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 and were encouraged to seek training and a career in the trade.
Union representatives recently go together with more than 15 carpenters who were employed by J&V Construction to collect checks for back wages. Each of the men was issued a check for between $20,000-24,000.
The union had spoken to the men when they were working at UConn, building the new basketball training center earlier this year. After learning they were owed significant money from their employer, they encouraged and helped them file wage claims with the state.
For the individual carpenters, the checks represent a big win; significant money they had earned, but thought they'd never get. For the union and the rest of the industry, the checks are another reminder that knowing your rights and standing together to protect them is a worthwhile venture. Congratulations to these carpenters and the union representatives who helped them get justice.
The Connecticut Department of Labor has issued six "Stop Work" orders so far this week, two on a Stamford project and three more on an Apple store in West Hartford. All six were the result of subcontractors not having legally required workers' compensation insurance coverage in place.
In the last year, fast food workers across the country have been building a campaign to raise wages in their industry. The campaign has given energy to efforts to raise the minimum wage nationally and in states and communities across America. But the fast food industry isn't the only one where massive profits are generated and an unreasonable gulf exists between the compensation given to employees in corporate offices and those on the front lines.
From health care to hospitality and construction to customer service, too many workers are being paid too little for working so hard. In Massachusetts, an upcoming event aims to elevate their cause.
The Connecticut Labor Department has issued “Stop Work” orders against three construction companies at a shopping center construction site at 230 Industrial Park in Old Saybrook, for failing to provide the required state workers’ compensation coverage or unemployment coverage for their employees.
An unhappy Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria has a few questions for Fairfield Residential after an in-person visit to a project in the city. Fairfield is converting the old Charleston Chew factory into luxury apartments. The project has been touted as a producer of quality housing stock, but also good employment for Everett-area workers. When DeMaria spoke with a couple of carpenters on the project, they told the mayor they were being paid in cash on a piece-work basis and weren't getting any benefits.
Dave Jarvis, an organizer with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, appeared before the Connecticut General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee to testify in support of Governor Dan Malloy’s recently submitted Fiscal Year 2015 Mid-Term Budget.
Governor Malloy’s Mid-Term budget includes funding for six additional employees at the Department of Labor to investigate complaints and ensure employers comply with wage and workplace standards.
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 Councilor John Connolly. Walsh will succeed the enormously popular Thomas Menino, who is the city's
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. He is also a Boston resident.
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.
More than $21 million has been collected from employers in Massachusetts who violated labor laws in the last 18 months, according to the annual report of the Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification. The amount represents more than the total that was recovered in all previous years.
With roots in the American struggle for the 8-hour work day, International Workers Day is celebrated in more than 80 countries around the world as a day to commemorate the ongoing fight for workers' rights.
A series of sweeps of construction sites in Connecticut this year has resulted in 27 "Stop Work" orders against contractors for misclassification of workers as "independent contractors." The results continue a disturbing trend in the state's construction industry. In the past year, the Department of Labor reports that inspection and review of 108 construction projects and 299 contractors has resulted in 199 "Stop Work" work orders.
NERCC staff recently spoke to a group of five workers employed at the Botany Bay development in Worcester who were owed more than $25,000 in wages and began making noise about it. Regular bannering was done at the site and last week a rally drew members of Local 107, representatives of the MetroWest Worker's Center, religious leaders and Worcester City Councilor Sarai Rivera.
The event led to pieces in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette and Vocero Hispano, which highlighted the wage theft and the unwillingness of the project developer to do anything but turn a blind eye. The bad publicity may force his hand, though, as regular events are gaining attention and the support of the community.
The Connecticut Department of Labor was joined by the US Department of Labor, OSHA and local and state police in raids of at least four construction sites in Stamford last week in an unprecedented effort to crack down on payroll fraud. The Stamford Advocate covered the raids and published a column by Angela Carella calling for developers to clean up their businesses.
David Rampone, President of Hart Engineering, a signatory contractor based in Cumberland, Rhode Island isn't shy about being a union contractor. Last year he volunteered to be one of the latest union contractors to do a radio ad on behalf of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. Now, he's published an opinion piece in the Providence Journal explaining why his business is better with a union partnership. Click through to read it.
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.
Members from Local 118 gathered with other Building Trades members in front of the Merrimack Premium Outlets in New Hampshire to protest Simon Property Group’s broken promises and lack of support for union workers.
Braintree, Massachusetts-based Northeast Interiors has been ordered by the state to pay more than $15,000 in fines and make restitution of almost $16,000 to twelve employees. The company cheated workers on three projects in Arlington, Swampscott and Salem.
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters and other industry groups are calling on the Massachusetts legislature to make it a felony for employers to fail to purchase workers compensation insurance for their employees. Senate Bill 915, sponsored by Senator Katherine Clark (D-Melrose) and Majority Whip Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy) also has the backing of Attorney General Martha Coakley.
The Connecticut Department of Labor's Wages & Workplace Standards Division, has issued "Stop Work Orders" against eight contractors working on the Harbor Point project in Stamford, continuing a string of bad practices and bad press for the city and the project's developer, Carl Kuehner's Building and Land Technology (BLT).
While Republicans Governors and legislatures in the United States mounted a withering attack on public sector workers in 2011, rates of unionization among workers in the country remained steady, with some potentially positive signs for the future.
Multiple enforcement agencies in Massachusetts today announced that five subcontractors employed by Pulte on sites in Eastern Massachusetts have been ordered to pay workers more than $400,000 in owed wages and make payments totaling $141,000 to cover unpaid taxes.