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NERCC is Building a Winning Lineup Posted by on

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is using a comprehensive program to educate and activate members who have shown they have the stuff to lead the union into a successful future. Informally called the ".300 Hitters" program, in reference to baseball's most productive hitters, it is held in the the union's spectacular International Training Center in Las Vegas over the course of several days. The first group of 150 members from throughout New England participated in the program and share their impressions in this video. At least one additional group of members from New England will participate each year.

TAGS: Training, Ubc

Sisters represent NERCC at UBC Women's Conference Posted by on

Thirty-one Sisters from New England just returned from the fourth International UBC Women’s Conference held at the International Training Center in Las Vegas. 467 members from across the UBC participated in the learning and networking forum.

A key goal of the conferences is to provide women with tools for becoming involved UBC members. During the conference members were able to meet other Sisters in the Brotherhood committee chairs to exchange ideas and discuss goals; meet with women who are full-time staff on councils across the UBC; attended panels including a contractor panel that discussed maintaining hiring goals; and hear from Senator Amy Klobuchar, the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the United States Senate, who compared her own experience to that of women working in the trades.

Vi Davis (above), a 22-year members of Carpenters Local 67, attended the conference, and was able to share her unique experience as a member of the union family. Sister Davis proudly brought her son, Isaac, into the union. He is a third-year apprentice out of Local 67. The two currently work together for Manganaro on the UMass Boston General Academic Building project.

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

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 .

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.

NJ Carpenters working to honor McGuire Posted by on

The Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters has nominated UBC founder Peter J. McGuire to the New Jersey Hall of Fame and is looking for online votes to get him elected. All members are encouraged to support their efforts.

The Council is proposing McGuire in light of his work to: establish an 8-hour day; begin work toward a five-day workweek; found Labor Day as a holiday honoring all American workers; co-found the AFL; promote the first Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States and create "The Carpenter," the first publication devoted to the carpentry trade.

To vote for McGuire, visit before June 20. You may only vote one from each email account.

Building a future for Essex Agricultural Posted by on

Thanks to Chris Marzullo, a Local 26 member working as a Foreman for G.O. Services. Brother Marzullo sent us pictures of a pole barn they're building for the new Essex Agricultural School in Danvers, Massachusetts. The new school building itself is being built by union carpenters employed by Gilbane and their subcontractors. The pole barn is one of several out-buildings that are or will be completed as part of the project.


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."

New London enacting local hire, training ordinance Posted by on

The city council of New London, Connecticut has approved an ordinance that will require contractors bidding for city construction projects valued at more than $1 million to hire local workers and provide apprenticeship training. New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has pledged to sign the ordinance when it reaches his desk.

The ordinance was proposed by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and publicly supported by members and NERCC Business Representative Chris Bachant. It passed the Administration Committee before winning a vote of the City Council the following week.

"This ordinance allows a percentage of workers from New London or New London County be required to work on a job,'' Bachant told the New London Day. "And any company working on a city project must comply with the Connecticut apprenticeship program. This is an opportunity. It's not just a job. We're offering a career."

There was opposition to the ordinance among the city council and from the editorial page of New London Day. Following the vote of the full city council, Mayor Finizio published an opinion piece in the Day rebutting criticisms of the ordinance and restating his support.

"Low bidder rules for construction projects, without the protections that this ordinance provides, favor the success of bids that use lower quality and less trained workers. While a bid awarded may, in today's dollars, be less than a union construction bid, the buildings built are not of the same quality," Finizio wrote.

"A responsible contractor ordinance, combined with appropriate budgeting for routine maintenance, will lower costs to city taxpayers in the long term by building, and maintaining, better quality buildings."

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



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.


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.

NERCC Retiree Club Holiday Party Posted by on

Brother Richie Trahan checked in to report on the Holiday Party held at the Carpenters Center for NERCC's Boston Retirees Club last month. Members from the four Boston locals were invited to attend and several dozen did. A group of retired members from Carpenters Local Unions 33, 40, 67 and 218 began meeting  last fall to develop a club for members who had hung up the tools, but not their desire to stay connected to each other and the union.

The group is meeting regularly on the 2nd Monday of the month at the Carpenters Center and hopes to schedule social, educational and union-building activities. The time for the meeting has not been made permanent. For more information or scheduling, contact Richie Trahan at 781-848-9597.



