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Formwork at Parking Garage Posted by on

Crews working with A.A. Will Corp and S&F Concrete began work on the parking garage this week.

An engineer for A.A. Will Corp. prepares this area for work, marking the ground with yellow spray paint.

In the background, the S&F Concrete Foremen is standing in the previously excavated trench laying out forms for the back wall of the parking deck.

The sections marked in yellow are then excavated. The area is dug out down to the blue clay and crews pour one foot of ¾ inch crushed stone on top. Next, carpenters working for S&F Concrete layout the forms for the footings.

Pictured below are reinforcing dowels projecting out of a footing that will be the structural stand of the columns supporting the parking deck. These dowels penetrate the footing 22 inches, with a 90-degree bend at the bottom, and stand approximately 5-feet out of the footing. The dowels are necessary to reinforce the concrete of the column to withstand things such as earthquakes and car impacts.

Around the dowels are additional reinforcing dowels (seen below) for the structural concrete columns, put in place after the concrete footing has been placed. This connection of five feet gives strength to the columns to withstand side impacts. The hook bars at the top are designed to be the connection between the second floor of the parking deck and the column.

Concrete forms will be set around the reinforcing rods and concrete will be poured inside the forms to create the column.

The footing and column work will continue into next week, grading for the lower level of the garage will follow.

Structural Steelwork Continues Posted by on

Structural steelwork continued this week at the Northwest side of the building.

A look at this section upon completion:

The stairwall adjacent to the main entrance of the building was erected this week.

The installation of Q-decking is ongoing. The concrete is expected to be poured in the coming week.

Erlich speaks at ESAC Posted by on

Below is the text of a speech by Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters to the annual meeting of the Eastern Seaboard Apprenticeship Conference in Boston, MA. The speech was scheduled to be given at an event this evening at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum.


Thank you for having me here tonight. It??s a pleasure to be speaking at the annual ESAC conference. The setting here is beautiful and the surroundings are enjoyable, but all of us know we are meeting in very troubled times.

Our construction industry has always been a barometer of the health of our nation??s economy, and when the bottom dropped out last fall, our members were among the first to feel the pain and among those occupations that have felt it the deepest. Unemployment in the construction trades now averages between 20 and 30%--even higher in some areas and among some trades, but rarely lower. Architectural billings have plummeted in 2009, meaning that the prospects for the future are not that hopeful. If the architects don??t draw, we don??t build.

Certainly, the stimulus money will have some impact but I think less than some of us would have hoped. In an effort to be bi-partisan, the final allocation of the $787 billion package included $288 in tax cuts and only $27 billion in traditional infrastructure investment. We welcome every single one of those dollars, but I do not believe they will be enough to clear our benches.

If, as they say, crisis offers opportunities, then perhaps this period is an opportunity to understand how we got to this point, to re-think some of our nation??s underlying values, and to look at the work we do in new and better ways.

I read a recent article by Simon Johnson, former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, the organization that works with financially troubled countries to get out from under economic crises. Johnson, representing a very mainstream organization, points out that the problems facing the United States are not unlike those of the so-called "banana republics" he dealt with at the IMF, where the problems were as much political as economic, where the ultimate obstacles involve the undemocratic control of their country??s economies.

According to Johnson, there is a "deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests--financiers, in the case of the U.S.--played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse."

For the past 25 years or so, finance boomed, starting with the Reagan years, and gaining strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and bush administrations. Wall Street ran with the invention of securitization, interest-rate swaps, and credit-default swaps as sources of income. From 1973 to 1985, the financial sector had never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. But in this decade, it reached 41 percent of all corporate profits. Pay rose just as dramatically. From 1948 to 1982, average compensation in the financial sector ranged between 99 percent and 108 percent of the average for all domestic private industries. From 1983, it shot upward, reaching 181 percent in 2007.

The American financial industry gained political power by promoting a belief system that what was good for Wall Street was good for the country. In a world that celebrates the idea of making money, it was easy to believe that the interests of the financial sector were the same as the interests of the country--and that the winners in that world knew better what was good for America than everyone else did.

