Building Delusions at the Carpenters

Carpenters President Douglas McCarron is delusional indeed. He’s dismissed the AFL-CIO’s newly chartered carpenters organizing committee and placed faith in his “corporate unionism” approach and a repressive, self-serving regime that destroys the democratic rights of rank and file members.

The 500,000-member Carpenters (UBC) left the AFL-CIO earlier this decade even before other Change to Win unions did, saying its per capita dues were going to waste. It joined CTW in 2005, but now, with CTW falling apart, the UBC quietly announced that it has pulled out of that federation, too.

At its September convention, the AFL-CIO passed Resolution 70 unanimously, which announces that if the UBC doesn’t return to the AFL-CIO and stop raiding other building trades unions, an AFL-chartered organizing committee will start bringing carpenters into the federation.

Perhaps McCarron is counting on leaders in the AFL-CIO trades to stick to their promises made from the convention floor, where they declared that the newly chartered locals will not organize those already affiliated with another union.

But if the UBC loses members to an AFL-CIO threat that turns out to be real, it is directly due to the policies and rules instituted by McCarron and his cronies.

DAILY RAIDS

The UBC attempts to raid the work of our fellow brother and sister union trades people on a daily basis. Their livelihood and paychecks are under constant attack. Yet McCarron claims that there is no problem and that all the trades are working together.

McCarron’s idea of working together is “wall to wall” contracts the Carpenters are trying to negotiate in which all trades are under their control. Other trades have spent millions of their membership’s hard-earned wages to fight off the UBC attacks on their work. Under McCarron’s cut-throat unionism his own Carpenters have been reduced, by his command, to piecework and severely reduced wages. His membership languishes on out-of-work lists for months at a time. Is this “all trades working together”?

UBC members suffer under McCarron's repressive regime, too. He consolidated power at regional councils, out of control of local union members. He supports the destruction of working locals by allowing regional councils to raid their funds and seize control of all aspects of their existence, so that a duly elected local president can be locked out of his own union hall. Locals that fight to retain their autonomy are crushed. Council officials have been repeatedly indicted for bribery, drugs, and fraud, including in New York City and Michigan.

The Carpenters promised reduced costs and better service for members by forcing the merger of local funds into regional funds. But local welfare, annuity, and pension funds have been devastated and members’ costs have doubled and tripled. We have full-time working Carpenters who cannot get health benefits for themselves or their families due to the mismanagement of these regional councils.

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McCarron’s assessment of the Carpenters’ market share and ranks is another delusion. His corporate unionism policies have decimated rank-and-file membership numbers. In our own upstate New York local we have lost 440 members over a five-year period.

The UBC organizing motto seems to be “organize or lie.” The drop-out rate of new members is astronomical.

While members’ families suffer without benefits, and carpenters are out of work for months at a time, officials continue to reward themselves. They take ridiculous salaries: Patrick Morin (a trustee on funds that lost millions to the Bernie Madoff scheme) is taking home $321,000 in compensation and $175,000 in his pension each year after his recent $10,000 raise at the Empire State Regional Council, which covers suburban New York regions and central New York state. Local 370 President William Weir announced a 600-hour increase per year for the rank and file to qualify for health benefits and then took a $20,000 raise for himself.

McCarron apparently sees Resolution 70 as no threat. Does he believe he can stop an exodus of the UBC membership to newly chartered AFL-CIO carpenters organizations?

Perhaps he, like many others, sees Resolution 70 as blowing smoke in an attempt to bring Carpenters’ per-capita money back into the AFL-CIO coffers.

I do not advocate separation from the Carpenters. Instead the UBC needs to divest itself of corruption and restore democratic unionism by cleaning out and dissolving the regional councils.

But let’s be clear: The Carpenters are going down not because of evil non-union contractors or disgruntled “Commies and deranged loners” in the UBC, as McCarron likes to call them. The blame rests squarely on the shoulders of the present leadership.


Richard Dorrough is a member of Carpenters Local 370 in Albany, New York. See the full version of his response to Resolution 70 at his site.