New England Carpenters Give Scott Brown A Failing Grade On Creating Jobs, Supporting Working Families Posted by on

In new report card, Republican Scott Brown fails to support new jobs and Massachusetts’ middle-class

Today, the New England Regional Council of Carpenters issued a report card on Senator Scott Brown’s failing efforts to support job-creating programs and middle-class families across the Commonwealth. Senator Brown received an F on today’s report card for opposing numerous jobs bills that would have supported thousands of good-paying jobs in Massachusetts, opposing the extension of essential unemployment benefits, and failing to fight for fair wages for working men and women.


"Try as he may, Scott Brown cannot run away from his votes along national Republican Party lines,” said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Council of Carpenters. “Whether it's unemployment benefits, jobs bills, or standing up for fair wages, Scott Brown is not on the side of working families right here in Massachusetts. The attempts to re-make his image cannot mask his record. He sides with huge corporations and Wall Street instead of the thousands of Massachusetts families still looking for jobs.”


Today, the New England Carpenters gave Senator Brown an “F” for failing to stand up for working families. The grade was based on the following key votes: 





American Jobs Act

-       Would have cut payroll taxes for 140,000 MA firms

-       Supported 11,100 MA jobs


Yes     No X


[Roll Call Vote 160, 10/11/11]

Rebuild American Jobs Act

-       Would invest $850 million in MA infrastructure including roads, bridges highway

-       Would not add to the deficit.

Yes      No X


[Roll Call Vote 195, 11/3/11]

Extending Unemployment Benefits

-       8 votes to extended unemployment benefits to tens of thousands of MA residents who were out of work


Yes      No X


[HR 4213 otes 48, 194, 200, 204, 209, 215; HR 4851 votes 116, 117, 3/10/10 through 7/21/10]

Prevailing Wage Protections

-       Effort to ensure construction workers are paid fair wages on federal transportation projects


  Yes      No X


[S. 223 vote 11, 2/3/11]

To Confirm President Obama’s NRLB Nominee

-       To nominate Craig Becker to the NRLB


  Yes      No X


[Roll Call Vote 22, 2/9/10]


Warren visits UBC Posted by on

Massachusetts Democratic Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren was in Washington this week where she visited UBC headquarters and met with General President Doug McCarron, Secretary-Treasurer Andy Silins, UBC Political Director Tom Flynn, NERCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark Erlich and NERCC Political Director Steve Joyce.


Warren will be meeting rank-and-file union members at a Town Hall meeting next week. The event will be held Wednesday, May 9 at 5:30 PM at 1199SEUI's Union hall on Mount Vernon Street in Dorchester. All carpenters are encouraged to attend and bring their families to this important event. Warren will talk to members about herself and where she stands on issues important to us.

Our future is in our hands!

Flynn named Political Director for UBC Posted by on

Brother Thomas Flynn, a 25-year member of Carpenters Local 67, has been appointed by UBC General President Doug McCarron to the position of Political and Legislative Director. The appointment was announced by McCarron today at a meeting of Regional Council leaders.

"The UBC's gain is obviously NERCC's loss," said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer. "Tom has been one of our shining stars, a valuable leader, and a great friend. As much as I am pleased that he will have this opportunity in Washington D.C., I recognize that it will be very difficult to fill his shoes in New England."

Flynn has served as the Political and Legislative Director of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters for eleven years. During that time he has also served as the Executive Director of the New England Carpenters Labor-Management Program and, since 2009, he was been the Regional Manager for the Boston commercial carpentry Local Unions. He has also been a member of the New England Carpenters Combined Benefit Funds and subcommittees of that fund. In 2010 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

Prior to working for NERCC, Flynn was an Organizer and Business Manager of Local 67 and served in various positions on the Local Executive Board, including President.

Indiana carpenters confront tough times Posted by on

Fifty millworkers who are members of UBC Local 8093 working for Indiana Limestone Company have been on strike through the holidays after unanimously rejecting a concessionary contract. Difficult economic times have forced many Americans and union members to watch wages and working conditions slip backwards. And though they have not blindly agreed to every concession demanded of employers, union members and Americans have been flexible and realistic in working with employers to strike a balance between business viability and protecting a decent standard of living.