But this belief system has proved empty and destructive. This is a time for all of us to ask: what is really important in our society? The glamor of money and celebrity or the value of hard work that is the bedrock of our nation??s strength? In the aftermath of 9/11, who in lower Manhattan led the efforts of rescue and recovery? Was it the celebrated investment bankers and fund managers who worked on Wall Street? No, it was the construction workers, cops, firefighters, and EMTs--all union members, by the way--who did the dirty work and possessed the skills to help New York and our country, begin a return to normalcy.

Unfortunately, a return to normalcy on Wall Street meant using workers?? pension funds and 401ks to bet the house on increasingly leveraged financial instruments. In the end, the house of cards came tumbling down and the ones who are paying the ultimate costs are America??s working families--the kinds of people who rescued those on Wall Street from the consequences of a terrorist attack.

What does all this have to do with our training mission? As members of the training community, it is our obligation to train our apprentices to become the most productive journeymen and women in the industry. In a highly competitive world, they need to be the best they can be, with a full array of skills. But they also need to become union citizens and our training programs need to include curricula on labor history, labor economics, and the rights and responsibilities of union members. They need to understand that it is not just enough to show up and put in an honest day??s work. They need to know that their futures and their families?? security depends on the strength of their union and their unions?? strength depend on their participation, support, and understanding of the issues.

They need to know that our society has seen an enormous growth in economic inequality since the 1970s and that trend coincides with the decline of union density. They need to know that, whereas 30 years ago the average American CEO earned about 30 or 40 times what an average worker earned, last year that CEO took home 344 times the typical worker??s pay. They need to know that in 2007, the top 50 hedge and private equity managers--the people who helped bring us our current situation--earned an average of $588 million, more than 19,000 times what an average worker earned.

They need to know that, contrary to popular mythology, our problems today were not caused by America??s workers or their unions. In fact, productivity is up 70% since 1980, while real wages have risen only 5% after inflation.

They need to know that it wasn??t always like this and that it doesn??t have to stay this way. For example, in 1955, America??s top 400 taxpayers paid three times more of their income in taxes than the top 400 of 2006. There used to be more of a sense that fairness, rather than unbridled competition, was the American way.

I once read a book that described the history of America as consisting of 3 different geometric shapes. Around the time of the transition from the 19th to the 20th century, America was like a pyramid, with a few wealthy people on the top and the rest of the population near the bottom. After World War II, things changed as a result of economic prosperity and the growth of the union movement. The country looked more like a diamond with a large middle class and smaller groups of very wealthy and very poor Americans. Today, we have more of a bottom-heavy hourglass with a larger group of wealthy Americans at the top, but a declining middle class as most Americans work harder and longer just to keep afloat.

Obviously, there are many differences between now and the "diamond" era, but one of the main ones is that the numbers of union members declined along with the political influence of labor organizations that fought for a nation based on valuing hard work and economic justice.

So when we think about training, we have to think about all aspects of a union industry. First, we have to teach the skills. But we also have to prepare our members for change--a constant in our modern lives. We need to view our crafts as occupations that will have to incorporate continuing lifelong education, i.e., journeymen upgrades as well as apprentice training. We have to adapt our curricula to reflect the new "green" techniques and technologies. We have to accommodate and welcome greater diversity in our workforce. The building trades have always been a pathway for bright and talented young people from all walks of life into the middle class. We are a nation of immigrants and we have to recognize that much of our future construction workforce may be coming from the new immigrant communities.

But above all, we need to build a set of values into our training. We need to remind our apprentices that they will be the ones who will build our society??s schools, roads and bridges, offices, and hospitals--and that should be a source of pride. We need to remind them that they are a key element of one of the most pivotal sectors of our nation??s economy; when they work, the economy is healthy. We need to tell them about the history of the labor movement, how virtually every social improvement in our country was a result of the progressive tradition of the labor movement.

And we need to ask them to be union citizens, to take on the great challenge of our time, to restore the role of unions as a counterweight to corporate greed and financial irresponsibility and as the central voice for economic justice in the united states.

Carpenters rally against Crowne Plaza Posted by on

Members of Local 107 and several other NERCC affiliates demonstrated at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Worcester last Thursday to alert the public that two out of state contractors have been hired to do renovations at the hotel. Local politicians and other unions also joined union members to show their support.

First Finish from Maryland was hired as the General Contractor and a company out of Virginia (!) is being used to do the drywall work. This is despite the annual presence of the Carpenters Union at the hotel for the New England Carpenters Apprenticeship Contest and Banquet and the use of the hotel for events by other unions, the Democratic Party and numerous other local groups.