Comments

Richard D Dorrough (not verified) | 03/24/12

Carpenters Independent Local #1 in Albany NY, a breakaway local of UBC Carpenter members, has not seen James Williams jr and the IUPAT since November of 2011. As Local#1 were starting our authorization card drive which was going great the IUPAT decided it was time to tell us that we must affiliate with the IUPAT or they were pulling the plug on our assistance The assistance and financing which (1) the IUPAT said they were giving us only because they wanted to fight for democracy and (2) came for the other International trades as well.. was a lie. As it turned out the only one involved was the IUPAT and until the Sheetmetal International made their move for a Carpenters local in Buffalo other Internationals never contributed a dime leaving us with an “affiliate with the IUPAT or get kicked to the curb” situation. The IUPAT did the same thing to New Jersey Carpenters United who despite my early denial saw it before I did.
Williams who was told over and over Local #1 would not affiliate with the IUPAT or another International Trade produced two documents to hit us with. One of which stated that the IUPAT got involved with Local #1 because we were viable and that with support and AFFILIATION we could move forward and the second contained the questions asking how local #1 was going to pay for all the lawyer, organizers and financing that the IUPAT had promised was coming from them and the other Internationals at no obligation to Local #1. We also learned at this time the Building Trades had allowed the IUPAT to take over the Resolution 70 initiative. We learned that IUPAT attorney Joseph Kolick with Richard Resnick were writing new bylaws for the Resolution 70 committee that included wording that any Carpenters group seeking recognition from the Resolution 70 Committee MUST affiliate with another International trade. The original wording only called for a sponsor. We asked to see the new bylaws and to this day have been refused. Now 65 months later AFL_CIO Pimp and Ringmaster has declared these bylaws still not complete and the reason and excuse why and Carpenters wanting to leave the UBC must be pimped put to another International Trade or the AFL-CIO will tell them to get lost regardless of the abuse the UBC heaps on them. We now see the truth now after reading the Laborers Internationals LIUNA new business strategy to “create Divisions of Carpenters Locals” consisting of carpenters that have had it with the UBC. This document can be found as exhibit F in the UBC Rico case filed on Feb 22,2012 .The Resolution 70 initiative suddenly has gone from an initiative to help UBC Carpenters achieve freedom from the UBC to an initiative to help the other Internationals fulfill their strategy of snatch and grabbing the carpenters Locals and breaking the Carpenters. Resolution 70 has now become the tool for the IUPAT to wage its vendetta against the UBC and for the AFL-CIO to pimp out Carpenters to the other trades.

As we were moving forward with our authorization card signing Williams and the IUPAT produced phony business cards for 8 IUPAT Organizers. These business cards we frauds in that they identified these IUPAT employees as AFL-CIO Employees and organizers. What upset us was these phony cards had Local#1s contact information on them. Then they had the an article written and published in the press declaring “that AFL-CIO Organizers are hitting jobs in the Northeast” This article has recently disappeared from the Respect of Crafts Web site. I have the phony cards. The IUPAT did not want anyone to know they were the ones organizing Carpenters so it did not appear they were raiding Carpenters.’ To further complicate matters Williams and the IUPAT tried to take over Local#1.Williams tried to seize control of Local #1 membership information and information from authorization cards Local #1 had been collecting.

Local #1 had a meeting of just our committee members which Williams was not invited to so we could vote on the demand for members personnel information by a third party, the affiliation demand and the fact that our Lawyer Richard Furlong was violating our attorney/client privilege by reporting everything we did back to IUPAT .When consulted for legal advice Furlong told us that he worked for the IUPAT and despite any legal statute we need to do what ever Jim Williams wanted regardless of the law. Our members voted unanimously that personnel information we collected would not be given to a third party or removed from our office or our computers. We voted unanimously that we would not affiliate with the IUPAT and we voted to retain a lawyer that was working for Local #1..
The next day Jim Williams stepped in and told us he was running Local #1. He told us we had no right to call a meeting without him. He informed us he would give the members information to whom ever HE felt like at HIS discretion. Williams interference and undermining the decision of our committee caused a huge disturbance. Williams was informed that he did not run Local #1 and was there only to advise and assist us. Local #1 was warned that the IUPAT could and would move on in Albany without Carpenters.Williams demanded that Local #1 belonged to the Tapers and Painters and that they would go forward in Albany without any of us.

