Viewing: All Entries
of 1

NERCC's Marshall to be CT Labor Commissioner Posted by on

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced today that he has appointed Carpenters Local 210 President Glenn Marshall as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Labor. Dennis Murphy, a labor arbitrator, was chosen as Deputy Commissioner.

??In order to run the Labor Department, it is important to have someone who can work effectively as a consensus builder,?? Governor Malloy said. ??I strongly reject the premise that you have to be either pro-labor or pro-business ?C you have to be both. There is no doubt that in these tough economic times we need to have a responsible approach to decision making and an ability to work with broad-based coalitions. Glenn and Dennis ?C both of whom I have known for years ?C will take their respective experiences and put them to work at the Department of Labor, finding new and unique ways to ensure our state??s labor force is protected, and our state??s business community thrives.??

Marshall has served on the Executive Committee of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters since 1999 and the Regional Business Manager for Connecticut Locals 24, 43 and 210. He has also served as a Trustee to various benefit and training funds.

??This is a tremendous honor and I??d like to thank Governor Malloy for this opportunity,?? said Marshall. ??I??ve respected Governor Malloy for speaking frankly and honestly about the unique ways in which we need to get the labor and business communities around the same table on behalf of the people of Connecticut. That will be my guiding principle as I begin this next phase in my career.??

Marshall notified the NERCC Executive Board of his intention to resign from the Executive Board and his fulltime position with the union.

"Though I am leaving my job and my office on the Executive Board of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, I am not leaving the union," Marshall said. "The pride in our trade and the philosophy we share about unionism will always be with me and help to guide my work with the state. This is a tremendous opportunity for me to be involved in positive changes for Connecticut, ones that I hope will benefit workers and businesses alike.

Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council noted that the union's loss is Connecticut's gain.

"Glenn is a talented, intelligent and committed leader of our union and we will miss his involvement in the administration of the union. There is no doubt that he will continue to help our members and other workers as Commissioner of the Department of Labor and represent the union well."

2011 Fishing Derby Scheduled Posted by on

Joe Broderick, Business Manager for Carpenters Local 535 has announced that the annual Ice Fishing Derby has been scheduled for February 19, 2011 at the Norton Reservoir in Norton, Massachusetts.

The Derby will take place from sun-up to 2:00 pm. No tickets will be sold after 9:00 am. The entry fee is $20, with a single grand prize being awarded for the heaviest fish of any species. Length will be used as a tiebreaker and all fish must be brought in alive. Twenty-five percent of proceeds will be donated to the Valley Tech Educational Fund.

Members attending should look for a banner featuring the UBC shield designating the Derby headquarters. For more information, contact Joe Broderick at Local 535 by calling 781-963-0200.

NERCC, Richey finally join forces Posted by on

After more than fifteen years of conversations in offices and run-ins on jobsites, the New England Regional Council of Carpenters and Mark Richey Woodworking have come to terms on an agreement for the company to become union and its employees to join Shop and Mill Cabinet Local 51.

Richey operates a 130,000 square foot fabrication shop in Newburyport, Massachusetts where they produce architectural millwork. The company now plans to aggressively market themselves to union general contractors, some of whom have turned down Richey in the past in favor of union produced millwork.

"This is a major accomplishment for both the Carpenters union and Mark Richey," said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of NERCC. "Though we??ve always advocated for union shops, we recognized that Richey produced high quality work. We now look forward to helping them expand as a union shop in markets throughout New England."

NERCC exhibits at MMA Trade Show Posted by on

Despite many municipalities across the state of Massachusetts cancelling school due to today's snowstorm, officials are still gathering today (1/21) and tomorrow (1/22) at the 32nd Annual Massachusetts Municipal Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show. NERCC staff are on hand exhibiting at the trade show at booth #1125.

The MMA Annual Meeting and Trade Show is the largest regular gathering of Massachusetts local government officials. The two-day event features educational workshops, nationally recognized speakers, awards programs, a large trade show, and an opportunity to network with municipal officials from across the state.

The MMA??s annual Trade Show, at the Hynes Convention Center, features more than 200 exhibitors offering the latest products and services of interest to the cities and towns of Massachusetts.

Staff from NERCC will be on hand to discuss topics such as the Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAM) contractor prequalification process with various municipal representatives from cities and towns across the state.

"Ask not what your country can do for you..." Posted by on

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. His inaugural address is considered one of the greatest political speeches in the history of the United States. Its call for unity, pride and cooperative, collective action to improve the United States is one that is just as relevant now as it was then.