Reports have been coming in that several large groups have canceled their events at the hotel as a result of the Crowne Plaza??s refusal to use even a local nonunion contractor for the project. The Apprenticeship Contest banquet is being moved to another location.

Worcester City Councilor Kate Toomey was one of the speakers at the rally, blasting the Crowne Plaza's one way version of partnership.

"For the Crowne Plaza to be a viable local entity, they need the patronage of Worcester and Worcester County residents. For Worcester and Worcester County to be viable, we need companies like the Crowne Plaza to reciprocate by using local contractors.

"Although the project is underway, I hope that [the Crowne Plaza's parent company] Lodgian and Crowne Plaza will reconsider and give local business3es and tradesmen the opportunity to work on this project."

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.

Video Update - Topping Off Ceremony Posted by on

Topping Off Ceremony Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC), along with Suffolk Construction, held a Topping Off ceremony today to celebrate the progress made towards completing the Carpenters Center.

Representatives from Suffolk Construction, NERCC, the Boston JATC, community members, and the men and women who have worked on the project attended the ceremony. According to tradition, a tree and American flag were attached to the beam, which was then signed by various individuals involved in the project. The beam was then lifted into place and erected by the ironworkers.

Topping Off Ceremony at Carpenters Center Posted by on

Cross posted on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC), along with Suffolk Construction, held a Topping Off ceremony today to celebrate the progress made towards completing the Carpenters Center.

Representatives from Suffolk Construction, NERCC, the Boston JATC, community members, and the men and women who have worked on the project attended the ceremony. According to tradition, a tree and American flag were attached to the beam, which was then signed by various individuals involved in the project. The beam was then lifted into place and erected by the ironworkers.

NECN covers Mayo asbestos embarrassment Posted by on

Members of Local 107 in Worcester have been holding a banner and passing out leaflets in front of the Bancroft building, warning residents, neighbors and passersby that they may have been exposed to asbestos.

The Mayo Group was indicted by the Attorney General's office earlier this year on five counts of asbestos related violations of the Clean Air Act, a story that was published on

New England Cable News just did a story about the Local 107 activity.

The Mayo Group has admitted to improper filing of notices in relation to asbestos removal, but they have lied to residents at Bancroft Commons about the extent of the charges, telling residents; "the allegations center only upon the timing of the filing of notices".

While the Mayo Group was indicted for failure to properly file notices and conduct inspections, they were also indicted for "failure to comply with procedures for asbestos emissions control (2 counts), and improper disposal of asbestos waste (1count)." The Attorney General??s press release is attached and highlighted, for reference.

The Mayo group has been the subject of investigation and protests by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters for a couple of years.

Organizers have found immigrant workers being paid improperly, with taxes not being withheld. Despite pledges that they do and will hire contractors that comply with state and federal laws, the Mayo Group??s practices have been questionable.

In October 2007 the Worcester Telegram and Gazette ran a front page story including claims by NERCC that workers were improperly paid. The story included information from a worker on the site:

"One Mayo employee, who did not give his name, said outside the building that he is paid monthly by check and "sometimes" taxes are taken out."

The Mayo Group has tried to distract their clients, the public and residents of their projects from independently investigated and reported facts by smearing the union. But the Carpenters Union has only highlighted facts that otherwise might go unnoticed. If these truths are embarrassing or inconvenient to the business model of the Mayo Group, they must consider that in their future operations.

Carpenters Center Topping Off Ceremony Posted by on

Cross posted on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC), along with Suffolk Construction, will hold a Topping Off ceremony on Friday, May 22, 2009, at 11:30 am to celebrate the progress made towards completing the New England Carpenters Union headquarters C the Carpenters Center. The event will take place on the first floor of the building, located at 750 Dorchester Ave.

A topping off ceremony is a tradition within the construction industry that marks the moment when the highest structural point in the building construction has been attained. The practice of "topping out" a new building can be traced to the ancient Scandinavian religious practice of placing a tree on the top of a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits of their ancestors that had been displaced. The practice migrated to England with Scandinavian invaders and took root there ( This tradition of placing a tree at the top of the building continues today.

Community members and local businesses are invited to the ceremony, along with Representatives from Suffolk Construction, NERCC, and the men and women who have worked on the project.