What's at play in Indiana, though, may have less to do with recent economic conditions than it does with the move my many American businesses from family run and privately owned to investor owned or publicly traded.

A piece by Joseph Varga for LaborNotes explains.

Resilience is the new player in Indiana’s limestone industry. Like Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, Resilience specializes in “flipping” mid-range “stressed” companies like Indiana Limestone. The private equity firm buys them up, strips them down, lowers their labor costs, and sells them to investors.

It’s the same process that has occurred throughout the country for the past 30 years, turning family-owned businesses into “lean and mean” concerns, in the process destroying good union jobs and shrinking the tax base in communities that are struggling to survive.

While company officials make the usual statements about being fair-minded corporate citizens, the fact is that there had been only one other brief strike in Indiana Limestone’s long history, while in two years Resilience had made it clear it was only about lowering costs in order to resell.

According to the article, among the concessions sought by Resilience are elimination of "just cause" standards for discipline and an end to safety meetings, though the work done can be extremely dangerous.

Varga's piece goes on to detail the context in which the strike is taking place. The state has been at the forefront of battles over rescinding collective bargaining rights and enacting so-called "right to work" laws. It has also seen some pushback from workers--both union and nonunion--as well as younger citizens who have become involved in the "occupy" movement.

New understandings and alliances have been forming between the workers and young people eager to get involved and make a lasting difference in the future.

There's no happy ending to the story, at least yet. And there may not be. But one can't help feeling there could be better results in the future if the conversations between workers and their neighbors continue, creating a better understanding of each other and the common problems they face.

Carpenters training key to industry's success Posted by on

A news story on a FOX affiliate in Wisconsin focused on the need for craft training in the state. The state's education superintendent visited a training center for the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, a UBC affiliate, where apprentices are learning AND earning. Union apprentice Evan Gibbs is highlighted in the piece, talking about how he came to be an apprentice and what it will mean for his future.

Valley apprenticeship program recognized:

TAGS: Training, Ubc

Congress passes three more trade agreements Posted by on

 Three trade agreements opposed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters were passed by the United States House of Representatives this week without sufficient protections for workers in the US and abroad. The passage of the three agreements--with South Korea, Panama and Columbia--continues a two-decade trend of trade agreements that have each cost American workers hundreds of thousands of jobs, increased our trade deficit and made it easier and more profitable for corporations to abuse workers in low-wage, regulation-free countries.

UBC General President Doug McCarron urged Congress not to pass the three pending agreements, detailing specific problems that would result from each of them.

The New England delegation to Congress, dominated by Democrats, voted largely against the agreements, though not unanimously. Representatives Jim McGovern, Barney Frank, John Tierney, Ed Markey, Mike Capuano, Stephen Lynch and Bill Keating from Massachusetts voted no on all three proposed agreements. Both Representatives David Cicilline and Jim Langevin from Rhode Island voted no on all three, as did Maine's delegation of Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud. Representatives Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro and Chris Murphy also voted against passage of the three agreements.

Representatives John Olver, Richie Neal and Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts, Representative Peter Welch from Vermont and Representative John Larson from Connecticut all voted to pass the proposed agreement with Panama. Neal and Larson also supported the South Korean agreement.

The only Republican Representatives from New England--Representatives Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass from New Hampshire voted in support of all three agreements. Democratic Representative Jim Himes from Connecticut also voted in favor of all three agreements.

UBC launches enhanced website Posted by on

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters has enhanced "to include more timely news along with expanded information, images and video content for UBC members," according to a memo from General Secretary-Treasurer Andris Silins.

"It also showcases UBC training and productivity for visitors from the construction industry and the general public," the memo said.

The site now includes members-only pages to support members and get them more active in UBC legislative and political action efforts. Members who sign up as "e-activists" will be able to easily keep up to date on relevant issues and add their voices to those of fellow members speaking to elected representatives in Washington.

Soon, members will receive an e-news alert about pending federal trade legislation, encouraging them to contact their Senate and Congressional representatives to discuss the issue. Information about the legislation has previously been posted on and The UBC e-news alerts will be similar to NERCC's Council Update, which is regularly emailed to members of NERCC affiliated locals.