Split federal gov't may not mean total gridlock Posted by on

The first two years of the Obama administration have been presented as a failure for the labor movement by some. The biggest legislative initiative sought in Congress--the Employee Free Choice Act--never had any momentum and virtually disappeared from policy discussions. The stimulus package morphed from an aggressive jobs-creating effort to a defensive stop-gap to save state and local budgets and provide tax cuts to assist struggling companies or investors. The grand finale was said to be the 2010 elections, where Republicans swept to a majority in the House of Representatives, weakened the Democratic majority in the Senate and started calling for President Obama to compromise more and move his agenda to the right.

On some issues, the administration has and may continue to do that. But on labor issues, they haven't retreated as much as changed tactics and strategies. Obama himself has continued to support unions publicly and has a Secretary of Labor who's mission has been to do more for workers without new laws.

In the Washington Post today, Seth Borden takes another look at how the administration is working with existing laws--and the power of the Executive Branch--to help workers in a way Republicans can't block them.

"I have a dream..." Posted by on

Recipient inquires about settlement check Posted by on

The New England Regional Council of Carpenters recently received an inquiry from a Texas resident, referring to himself as ??Medicare D Recipient,?? who had received a $100 settlement check in the mail and was inquiring about its legitimacy.

He wrote ??I have bought prescription drugs in the past as an individual citizen retiree??I don??t know anything about your union. They claim [this check] is my share of a class action suit??we are afraid it is some kind of scam or identity theft and are afraid to cash the check. Can you shed any light on this???

The settlement check was in fact legit. It was the result of the class action lawsuit brought by the New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund and an AFSCME health fund in New York against First DataBank, Inc. and McKesson Corporation that alleged that those two companies artificially inflated the ??Average Wholesale Prices?? of drugs that were used by millions of consumers, especially Medicare recipients (read more on NERCC Blog).

Alex Sugerman-Brozan of Krakow & Souris, LLC, responded to the inquiry as the law firm representing NERCC, not the attorneys who brought the case against McKesson.

In his letter to Medicare D Recipient, Sugerman-Brozan wrote that settlement in the class action lawsuit against McKesson was recently approved, which allowed checks to be sent to those entitled to reimbursement.

He went on to explain that often individuals who are entitled to receive money from such lawsuits often miss out due to paperwork, for a variety of reasons: it is not filled out properly, lost, forgotten, or not received at all. In the McKesson case, however, the Court was able to use information from Medicare to identify consumers who had paid for a portion of their medications, so that checks could be issued to those consumers without the consumers have to fill out any forms or paperwork. This resulted in many tens of thousands more consumers getting checks than would have otherwise occurred.

Sugerman-Brozan explained that Medicare D Recipient had received the check it because the settlement administrator determined that he was among the consumers in the class, and the check was issued most likely based on information from Medicare.

Medicare D Recipient responded enthusiastically to this explanation and wrote, ??THANK YOU VERRRRRRRRY MUCH. This addresses all my Q. Take the rest of the day off.??

To learn more about the case and the settlement, visit

TAGS: Benefits

Data shows large problem with worker misclassification Posted by on

Speakers at a panel session of the Labor and Employment Relations Association annual meeting reported that there has been an increase in the likelihood and costs associated with getting caught for misclassification and underreporting of workers in the construction and other industries.

The panelists presented evidence of employers treating workers as independent contractors when they are in fact employees. A striking report discussed by the panel shows a significant discrepancy in data, one which ??suggests an explosion in the misclassification of workers,?? notes James Parrott, deputy director and chief economist for the Fiscal Policy Institute of New York.

The report shows that there was a growth rate of 20 percent for workers paid as independent contractors who received 1099s. Across the same time period, there was only a .5 percent increase in employment figures for workers who receive W-2 forms. The large gap between the growth of nonemployer ??independent contractors?? versus payrolled employees ??likely reflects an increase in misclassification,?? Parrot said.

Matt Capece, an attorney with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters emphasized that this problem is not just about illegal immigration, but that it ??has gotten to the point where it encompasses not only undocumented workers, but people who are documented citizens of the U.S.??

Capece went on to add that adequate enforcement is needed because ????we are dealing with a class of people who don??t care about the law at all. The law is just a traffic cone for them to avoid.??

To read more about the panelists findings, click here.

Local 67 union meeting cancelled Posted by on

Local 67 has cancelled the monthly union meeting that was scheduled for tonight.

Suffolk growing again Posted by on

While some construction companies struggle to keep the doors open, Suffolk Construction continues to take advantage of opportunities to grow. Yesterday they announced the purchase of Roel Construction, a San Francisco-based general contractor that boasted $300 million in business last year, according to the Boston Herald.