Union Carpenters working on "Special Project" Posted by on

Cross posted on

Union contractor Columbia Construction Company and the Carpenters Union proudly attended a beam signing ceremony on site of construction of training facility for the Special Olympics of Massachusetts.

The New England Carpenters Labor Management Program was an early contributor to the Massachusetts Special Olympics "Campaign for a New Home," which aimed to raise $10.8 million for the construction of a 25,000 square foot headquarters and training center in Marlborough named the Yawkey Sports Training Center.

The project is now in full swing, with members of Local 475 spearheading construction, led by Carpenter steward Rick Anketell.

More on the Special Olympics Massachusetts on their blog.

Lien put on Natick Collection Condos Posted by on

Dimeo Construction is still trying to collect more than $12 million owed by General Growth for construction of the Nouvelle at Natick condos connected to the "Natick Collection" mall.

Apparently, only 18 of the 215 luxury condos have been sold. From the Boston Herald article, by Thomas Grillo:

General Growth, which also owns the adjacent Natick Collection and 165 malls nationwide, filed the nation??s biggest real estate bankruptcy in April. While the Natick mall is not included in the bankruptcy filing, the two-tower condo development is. The company sought court protection last month after piling up $27 billion in debt during an acquisition spree that included the operations lease for Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston.

General Growth hired Providence, R.I.-based Dimeo for the Natick mall expansion and condo complex. The $370 million mall addition opened in September 2007, and the $170 million condo project was finished last fall.

Topping off Ceremony at the Carpenters Center Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters (NERCC), along with Suffolk Construction, will hold a Topping Off ceremony on Friday, May 22, 2009, at 11:30 am to celebrate the progress made towards completing the New England Carpenters Union headquarters ?C the Carpenters Center. The event will take place on the first floor of the building, located at 750 Dorchester Ave.

A topping off ceremony is a tradition within the construction industry that marks the moment when the highest structural point in the building construction has been attained. The practice of "topping out" a new building can be traced to the ancient Scandinavian religious practice of placing a tree on the top of a new building to appease the tree-dwelling spirits of their ancestors that had been displaced. The practice migrated to England with Scandinavian invaders and took root there ( This tradition of placing a tree at the top of the building continues today.

Community members and local businesses are invited to the ceremony, along with Representatives from Suffolk Construction, NERCC, and the men and women who have worked on the project.

Q-deck installed, Ironwork continues Posted by on

Q-decking is being shot down to the steel beams of the third floor. The decking provides a stay-in-place form for the concrete slab of the third floor.

This is a view looking up at the Q-deck attached to the steel beams.

Along the west side of the first floor, concrete block is being put in place by masons working for M-Fal Masonry. The retaining wall of the parking deck is behind the concrete block (seen here).

The first floor mechanical, electrical and plumbing work is ongoing.

Union contractor recognized by ENR Posted by on

Congratulations to Component Assembly Systems, a union drywall contractor with offices in Medford, Massachusetts and five other states, which was recently written up for ENRs website by blogger Tricia Attalah. ENR is one of the leading national print and online news sources for the construction industry.

The article, "How a Drywall Contractor Became a Powerhouse via Smart Information Management " highlights Component's incredible growth as a result of its use of specialized computer software and a culture where input and participation is sought from all employees.

According to her ENR blog, Transitions, "Tricia Atallah is Principal of VantagePoint Strategy Group, a management advisory firm, and author of Building a Successful Construction Company. [Her] blog is dedicated to decision-makers who have a stake in the business and/or process of construction."

Multiple groups promoting safety in Washington state Posted by on

The following ad was developed by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Sponsors for the ad include the Washington State Building and Construction Trades, Washington State Labor Council, Council, Associated General Contractors and Association of Washington Businesses.

The ad is titled "Homecomings" and is part of a media campaign aimed at promoting workplace saftey. The campaign, which began yesterday, will include radio and internet ads according to a press release by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.

More interesting information about the ads, from the press release:

L&I purchased licensing rights to an award-winning workplace-safety campaign developed in Australia, saving creative and development costs. The ads were repurposed for Washington residents, including voice-overs to eliminate the Australian accent.

In Australia, surveys showed that about 85 percent of viewers thought the ads were quite or very effective. Also, 24 percent of employers and 18 percent of employees said they had personally taken action as a result of the campaign. This was considered a very strong result in a low-interest category such as occupational safety and health.