We made it clear to Williams he was not Local #1 .He was told to cease and desist from visiting job sites claiming to represent Local #1 and he was not to give any third party members private Information or to remove the members information for our office. Local #1 secured all the Local #1 documents, files and everything that belonged to Local #1 from OUR Office with the exception of the computer hard drives. The membership lists that had been on our hard drive in an excel file was missing and gone. The next morning we went back to our office to retrieve the hard drives to try to recapture the file and could not get into our office. Despite our name being on the door and on the mail. Despite the Local #1 tee shirts, stickers and other identifying information in plain site they would not let me in our own office. Williams had the rental agent change the locks on the door. Telling them I was a thief and was going to steal from OUR own office.

Williams and the IUPAT tried to move forward in Albany NY but failed. Our members made it clear they would not affiliate with the Tapers and Painters. Our members made it clear that if Williams would produce the new Kolick and Resnick written Resolution 70 bylaws and there was no wording of forced affiliations we would be glad to still move forward. If Williams would not demand we affiliate with the IUPAT we would gladly move forward even after all the undermining of the Local #1 committee and attempt to seize Local #1 we would find a way to move forward. We have not seen Williams since.

Williams went back to the AFL-CIO and told them that we had internal issues and we were no longer viable to work with or help. He told them that Richard Dorrough who they had praised only two weeks earlier in the petition for our charter had gone off the deep end. Never did they say the failure and the reason they would no longer help us was because we refused to affiliate with the IUPAT or that Williams had attempted to seize control of Local #1. The sad part is the AFL-CIO let them do it and have let them pollute the Resolution 70 process. Under the original Carpenters Committee rules the sponsor can have your charter revoked at their discretion. Each Carpenters group is entitled to have a review before the Committee to find out why they wanted the Charter revoke and they were to make the final decision. We have been denied any of that. Despite a public declaration that Local#1s Charter was approved on October 12,2011 Williams jr and the IUPAT claimed they never sponsored us and that we never received a charter. The IUPAT has refused to tell us when they asked for our charter to be revoked or for what reasons or why we were denied the committee review. Their new position was we were never sponsored or never approved for a charter. However at e recent NYC Dockbuilders meeting William told the dockbuilders that Carpenters Local #1 and the Dockbuilders were approved for a Charter on October 12,2011. Another IUPAT lie.

On October 12,2011 the Independent Carpenters Local #1 and the Amalgamated Carpenters and Joiners were approved for Charters under Resolution 70. The IUPAT is running a scam to get itself a dockbuilders local and a Carpenters Local. They have limited the upcoming NYC vote to dockbuilders only despite Amalgamated declaring in October 2011 its intent to organize Carpenters and declaring they have 2000 UUBC Carpeters ready to decertify and sign with Amalgamated. The IUPAT are now claiming the Amalgamated group, who was always presented as the Amalgamated Dockbuilders and was the one and same entity formed by Angelo Biscgele, are now separate entities with two separate constitutions.