Suffolk has continually grown its book of business locally and nationally. It is the largest general contractor in Massachusetts as ranked by the Boston Business Journal according to dollar volume of contracts. ENR ranks Suffolk as the 31st largest contractor in the United States, with $1.7 billion in revenue. They profiled owner John Fish in the magazine a year ago.

Roel is not the first company Suffolk has bought during the current recession. A year and a half ago it purchased Boston-based William A. Berry and Son, boosting its presence in the health care segment of the industry. It also purchased Dietze Construction Group, a Washington, D.C. area contractor last year, which helped Suffolk increase its work in the mid-Atlantic region.

Suffolk Construction has a regional agreement to hire union carpenters and union carpentry subcontractors for all of its projects in New England. It signed that agreement in 1997, after having signed a similar agreement for its Massachusetts work in 1991.

Suffolk was also the general contractor for the Carpenters Center, the headquarters for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, which was completed in February of 2010.

Tom White, of JF White, has passed Posted by on

Tom White, who took over his family's construction company and turned it into a local powerhouse, died late last week at the age of 90. The Boston Globe published a wonderful obituary of Mr. White, highlighting his philanthropy.

White was said to have donated $75 million to various charities and individuals over the year, a figure that probably falls well short because of his common practice of simply handing out money and gifts to people in need who he met in his day-to-day live.

From the obituary:

"Mr. White contributed to dozens of other charities, nudging a seemingly endless stream of lives in new directions simply by keeping a wad of bills in his pocket. He would slip a $20 bill to the employee cleaning toilets at McDonald??s. Once, a homeless woman in Harvard Square told him her life would be better if she had a red wagon to cart redeemable bottles. She burst into tears the next day when he showed up pulling a red wagon.

Mr. White, who made his fortune building J.F. White Contracting into one of Boston??s biggest companies, said that after making sure his family was taken care of financially, he set out to die as close to penniless as possible. With his family by his side, he died yesterday morning at his home in the Auburndale neighborhood of Newton.

He lived his life with but a single regret.

??I??m sorry I don??t have more money to give away,???? he told the Globe in 2004."

my dad Eric headley of 108 also was in dc for rich... Posted by on

my dad Eric headley of 108 also was in dc for richard neals campaign

Erlich publishes piece for Dissent mag Posted by on

Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer was recently asked by the editors of Dissent magazine to write a piece summarizing his experience and thoughts about his career in the UBC and the labor movement. It is available here and follows him from an apprentice in Oregon in 1975 through his work as head of a regional union during hard times for construction workers and unions in America.

Dissent is a quarterly magazine featuring a liberal perspective on politics and culture that has been published since 1954.

TAGS: Media, Nercc, Unions

NECTF hiring instructors, holding logo contest Posted by on

The New England Carpenters Training Center is now accepting resumes for full and part-time Instructor positions in Millbury. If you are interested, please send your resume, by March 1, 2011, to New England Carpenter??s Training Fund, 13 Holman Road Millbury, MA 01527 Attention: Lyle Hamm.

The Board of Trustees for the New England Carpenters Training Center is also holding a contest to create a logo for the Training Center in Millbury. The winner of the contest, which is open to all members will be awarded a $250 gift certificate. Please submit all entries to by March 1, 2011.

2011 Fishing Derby scheduled Posted by on

Joe Broderick, Business Manager for Carpenters Local 535 has announced that the annual Ice Fishing Derby has been scheduled for February 19, 2011 at the Norton Reservoir in Norton, Massachusetts.

The Derby will take place from sun-up to 2:00 pm. No tickets will be sold after 9:00 am. The entry fee is $20, with a single grand prize being awarded for the heaviest fish of any species. Length will be used as a tiebreaker and all fish must be brought in alive. Twenty-five percent of proceeds will be donated to the Valley Tech Educational Fund.

Members attending should look for a banner featuring the UBC shield designating the Derby headquarters. For more information, contact Joe Broderick at Local 535 by calling 781-5963-0200.

Fairhaven passes REO Posted by on

The Town of Fairhaven recently passed a Responsible Employer Ordinance to govern public construction work. The Ordinance was passed by the Board of Selectmen in the Southeastern Massachusetts Town December.

The Ordinance requires bidders and subcontractors to agree as a condition of bidding to:
--Pay prevailing wages and, at their own expense, to provide hospitalization and medical benefits to employees.
--Maintain an active, bona fide and recognized apprenticeship program.
--Maintain industrial accident insurance (workers' comp) for all employees.
--Properly classify workers as employees rather than independent subcontractors.
--Employ United States citizens or people legally permitted to work in the United States and use e-verify systems to confirm their status.