About $450,000 in TV and radio airtime and Internet space has been purchased. The money comes from dedicated workers?? compensation funds, which can??t be used for purposes other than workers?? comp and workplace safety. Preventing one workplace injury that turns into a long-term pension could pay for the cost of the campaign. Currently, L&I has 3,964 claims with costs for each that are more than $450,000.

The ads will run in May and June, and again in September and October, with some radio advertising also airing in July and August.

TAGS: Safety

MEP Work Begins Posted by on

MEP-- Mechanical, electrical and plumbing (including HVAC and sprinkler system), work is ongoing at the Carpenters Center.

EM Duggan is running the rough plumbing under the first floor slab. As you can see in this picture, the pipe work currently runs from the first floor to underneath the second floor slab. When the steel structure and new concrete slab for the second and third floors are set, the plumbing work will continue through those floors as well.

Conduit for the electrical work is being installed. Electrical conduit is metal or plastic pipe through which electrical wires are pulled, it houses and protects the wires.

The electrical foreman, working for McDonald Electrical Corp.

Cantilever Erected Posted by on

The cantilever on the Southeast end of the building was erected this week.

A cantilever is a projecting structure, such as a beam, that is supported at one end and carries a load at the other end or along its length. Cantilever construction allows for overhanging structures without external bracing.

The cantilever is a key component of the design of the Carpenters Center. On the face of the cantilever will be a curtain wall (windows) that looks into office space and conference rooms on the third floor. Steel plates will penetrate through the aluminum frame of the curtain wall. The Transparent LED sign will be mounted to these plates, resting approximately 14 inches off the face of the glass (curtain wall).

Menino cuts ribbon on Hendry Street Posted by on

The Mayor and media came out to Hendry Street in Dorchester again yesterday for a ribbon cutting on two formerly foreclosed properties that have been rehabilitated by union carpenter apprentices and union contractor Bilt-Rite. The event also served as a kick-off for the 30th season of "This Old House," which will film a similar project being done by a community group in Roxbury.

For five months, groups of carpenter apprentices have been volunteering their time and skills to completely redo the three family properties on one of Boston's hardest hit streets. Rather than going to Millbury for their required one week training session at the New England Carpenters Training Center, they have been working on Hendry Street under the supervision of Instructors Dana Bean and Brian Austin.

Next door to the two completed buildings are two more that are nearing completion. Bilt Rite, which is serving as the developer and general contractors, will sell the two completed properties soon. They are scheduling an open house for the properties to take place in the coming weeks.

Samuel Richards, who have lived in the neighborhood for close to 30 years, came out to watch the ribbon cutting and praised the efforts of the Mayor, Bilt-Rite and the apprentices.

"When I moved here, the buildings were in pretty good shape, there was only one bad one in the neighborhood," he said. "Things have gotten bad. This is a good start [for rebuilding the neighborhood].People don't get scared when they come by and see this work being done. It's beautiful."

Mayor Tom Menino, who's been a close partner with the Carpenters union on many projects in the community, noted how important the project was both for Hendry Street and symbolically, for the city.

"In the past, we've seen the bad spreading int he neighborhoods. Now we're seeing the good spreading," he said. "It's our dream to have them owner-occupied and affordable. We want them to have a good effect on people wo live next door. The caprenters did a great job. Today we'll have placed where poeple hcan live and have a very good home."

The properties are being offered with low interest rates and tax incentives. The intent is to have them sell as owner-occupied, which will enable a buyer to use two rental incomes to pay the mortgage and be on site to maintain the property. For more information, contact the company at 617- 541-9777.

The Hendry Street project is one of close to a dozen that union carpenters have completed in the neighborhoods of Boston and other communities in recent years. By volunteering their time and work, union apprentices make help cities and towns affordably build or rehabilitate properties in need of serious TLC. The union also demonstrates its commitment to building communities where members, and the future generation of trades workers, live.

UBC Launches Site, Highlights NERCC Training Posted by on

The UBC has launched a newly designed website at Some of the highlights include:

What??s New:
Stories in this section will be updated on a regular basis and highlight exciting happenings across the UBC. A picture/headline of each story is featured in rotation on the homepage of the website. One of the five stories currently featured is "New England Carpenters Immersed in Training" about Local 56??s new diving training tank at the NE Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, MA.

