. He leaves behind a wife, and two children: a daughter, age five, and a son, age two. A service was held Tuesday afternoon in Nashua; it was standing room only.

Beste, 30, was also a four year member who was engaged to be married. He was a resident of Manchester, New Hampshire. Marchese was a husband and father to a five year-old daughter and a two year-old son.

Donations for Marchese??s wife and two children should be made out to The Marchese Family Fund and taken to any Bank of America branch or mailed to:
Bank of America
356 Daniel Webster Highway
Merrimack, NH 03054
Attn: The Marchese Family Fund

Donations for Beste??s family will go to his parents. They should be made out to The Rick and Janice Briggs Assistance Fund and taken to any Bank of America branch or mailed to:
Bank of America
356 Daniel Webster Highway
Merrimack, NH 03054
Attn: The Rick and Janice Briggs Assistance Fund





More testimony on misclassification Posted by on

New Hampshire Congressman Paul Hodes recently held a meeting in his district to hear about the issue of misclassification in the construction industry. Ashley Smith of the Nashua Telegraph covered the event. Her story, quoted below, can be read here.

Mario Plante owns a contracting company in Hudson, but he turns to
Massachusetts for most of his business.

It's nearly impossible to
land a job in New Hampshire because too many of his competitors avoid paying
workers compensation insurance by illegally classifying their employees as
independent contractors, Plante said. That cuts their costs by about 30 percent,
making it easier to come in low on every project bid, he said.





Misclassification hurts ALL honest businesses Posted by on

The problem of workers in the construction industry being misclassified a independent contractors rather than employees is not only bad for workers, it's bad for honest companies trying to compete. It's also bad for state and federal governments, who are robbed of proper revenue.

Here's an article that will give you and idea of what's going on in New Hampshire.