We had hoped we could get the Building Trades, Ayers and Trumka to remove the IUPAT hold on and corruption of the Resolution 70 process so we could eventually move forward and be given the help and promise of Freedom and Democracy Resolution 70 had pretended to be about. Now that we have seen the written proof that this is not about Freedom or Democracy. The Resolution 70 Process is nothing but a means to achieve the new business strategy of the Internationals “to secure and keep Divisions of Carpenters locals” and break the Carpenters. I will never participate in any such attack. It seems the other International Presidents are not fighting to remove Doug McCarron the scourge of Organized Labor but to replace him.
Respect our Crafts Ringmaster Duane Moore ahs been asked to explain why he is FORCING affiliations to other International Trades to secure AFL-CIO support. Moore has been asked to explain how the IUPAT has been allowed to DENY dissident groups aid in the name of the a AFL-CIO because they refused to be a servant of the IUPAT. Mr. Moore has been asked to explain why the mighty AFL-CIO over a 5 month period cannot create simples rules allowing Carpenters dissident groups to become charted locals of the AFL-CIO as Trumka declared under Resolution 70. Mr. Moore has been asked to explain why the IUPAT and other trades are being allowed to collect per capita tax from these dissident Carpenters locals being FORCED to affiliate by the AFL-CIO. Mr. Moore is being asked to explain why 9 good Union members who stood up to the UBC and McCarron as the Respect Our Crafts, Mr. Trumka, Mr. Williams and Mr. Moore has incited them to do with promises of democracy, aid and protection from persecution are being left to swing in the breeze and been refused aid as they are being persecuted by the UBC. Just for being guilty of refusing to a forced affiliation with the IUPAT. Mr.Moore is being asked WHY he refuses to answer to these questions.
Now it appears the AFL-CIO, Trumka and Moore have become the UBC and McCarron. Mr. Moore has now posted in answer to these issues

“There seems to be either few misinformed and misguided carpenters, or carpenters who are intentionally trying to confuse what is happening around the country to the benefit of Doug McCarron and the UBC leadership. Either way, I am not going to participate in frivolous dialogue with disgruntle rank and file carpenters.”

As we can see the AFL-CIO is not trying to remove McCarron as the scourge on Organized labor but to replace him with their own form of tyranny

I would like to note that I have recently had contact with Williams and the IUPAT. He emailed me to ask me not to post the phony business cards or tell the story of what they did to local one because it might hurt the efforts of others the IUPAT was scamming.”

"If you have any shred of integrity I would appreciate you not spreading this word around and destroying other groups that we are sponsoring chances at success" Jim Williams Jr Nov 28,2011

Nomar actually we have not seen Williams since November of 2011. As we were starting our authorization card drive which was going great the IUPAT decided it was time to tell us that we must affiliate with the IUPAT or they were pulling the plug on our assistance The assistance and financing which (1) the IUPAT said they were giving us only because they wanted to fight for democracy and (2) came for the other International trades as well.. As it turned out the only one involved was the IUPAT and until the Sheetmetal International made their move for a Carpenters local in Buffalo other Internationals never contributed a dime leaving us with an “affiliate with the IUPAT or get kicked to the curb” situation. The IUPAT did the same thing to New Jersey Carpenters United who despite my early denial saw it before I did.
Williams who was told over and over we would not affiliate with IUPAT or another International Trade produced two documents to hit us with. One of which stated that the IUPAT got involved with Local #1 because we were viable and that with support and AFFILIATION we could move forward and the second contained the questions asking how local #1 was going to pay for all the lawyers, organizers and financing that the IUPAT had promised was coming from them and the other Internationals. We also learned at this time the Building Trades had allowed the IUPAT to take over the Resolution 70 initiative and that IUPAT attorney Joseph Kolick with Richard Resnick were writing new bylaws for the Resolution 70 committee that included wording that any Carpenters group seeking recognition from the Resolution 70 Committee MUST affiliate with another International trade. The original wording only called for a sponsor. We asked to see the new bylaws and to this day have been refused. We see the truth now after reading the Laborers Internationals new business strategy to "create Divisions of Carpenters Locals" consisting of carpenters that have had it with the UBC The Resolution 70 initiative suddenly has gone from an initiative to help UBC Carpenters achieve freedom from the UBC to an initiative to help the other Internationals fulfill their strategy of snatch and grabbing the carpenters Locals and breaking the Carpenters. Resolution 70 has now become the tool for the IUPAT to wage its vendetta against the UBC and for the AFL-CIO to pimp out Carpenters to the other trades.