Crafts And Skills:
Pages include descriptions of the various craft skills of UBC members, training center contact information across the UBC, as well as general information and a picture slideshow of the International Training Center. Instructors can utilize the website to register for classes at the ITC and to log into the CITF Training Solutions website.

Who We Are:
This section includes a historical timeline of the UBC, brief biographies of the UBC Leadership, as well as information about training, the Sisters in the Brotherhood, and misclassification.

Local listings for the entire UBC can also be found on the site under the heading ??How to Join.?? Visitors enter their zip code to find the contact information of the Council in their area.

The newly designed website is easy to navigate and provides useful information to both members of the UBC as well as visitors to the site who are looking to learn more about the organization.


FTUB hosting seminar on union finances Posted by on

First Trade Union Bank is sponsoring a financial review seminar designed for union officials. The seminar is for all union officers, employees, trustees and board members. We hope to see you there!

When: Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Lunch 12:30 - 1:30 PM*
Seminar 1:30 - 4:30 PM
* $30.00 Fee for lunch and materials. Please make checks payable to The Labor Guild. Scholarships also available.

Where: The Labor Guild
85 Commercial St.
Weymouth, MA 02188-2604

Comprehensive Topics:
Understanding financial statements
Budgetary control, cash flow management
Accounting processes terms and concepts

Spots are going fast! Reserve your seat today! Please send your RSVP to Tom Iacobucci:

Call 800-242-0272 ext. 7309

TAGS: Unions

Union Carpenter featured on "All Things Considered" Posted by on

Dot Perta, a retired member of Carpenters Local 210, was featured in an interview segment of the NPR program "All Things Considered" with Connecticut affiliate WSHU. Perta is the first female carpenter to retire with a pension in Connecticut and will be one of 18 women honored for their careers in the Building Trades at an event on May 16.

You can listen to the interview on their website by following this link.

Perta and the women being honored are also the subject of a short documentary being produced by NERCC, which will premier at the event May 16th, 2009. A trailer for the piece is posted for viewing here on the NERCC blog or on YouTube with other NERCC video productions.

Tickets for the event are $35 each and include full dinner. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Sylvia Michetti of Carpenters Local 24 at 860-442-6655.

Check back here after the event for a look at the full documentary.

Ironwork Continues Posted by on

Flying Steel Posted by on

The erection of the second floor frame and third floor/roof began this week. The first column (below) was erected on Monday. The columns being erected this week will frame the second and third floors of the Carpenters Center.

The steel came from Capco Steel??s fabrication plants located in Rhode Island.

The project architect and structural engineers provide Capco with Computer-Aided Designs (CAD), from which the company produces its own shop drawings. These drawings include detailed fastening connections for each column and beam, so that when the steel arrives on site all fastening points have been predrilled and coordinated at connections. Each piece is also numbered. When the steel comes off the delivery truck it is placed in a numeric sequence so that each piece of steel can be erected in proper order.

Onsite, the Operating Engineer, working for Subcontractor Hallamore Corporation, operates the 200-ton hydraulic crane. The crane lifts the structural steel members to the locations of the building where the Ironworkers fasten them into place. The crane??s boom is 197 feet long when it is fully telescoped.

The following sequence shows the Operating Engineer flying steel to the Ironworkers.

Meanwhile, on the first floor of the building, structural steel was added to the first floor columns, to carry the added loads of the third floor and roof. In this picture, the Ironworker is welding anchorage connecting the concrete slab to the beam below it.

Carpenters participating in "Construction Career Days" Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is one of many organizations and companies participating in "Construction Career Days." The program, which has been taking place in states around the country for ten years, introduces high school students to the many career opportunities available in the industry.

Held at the Laborers Training Center in Hopkinton, the event in Massachusetts generally attracts more than a thousand students. This year's event, expected to draw more than 1,800 is running from May 5-7 from 8am to 5pm.

The event allows students to see--and in some cases experience--careers from building trades, to engineering to environmental fields. The Carpenters area, which is drawing crowds, allows students to build their own toolboxes.

Helping fellow carpenters Posted by on

To help carpenters who are unemployed, donations of non-perishable foods are being collected by the Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund.

Members are asked to bring a can of food when they attend classes at the training center at 385 Market Street in Brighton.

