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September 20, 2021

Byrne Appoints Xavier and O’Connor

John O'Connor headshot

The North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters has named Noel Xavier as the Organizing Director for its seven-state area. He fills the position recently vacated by Brian Richardson, who retired this summer. Richardson and Xavier worked together closely for several years as part of the council’s succession plan.

Within the Organizing Department, the council has also named John O’Connor as Director of Residential Business Development. He will work with Xavier, regional managers and staff, primarily in Eastern New England.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer Joe Byrne announced the appointments in a memo to staff.

“For more than 140 years, the mission of the Carpenters union has been “Educate, Agitate, Organize.” Bringing justice and higher standards to carpenters and construction sites–regardless of their union status–requires a focused, strategic, and persistent approach.

“The industry is in dire need of increased union organizing that results in collaborative partnerships between labor and management,” he said. “Noel has demonstrated his ability to take traditional and modern approaches to what is both a modern and very old-fashioned industry. He will effectively leverage the collective power of our union staff and members, helping the Carpenters union’s achieve sustainable growth that benefits working carpenters and their families.”

A floorcoverer by trade, Xavier is a first generation American born to Portuguese parents who speaks Portuguese, English and Spanish. He was hired as a full-time organizer by NASRCC and later became a lead organizer. He is a member of Local 2168.

“The deteriorating conditions on nonunion projects in the residential segment of our industry—wage theft and misclassification becoming the de facto business model, as detailed in a recent academic study—demand a response,” Byrne said. “When it comes to the residential market, there are few people who have the knowledge, experience and extensive contacts John has. He is as comfortable challenging contractors who exploit carpenters as he is developing partnerships between the union and residential developers and contractors.”

O’Connor is a member of Local 723 and has held several leadership positions within the local. He was hired as an organizer by the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and has also worked in different parts of the country as an organizer for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.