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Drug companies settle price fixing case brought by union Posted by on

Drug distributor McKesson Corp. has agreed to pay consumers and health plans $350 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the New England Carpenters Health Fund alleging it conspired to inflate the cost of hundreds of drugs.

The case was brought in 2005 and claimed that McKesson conspired with Hearst Corp.??s First DataBank to arbitrarily increase pharmacy profits on sales while increasing the company??s market share. The scheme involved manipulating the posted prices and markups in an industry-wide system setting average wholesale prices (WAP). First DataBank reached a settlement in 2006 over claims made regarding their involvement.

The settlement received extensive national news coverage, including in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News Service. A Google News search turned up dozens of additional articles. Follow links for the complete stories.

To-do list for Obama Posted by on

Errol Louis, Columnist for the New York Daily News runs down a list of items President-elect Barack Obama might want to tackle on behalf on workers when he takes office.

No surprise the list includes misclassification of workers as independent contractors. Louis cites the need for the various agencies to step up enforcement and correct punishments that currently include little more than just paying back stolen wages.

Another drywall contractor cited for misclassification Posted by on

The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office yesterday issued the following press release, announcing citations against a Virginia drywall contractor working in Springfield for misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

BOSTON ?C Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office has issued a civil citation against a Richmond, Virginia, drywall company and its owner for violating the Massachusetts Independent Contractor/Misclassification Law. Cesar O. Pinto-Garcia, age 29, of Richmond, Virginia, and his company Pinto's Drywall Construction, LLC (Pinto's Drywall), were each cited for misclassifying 17 employees as independent contractors. Pinto-Garcia and his company were ordered to pay $10,000 in civil penalties for the violations.

Read the entire press release here.

NERCC to sponsor event featuring Mass Senate President Therese Murray Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters will be the sponsor of an exclusive event featuring Therese Murray, the President of the Massachusetts Senate. The event is being held by MassINC, a nonpartisan think tank that NERCC has supported since its creation in 1996.

The ??off-the-record?? discussion will be held Wednesday, December 10 at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Anyone interested in attending should contact Celia McDonough at NERCC at

More election results Posted by on

Members did more than help candidates get elected to office on Tuesday. Brother Tom Wright is a carpenter who got himself elected. Wright ran for the seat for Maine Houser Representative in district 145. A member of Local 118, Tom has been a member of the UBC for 27 years. He served a single term as a State Representative more than ten years ago and also previously worked as an Organizer for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

If you know of any members who were elected this week, drop us a line at

Not elected, but also serving Posted by on

Union Carpenter Mary Ann Cloherty wasn't elected on Tuesday, but last week she was appointed to serve on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Advisory Council on Vocational Technical Education.

According to the State Board of Education, the Advisory Council is one of several that were developed to ??advise the Commissioner and the Board on matters relevant to their areas of focus in the development of education reform in Massachusetts. Each council meets 4-6 times per year. Through diverse membership on each advisory council, the Commissioner and Board are able to draw on the perspectives and experience of a wide variety of constituents in order to strengthen public education.

Results of Targeted Races in New England Posted by on

Below is a list of results from targeted races in New England. Endorsed candidate is noted with an *.

President of the United States
Barack Obama*--338 Electoral College Votes
John McCain--163

United States Senate
Tom Allen*?C39%
Susan Collins??61%

New Hampshire:
Jeanne Shaheen*--52%
John Sununu??45%

United States House of Representatives
Chellie Pingree*--56%
Charles Summers??44%

New Hampshire:
Paul Hodes*--57%
Jennifer Horn??41%

Carol Shea-Porter*??53%
Jeb Bradley--45%

Chris Murphy*??59%
David Cappiello--39%

Christopher Shays*??48%
James Himes--51%

Joe Courtney*--66%
Sean Sullivan??32%

Massachusetts Ballot Question 1, on abolishing the income tax:

Rhode Island Ballot Question 1, on approving bonds for transportation funding

President-elect Barack Obama Posted by on

Searching for Carpenter poets Posted by on

Joe Bergin, a member of a Boston-based group called the Carpenter Poets of JP is looking for members who want to show off their own poetry skills. The group will be participating in an event at Boston??s Strand Theater early next year and holding their own annual event Monday, December 1 at 6 pm. He has offered to have his group attend local union meetings to entertain and challenge. Members are also encouraged to spread the word on jobsites. For more information, contact Celia McDonough at