For more information or food pick-up, please call the center's Food Pantry hotline at 617-782-4314, x28.

The program is sponsored by the Women's Round Table.

The Boston Carpenters Apprenticeship and Training Fund Serves Carpenters Local Unions 33, 40, 67, 218 and 723.

Workers Memorial Day video Posted by on

A video with sights and sounds from last week's Workers Memorial Day observance at the State House in Massachusetts has been posted to YouTube by NECarpenters.

Recession hurting blue collars more Posted by on

The Boston Herald runs another piece confirming what most already know: the current recession is hurting blue collar workers more than white collar workers and the construction industry is bearing a large brunt of the pain.

How did we get here, what do we do next? Posted by on

The Atlantic Monthly has an interesting and blunt piece in the May issue about the current economic situation in the United States. Titled "The Quiet Coup," it was written by Simon Johnson, a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. The IMF oversees the global financial system, working to smooth relationships between national economies and currencies. It also offers financial assistance and consultation to nation's in dire need.

As much as Americans might not like the title of the piece, the business community is less likely to appreciate Mr. Johnson's assessment of the current situation in the United States and his suggestions for how to fix it.

TAGS: Economy, Unions

Bad contractors, good grades? Posted by on

NERCC Organizers have been fighting the fight for years. A general contractor wins a public job and makes a mess of it. The project may come in way over budget or months--even years--behind schedule. The city or town might have to file suits to have work completed properly. Then, mysteriously, on evaluation forms the state uses to certify contractors, the contractors in question is given a passing grade. The contractor stays in good standing with the state and future communities where they bid are left in the dark.

Boston's Fox 25 Undercover did a piece on just such a contractor, Barr, Inc. , and the broken system that's supposed to protect communities. Please note that Barr, Inc. is a Connecticut-based firm unrelated to union contractor Barr and Barr.

Responsible Employer Ordinances in every city &amp... Posted by on

Responsible Employer Ordinances in every city & town would quickly put an end to this incredible waste of money to city & towns and would put teeth into local construction projects for each city & town to stop payment and work, when construction runs into problems.Speak to your local Carpenters Bussines Representative for more information.Local 275 VOC

How cool!! Can't wait to see the documentary!! Ka... Posted by on

How cool!! Can't wait to see the documentary!!


Piledrivers Arrive on Site Posted by on

Piledrivers, working for A.A. Will Corporation were on site this week drilling and installing the soldier beams, which will be used for soil retention along the property line. The piledriving rig can be seen in this shot, it is drilling into the ground for the placement of the soldier beams.

Crews working for AA Will also graded the area at the loading dock on the North end of the building. The machine pictured here, called a Gradall, is leveling the area in preparation for the retaining wall, which will support the poured in place concrete loading dock.

Ironworkers from Capco Steel installed beams to support of the second floor in preparation to cut the concrete for the new stairwells.

Crews working for Pro-Cut can be seen here cutting through the concrete at the site of the interior stairwell that will connect the Boston Carpenters Training Center shops located on the first floor to the classrooms and offices on the second floor.

Here, a Broq breaks up the concrete, once it is cut, so that it can be lowered onto the first floor and removed from the building for disposal.

Coming up next week: Erection of steel structure for the second and third floors will begin. In the following twenty-eight days the structure of these floors and roof will be erected.

Today is May Day Posted by on

Yes, there are 31 days in the month of May, but May 1 has special significance to unions. Do you know why?

The celebration of May 1 actually goes back a long way and has different meanings and celebrations in different places. Learn about the variations here.

Workers Memorial Day Posted by on

Members of organized labor, elected officials and community activists gathered at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday to recognize Workers Memorial Day. It was one of many events held around the world to remember workers who have been "workers killed, injured or made ill on the job" and to call for greater protections and enforcement of existing protections.

NERCC Local 118 Representative Elizabeth Skidmore participated, reading the names of union carpenters Peter Marchese and Chris Beste, who were killed in a lift accident in Waltham last year.

Brother Marchese, 40, lived in New Hampshire with his wife and two young children while Brother Beste, 30, was a fourth-year apprentice who was engaged to be married.

Skidmore was joined by other NERCC members and staff, who attended the event. In addition to speeches and the reading of names, the event features a large banner containing the names of all workers being honored.