As we were moving forward with our authorization card signing Williams and the IUPAT produced phony business cards for 8 IUPAT Organizers. These business cards we frauds in that they identified these IUPAT employees as AFL-CIO Employees and organizers. What upset us was these phony cards had Local#1s contact information on them. Then they had the an article written and published in the press declaring “that AFL-CIO Organizers are hitting jobs in the Northeast” This article has recently disappeared from the Respect of Crafts Web site because I have the phony cards.

To further complicate matters Williams tried to take over Local#1. One of our supporters who went out to get authorization cards was caught stealing the members personnel information, we had promised to protect, from our sign in sheets and from the authorization cards for his own personnel use. He wanted to create his own personnel data base to use to run for office not at Local #1 but at UBC Local 291. He was confronted and told he was not getting the information from the authorization cards and that he was not going to be allowed to collect members personnel information for himself by pretending he was collecting for Local #1. He conspired with Williams to obtain the information.
Local #1 had a meeting of just our committee members which Williams was not invited to so we could vote on the demand for members personnel information by a third party, the affiliation demand and the fact that our Lawyer Richard Furlong was violating our attorney/client privilege by reporting everything we did back to IUPAT .When consulted for legal advice Furlong told us that he worked for the IUPAT and despite any legal statute we need to do what ever Jim Williams wanted regardless of the law. Our members voted unanimously that personnel information we collected would not be given to a third party or removed from our office or our computers. We voted unanimously that we would not affiliate with the IUPAT and we voted to retain a lawyer that was working for Local #1. .
The next day the third party James Avellino reported back to Williams on the meeting. Williams became irate and threatening. At this time Jim Williams stepped in and told us he was running Local #1. He told us we had no right to call a meeting without him. He informed us he would give the members information to whom ever HE felt like at HIS discretion. Williams interference and undermining the decision of our committee caused a huge disturbance. Williams was informed that he did not run Local #1 and was there only to advise and assist us. He was informed that he was not to give anyone members personnel information or to remove that information from our computers.

Williams demanded that Local #1 belonged to the Tapers and Painters and that they would go forward in Albany without any of us. He and one of his people broke into my desk and stole the Local#1 files I had locked in it and took the membership information and the authorization cards. Williams without our permission and knowledge set up a conference call of our committee members eliminating anyone he thought would oppose his plan. Williams insisted Local #1 was his and the IUPATs. I was alerted and came into the call just as Avelliono, who had no idea I was on board ,was running our decision into the ground, verbally abusing myself and other members and was agreeing to sell Local #1 out to the IUPAT IF they would make him the president. We made it clear to Williams he was not Local #1 .He was told to cease and desist from visiting job sites claiming to represent Local #1 and he was not to give any third party members private Information or to remove the members information for our office pending a meeting of the Local #1 committee.

Due to Williams actions and with the approval of as many of our committee members as I could reach that evening I went to our office and secured all the Local #1 documents, files and everything I could carry that belonged to Local #1 from OUR Office with the exception of the computer hard drives. The membership lists that had been on our hard drive in an excel file was missing and gone. We have demanded they return this file to us and they have refused to do so. The next morning I went back to our office to retrieve the hard drives to try to recapture the file and could not get into our office. Despite our name being on the door and on the mail. Despite the Local #1 tee shirts, stickers and other identifying information in plain site they would not let me in our own office. Williams had the rental agent change the lock on the door.He told them I was a thief and was going to steal from OUR own office. Williams tried to move forward with James Avelliono as a front man but failed. Williams called a meeting in November at which only he and Avelliono and one other non Local #1 person showed up at. At this time the UBC had been threatening charges and to Williams credit he had told our members by email he and the IUPAT would help them legally if that happened.. Our members made it clear they would not do business with Avelliono as a front man, would never attend a meeting Avellino was involved with and they would not affiliate with the Tapers and Painters. Our members made it clear that if Williams would produce the new Kolick and Resnick written Resolution 70 bylaws and prove there was no wording that forced affiliations we would be glad to still move forward. If Williams would not demand we affiliate with the IUPAT we would gladly move forward even after all the undermining of the Local #1 committee and attempt to seize Local #1 we would find a way to move forward. We have not seen Williams since.