"Online communication is an essential tool for the UBC, and I trust you will find that this improved Internet presence serves our members, our trade, and our Brotherhood well," Silins wrote.

All members are encouraged to visit, share information with fellow UBC Brothers and Sisters and sign up to become "e-activists" in the members-only section of the site.

Dems win first Wisconsin recall Posted by on

In a fight picked by Republicans in retaliation for Democratic recall efforts, State Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay walloped Republican David VanderLeest in what the GOP had considered a very winnable seat.

EJ Dionne, Jr., writing for the Washington Post said it could be the beginning of an interesting end to the summer in Wisconsin,as six Republicans and two more Democrats face on in recall battles in August.

Hansen read the results as the first step in a Democratic comeback. It's only the beginning,he declared at a victory celebration.

Of course Hansen would say this, but Contorno pointed to the Democrats impressive ground operation in the race. One senses that the energy in these recalls will be on the Democrats side, a bigger than usual advantage in mid-summer contests where turnout will be key. And there is normally no better time than August to get attention. If Democrats manage to take over Wisconsin's State Senate in reaction to the actions of a very ideological conservative governor and legislature, the event will have reverberations far beyond Madison.

McCarron writes on misclassificiation Posted by on

Doug McCarron, General President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America has written a piece on misclassification and tax fraud in the construction industry that was just published by the Construction Labor Report. It can be read here.

LA Carpenters supporting solar plan Posted by on

Business Wire has the story.

The CLEAN (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now) LA proposal would allow businesses and residents to install solar panels on their roofs and sell the power generated back to the local utility, creating the largest program of its kind in the United States. Known in policy circles as a feed-in tariff, or FiT, the plan would create $500 million in local investment and create 900 high-paying jobs each year for the next five years, all with a minimal impact on ratepayers.

Walter A. Furman Co., Architectural Woodwork | A UNION shop Posted by on

Architectural millwork is a key element of any building project. When done right, it can really open eyes. At Walter A. Furman Company, craftsmanship and commitment are key, as union carpenters and company management carry on a long-standing company tradition of exceeding client expectations. Take a look behind the scenes to see how they bring it all together.

Labor Day Message from Doug McCarron Posted by on

Doug McCarron, the General President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, posted this Labor Day message on the UBC website.


McCarron visits the Carpenters Center Posted by on

UBC General President Douglas McCarron was in Boston today with General Secretary-Treasurer Andy Silins and ITC Director Bill Irwin to meet with AGC member contractors from throughout New England. McCarron and Operating Engineers General President Vincent Giblin have been regularly meeting with AGC members around the country to talk about the National Construction Alliance.

While he was here, we got a chance to ask the General President a few questions about the NCA, the UBC and the future of the construction industry.

McCarron visits the Carpenters Center Posted by on

UBC General President Douglas McCarron was in Boston today with General Secretary-Treasurer Andy Silins and ITC Director Bill Irwin to meet with AGC member contractors from throughout New England. McCarron and Operating Engineers General President Vincent Giblin have been regularly meeting with AGC members around the country to talk about the National Construction Alliance.

While he was here, we got a chance to ask the General President a few questions about the NCA, the UBC and the future of the construction industry.

Hard Work, Commitment Keep Brotherhood Strong Posted by on

UBC Ready to Withstand Any Challenge
A message from UBC General President Douglas McCarron

"Be grateful the Brotherhood took President John F. Kennedy's advise that, "The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining."

Over the past several years, our union has done exactly that, putting our house in order by rethinking everything we do.

We modernized the UBC's structure and invested heavily in training members and staff. We reinvigorated our efforts to help the union grow and took a seat at the table with our Carpenters Politics.

As difficult as these times are, they would be even worse had the UBC not displayed the courage to make tough choices and the determination to see them through.

While economic recovery depends on wise government policies and time, only we can make sure that the UBC is ready when that day arrives--and arrive it will. In the last 129 years, our union has not just endured financial panics, recessions, inflation, deflation, a Depression, and two world wars but we rose to the challenge and emerged stronger.

To make tomorrow better than today, we need to ensure that our members are trained, that our union administration is efficient and effective, and that politicians are aware that carpenters vote.

