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Right to Work is Wrong for New Hampshire! Posted by on

Right to work supporters are planning a major event in Concord on Wednesday to coincide with a vote on Right to Work legislation for New Hampshire. There are rumors that Republican Presidential Candidates will attend this rally.

We have beaten back this efforts before and need to do it again. But we need to ensure that our voices are heard and our faces are seen. Please join us Wednesday at 8am in front of the State House for a demonstration in support of workers, in support of unions and against Right to Work.

Again, that’s this Wednesday, November 30 at 8am in front of the State House in Concord. Thank you.

Yale project gets New Haven OK Posted by on

Union carpenters in Connecticut will get a boost as New Haven just approved a $600 million project for Yale to build two residential colleges. Construction is set to begin next summer and finish in 2015.

Turner Construction is the Project Manager for Phase One. Demolition on the site was performed by Manafort Brothers. Donaldson and CJ Fucci did piledriving and retainage work. All work will be done by union contractors, with bids for remaining work due in January.

The project will include living spaces, dining halls, libraries and academic and recreational spaces for an additional 800 students, according to a story in the New Haven Register. They will be the 13th and 14th "residential colleges" for Yale.

TAGS: Local #24

Carpenters Center to host NEFCA conference Posted by on

The NorthEast Flooring Contracting Association is holding its annual Expo at the Carpenters Center in Boston on November 30 from 5:30-8:30 pm. The Expo will feature more than 40 of the top suppliers in the industry and address important topics, including: --New finish products in all flooring surfaces. --Products for preparation, including moisture mitigation leveling and finish installation. --Demonstrations of new innovations and techniques for proper preparation and installation. For more information or to attend the event, contact Jim Spiro at NEFCA by email at

TAGS: Flooring

Court: Universal Drywall misclassified, owes $300k to insurance company Posted by on

A Massachusetts Superior Court judge has found that Universal Drywall routinely misclassified carpenters as so-called independent contractors and failed to properly purchase workers compensation coverage. The practice meant that its insurance carrier, Travelers Property Casualty Company of America was defrauded out of more than $327,000 in premiums.

The decision brings to an end a case involving work that Universal Drywall performed on some Massachusetts sites, including Brooksby Village in Peabody, Linden Ponds in Hingham, Sherburne Commons in Nantucket and Arbor Point in Burlington. It did not cover work that Universal--an Auburn, New Hampshire-based company--performed in other New England states or at other times in Massachusetts.

Universal Drywall, which is owned and run by Richard Pelletier and Real Tanguay, is well known to the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. The union has spoken to carpenters on many sites in the region who have told they were classified as "1099s." The company attempted to protect itself from misclassification enforcement by having carpenters sign "contracts," but the court found that the company's extensive control and direction of the workers and their work meant they were employees and premiums for workers compensation were owed to Travelers.

Why should the "haves" care about the "have nots"? Posted by on

There's plenty of reasons the "haves" should care about the "have nots." They're not all humanitarian, moral or have anything to do with preventing a violent revolution. Richard Wilkinson gives a very informative, but easy to understand 15 minute talk about the increased problems faced by everyone in countries with greater income inequality compared to people living in countries with lower levels of income inequality.


TAGS: Economy

Carpenters demonstrate in the cradle of liberty Posted by on

Carpenters have taken to the cobblestones to demonstrate against Dave Matthews Construction twice recently. The company, which is being used to renovate several floors of a building adjacent to historic Faneuil Hall in Quincy Market, does not pay area standard wages and benefits for carpenters. The protest drew the attention of tourists and natives alike, reminding them that the first step toward liberty is exposing injustice.


TAGS: Boston

Bouchard responds to Jay Peak article Posted by on

The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Bryan Bouchard, a Vermonter and a Regional Manager for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. It is in response to an article published in the Boston Globe on October 25. An edited version was printed in the Globe today.

"There are serious concerns about the short and long term impacts created by the current “greenbacks for green cards” model being used at Jay Peak. The desperate grab for any cash, from anywhere needs to be tempered to make sure the investment actually does lasting good for Vermonters.

"Are we selling citizenship for the promise of more low wage work? Many of the jobs at Jay Peak will be the kind people say “Americans won’t do”. But they are permanent low-wage jobs. For Americans to benefit from permanent jobs at Jay Peak, each single worker will have to take two or three of them; one clearing tables, one handing out towels and one emptying trash cans to make ends meet.

"Program administrators should also be wary of the seedy side of the construction industry. Increasingly, local, skilled trade workers and subcontractors that employ them are being put out of business by contractors who carry a workforce with them across state and national borders or ignore any reasonable standards. This project has utilized carpentry sub-contractors form Maine and New Hampshire that utilize these type of practices.

"This project has failed out of the gate to ensure decent family supporting jobs, it is hard to believe that anyone would claim the long term result would be any different."

LETTER - There's a reason REO was supported by so many Posted by on

Despite the legal fist pounding and finger pointing recently, Mayor Flanagan and the City Council should be applauded for their efforts to support a Responsible Employer Ordinance in Fall River.

As a lifelong resident of Fall River, I was raised to believe that if you worked hard in America you could earn a living wage, have health care, own a home, maybe send your kids to college and retire with dignity. Now we are expected to sit idly by while every last part of the American dream is sacrificed on the altar of low prices and high profits?

REOs can and do play an important role in screening bidders seeking to build with taxpayer dollars. They allow cities and towns to pre-empt embarrassing investigations and slap on the wrist sanctions against bad actors after the damage has already been done to the industry. It was passed after construction at four schools in the city were the subject of complaints, investigations and violations by contractors.

As a union, we believe our training programs create a skilled workforce that builds higher quality projects. We believe health care is an important benefit for workers, and also reduces a future financial burden of all taxpayers. We believe these factors, combined with the relationships and mutual understanding developed between our union and union contradictors through collective bargaining, provide a better value for the construction dollar.

To the extent that municipalities believe in craft training, health care and other values, they may set certain standards for those who want to bid on work. Unfortunately, that effort was challenged and thrown out by people who do not live in Fall River, do not invest in Fall River’s future and have not experienced the steady decline of opportunity for Fall River natives.

Make no mistake; the REO did not prohibit nonunion contractors from bidding on or performing work. Simply reading the ordinance makes it clear that the intent was to protect standards for construction workers and Fall River taxpayers. That’s why it received such widespread support from both Mayor Flanagan and Ms. Viveiros, when it was proposed.

As a Fall River native and someone who has make his living in the construction industry, I thank Mayor Flanagan and others for continuing their support for decent standards in our city.

Ron Rheaume
Business manager, New England Regional Council of Carpenters
Local Union 1305
Fall River

This letter was published in the Fall River Herald News on November 1 and is open for comments.