Williams went back to the AFL-CIO and told them that we had internal issues and we were no longer viable to work with or help. He told them that Richard Dorrough whom they had praised only two weeks earlier in the petition for our charter had gone off the deep end. Never did they say the failure and the reason they would no longer help us was because we refused to affiliate with the IUPAT or that Williams had attempted to seize control of Local #1. The sad part is the AFL-CIO let them do it and have let them pollute the Resolution 70 process. Under the original Carpenters Committee rules the sponsor can have your charter revoked at their discretion. Each Carpenters group is entitled to have a review before the Committee to find out why they the sponsor wanted the Charter revoked and they were to make the final decision. We have been denied any of that. Despite a public declaration that Local#1s Charter was approved on October 12,2011 Williams jr and the IUPAT claimed they never sponsored us and that we never received a charter. The IUPAT has refused to tell us when they asked for our charter to be revoked or for what reasons or why we were denied the committee review. Their new position was we were never sponsored or never approved for a charter. However at a recent NYC Dockbuilders meeting Williams told the dockbuilders that Carpenters Local #1 and the Dockbuilders were approved for a Charter on October 12,2011. Another IUPAT lie.

On October 12,2011 the Independent Carpenters Local #1 and the Amalgamated Carpenters and Joiners were approved for Charters under Resolution 70 NOT the dockbuilders.The IUPAT is running a scam to get itself a dockbuilders local and a Carpenters Local. They have limited the upcoming vote to dockbuilders only despite Amalgamated declaring in October 2011 its intent to organize Carpenters and declaring they have 2000 UBC Carpenters ready to decertify and sign with Amalgamated. The IUPAT are now claiming the Amalgamated group who was always presented as the Amalgamated Dockbuilders and was the one and same entity formed by Angelo Biscgele are now separate entities with two separate constitutions.

We had hoped we could get the Building Trades,Ayers and Trumka to remove the IUPAT hold on and corruption of the Resolution 70 process so we could eventually move forward and be given the help and promise of Freedom and Democracy Resolution 70 had pretended to be about. Now we have seen the written proof that this is not about Freedom or Democracy. The Resolution 70 Process is nothing but a means to achieve the new business strategy of the Internationals “to secure and keep Divisions of Carpenters locals” and break the Carpenters. I will never participate in any such attack. It seems the other International Presidents are not fighting to remove Doug McCarron the scourge of Organized Labor but to replace him.

I would like to note that I have recently had contact with Williams and the IUPAT.He emailed me to ask me not to post the phony business cards or tell the story of what they did to local one because it might hurt the efforts of others the IUPAT was scamming.”

"If you have any shred of integrity I would appreciate you not spreading this word around and destroying other groups that we are sponsoring chances at success" Jim Williams Jr Nov 28,2011

Frank Jacobs (not verified) | 06/09/10

Here is a quote by the big head McCarron, "We firmly believe that the energies of the Building and Construction Trades unions should first be directed to organizing the craft workers in the markets they used to represent, before they divert their members hard-earned dues in efforts reach out to workers they lack the knowledge to represent and the skills or resources to train."
Statement of United Brotherhood of Carpenters General President Douglas J. McCarron
Hey McCarron, please explain to me why is St. Louis MO the Carpenters District Council have chartered Local 57? The CDC is signing non-union electrical contractors to a sweet heart contract that has nothing for the members and pay far below the area wage and benifit package. Along with that they are also using hard working carpenters target money to help the local 57 contractors get projects. They promised one non-union contractor $1,000,000 in target money if they would sign up. All this while the carpenters are suffering massive unemployment. The Carpenters have stopped trying to organize non-union carpenter contractors but are spending millions in salary and resources to try to break IBEW Local One and its surrounding sister locals. visit www.local57facts.com
thank you
Frank Jacobs