As we take measure of these challenging times and the continued uncertainties that lie ahead, we need to remember that we are better prepared to face the future than any generation that has come before us in the UBC's proud history.

The Brotherhood remains a strong, confident organization that can withstand any challenge. Whether it's in the field or in our offices, the UBC is home to the most dedicated, best trained people I've come across in organized labor and the construction industry.

Our union's best days are ahead, but getting there requires hard work and continued commitment to the ideals of the Brotherhood. Realizing that we have been preparing for this moment will not make the task any easier, but it does give us the confidence to know that we will prevail.


UBC seeking antique tools, photos for convention Posted by on

All UBC Councils can help the Brotherhood celebrate its nearly 130-year legacy of strength and progress during the 40th General Convention in August by contributing antique tools for an exhibit of union artifacts and archival material.

We expect to assemble a collection of tools, documents, and other items to help tell the Brotherhood??s proud story. Besides tools, we also are seeking other appropriate materials such as??but not limited to??photographs, convention memorabilia, and pins.

The deadline for submissions is May 1.

For more information, contact Robert Welch at


UBC Eastern District Vice President tours Carpenters Center Posted by on

Cross posted on

On June 15, 2009, Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, gave a tour of the Carpenters Center to Frank Spencer, Eastern District Vice President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

Eastern District Vice President tours Carpenters Center Posted by on

Cross posted on

On June 15, 2009, Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, gave a tour of the Carpenters Center to Frank Spencer, Eastern District Vice President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

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.


What's next? Posted by on

The NERCC presence in cyberspace is growing. It's been many years since we created a website. About two years ago we started sending Council Updates to staff, delegates and local union officers by email. Since July, we've been playing with this Blog thing. We haven't really let anyone know it's here yet, but maybe soon.

The latest front in the effort to reach out to members, prospective members and the general public. I've generated a Facebook profile for myself and started a Facebook "group" for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. They both link back to our will have more content and news as we go.

Check it out. Generate a profile, then search for and join the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

--Bert Durand

TAGS: Community, Nercc, Ubc

Obama picks LA Congresswoman for Sec of Labor Posted by on

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to nominate Congresswoman Hilda Solis to be the next Secretary of Labor. The announcement is expected to be made today. Solis is serving her fourth term in Congress, representing a Los Angeles, California district.

Solis won her seat by defeating an incumbent Democrat in significant part due to her support from unions. Her father was a Shop Steward for the Teamsters in Mexico and her mother worked on an assembly line. As a State Representative in California she was a strong advocate for raising the minimum wage.

Solis?? website contains a page on labor issues that give some insight into her positions and indicate she would be a very good choice for union members. She has had good relationships with the UBC, both in Washington and her home district, with the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters.

Obama on UBC endorsement Posted by on

"For more than 120 years, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners has worked to ensure that hard work is rewarded with the opportunity to thrive and build a better life. But after eight years of an administration that has rewarded wealth instead of work, and with John McCain promising four more years of those polices, that dream is in danger. The UBC shares my conviction that we need to come together to make sure that the America Dream lives on for our childre n, and I'm thrilled that they will be standing with me in this critical election," said Senator Barack Obama.

UBC press release on Obama endorsement Posted by on

United Brotherhood Of Carpenters Endorses Obama
Wednesday August 20, 6:37 pm ET

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20--Leaders from throughout the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners today unanimously endorsed Barack Obama for president.
"On all the fundamental issues that affect the lives and well-being of our members, the choice of candidates in this election is clear," said UBC General President Douglas J. McCarron in announcing the endorsement, the first the union has made in a presidential contest since 2000.

"More than 10 years ago our union undertook a comprehensive program of change in order to meet the needs of our members and the industry. It was difficult but necessary, and the results of that work are clear. Our union is growing and our members are enjoying the benefits of that growth.

"It is time that our country takes the same steps to change direction and address the serious problems that affect all working men and women. This administration leaves behind a staggering debt, a legacy of unfair trade deals, and a crumbling infrastructure that will cripple our ability to compete economically.

"We believe that Barack Obama recognizes the necessity for fundamental change in our nation's policies," McCarron said at the close of a meeting of union leadership in Washington, D.C.

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters represents some 550,000 workers in the construction and forest products industries, including large memberships in key swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Nevada.