Welcome to the Vision Center! Posted by on

The Carpenter Vision Center is owned and operated by the New England Carpenters Health Benefits Fund. It offers complete eye examinations and the largest selection of frames available under the Plan. The Vision Center is located at the Carpenters Center, 750 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA and offers afternoon, evening and Saturday appointments.

Carpenters Union members, spouses, and children are eligible for routine eye exam and glasses (2 pairs of single vision-distance and near ?C or 1 pair of bifocals) once every two years. The facility offers over 200 Covered Frames for men, women, and children and over 80 Collectors Frames for men and women available for a $50.00 co-pay. A large selection of Safety Frames is also available.

While the facility is utilized mostly by members, spouses, and children of the Carpenters Union who have benefits through the New England Carpenters Benefits Funds, the facility is also a Davis Vision Provider. Any outside individual who has Davis Vision as their Vision Benefit is allowed to receive an eye exam and glasses through the Vision Center. The cost is billed through their Vision Insurance.

The Vision Center has three exam rooms and four doctors. There are two Optometrists who perform routine eye exams, one Ophthalmologist who comes in once a month to see patients with medical issues and one Contact Lens Doctor who is available on Wednesdays only.

The Vision Center is conveniently located off of Route 93 (get directions here) at the Carpenters Center, 750 Dorchester Ave. There is plenty of parking available; the facility is an 8-minute walk from the Andrews Square station.

Hours of Operation:
Monday 8:30am - 4:30pm (to book appointments only)
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 12:00pm - 8:00pm
Friday 8:30am - 3:00pm
Saturday 8:00am - 4:00pm

Call 617-782-0100 to make an appointment.

Carpenters go to Washington Posted by on

After a fall full of donating their time and energy to political campaigns, a few union carpenters went to Washington today to see the fruits of their hard work.

NERCC Political Director Tom Flynn led a contingent that included Brothers Nicholas Pong, Tom Duncanson and Rob Donovan of Carpenters Local 424 as well as Brothers Mike Norton of Carpenters Local 40 and Kevin Barrett of Carpenters Local 33. The members all worked on the campaign of former District Attorney Bill Keating, who was elected to replace retiring Congressman Bill Delahunt in the 10th Massachusetts Congressional District.

The members attended Keating's swearing in, then stopped by his new office in the Capitol before heading over to visit the headquarters of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Their final stop of the day before flying home was a reception being held in honor of Congressman Keating.

Pictured below, from left to right are: Brothers Donovan, Duncanson, Norton, Pong, and Barrett.

2011 Construction Forecasts Mixed Posted by on

2011 construction forecasts mixed
As the calendar turned from 2010 to 2011 over the weekend, reporters and columnists covering the Boston area construction market began making their predictions for what the new year will hold. The consensus? There was none. Opinons ranged from essentially a repeat of 2010 to a prediction of a significant turnaround. The good news--if it can be called that--is that nobody seemed to think things would get worse.

Scott VanVoorhis paints the rosiest picture, in Banker and Tradesman, under a headline that says "2011 Should Be A Breeze." (subscription required) Vanvoorhis points to a potential doubling of the size of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center as well as a probable resolution to the fight over legalizing casino gambling in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, neither is likely to generate many--if any--work hours for carpenters in 2011.

More likely to generate actual work this year, according to VanVoorhis, are older projects that have been shelved in recent years. Plans for multi-unit housing projects could be rolled out as rental properties rather than condos and increased overall economic improvements could lead to more office build-outs in 2011 and the return of some dormant plans for new office towers in 2012.

Another piece in Banker and Tradesman, (subscription required) however, cites mixed results from surveys that indicate modest growth, simliar to what was seen in 2010 for most segments.

The Boston Herald says the industry will get a boost from area colleges and universities. Northerastern University, Berklee College of Music, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Boston College all have plans to build significant projects his year. The building boom among the colleges and universities is due in part to endowments that have significantly recovered and constant competition to upgrade facilities.

The Boston Globe strikes a cautiously optimistic tone, calling for a gradual increase in activity throughout 2011, citing large projects by Liberty Mutual and Novartis AG. They also point to a continued move toward rental property building in and around Boston.

i worked for the mayo group they never paid me and... Posted by on

i worked for the mayo group they never paid me and still owe me close to 6,000 for more than one year, he fanzys himself as a bit of a gangster.