Now that the two remaining Manhattan Locals are merging it is only right that a new number be used. After all when 257 & 135 were being merged 157 came into existence. So in the interest of keeping harmony between the factions that now make up this local I would like to make a proposal that I believe most of if not all of the brothers could get behind. The "new" number should be 257, after all it is the oldest carpenter local number. Founded in 1881 by P.J. McGuire it is also the oldest union period in this country. It is the "cradle of unionism" in the United States and as such should not be learned about in a museum some where but should be a living breathing union again.
If we all join together we can see this become a reality, I am a 30 year member. If it is the last thing I acomplish, restoring democracy and removing Mccarron and his corrupt EST's is my goal. I can't accomplish this without all our brothers and sisters saying it is time right now. Join us at http://unioncarpentersfordemocracy.webs.com/apps/members
This is not about semantics this is about survival. If this union does not develop a strong identity with a united membership then it will not survive the onslaught of McCarron/Spencer.It's as simple as that.
Local 608 was not merged with local 157, local 608 was dissolved and its members transferred to local 157. This was done without any consultation of either local .
Apparently local 608 was dissolved due to findings in a report by Phil Newkirk. Members are not being allowed to see this report.
Apparently if one were to read this report, one would find that local 608 officers were taking bribes and manipulating the OWL, the real problem is, so were the officers of all the other locals.
Reading Spencers latest dribble would make you think that it was not an issue throughout the city. It was. It is recorded in many court documents, there are many depositions which show that it was ongoing in every local.
Which begs the question, if the corruption imbedded in local 608 could only be addressed by dissolving that local, does it not stand to reason that all locals should be dissolved?
Frank Spencer states in his letter on the dissolution “Though some of our brothers and sisters have recently changed their local affiliation as a result of this action, this in no way changes who we are or who we will be.”
So if this is not going to change anything, why did he do it?
The only logical conclusion was that this was not done to correct anything, but rather to distract attention from the fact that the problem was not due to one local, but due to a system whereby the members of all locals are made impotent to their council.
This is not the first time that a membership has had to pay the price for a leadership which has no accountability to those members.
Even when the defendants admitted to stealing from the unions membership for decades, the UBCJA supervisor was hesitant to seek restitution from them. This union has evolved into two separate and opposing classes, the general officers and council officers who protect one another and enact policies to protect themselves, and the members who foot the bill.
A new systems local is being introduced on the premise of improving market share, elevate the skills of those members and allow more effective negotiations of the collective bargaining agreements.
I for one can see no advantage in terms of market share. I cannot even think of anything to argue against as I can not think of any advantage, the reason no advantages were listed in Spencers letter was that there were none to offer.
My personal favorite:
More effective collective bargaining on behalf of interior systems carpenters.
This is from the guy whose “effectiveness” has cost us one raise from the existing agreement and postponed another. I really would prefer less “effective” negotiating from this idiot. I mean if all you achieve is less than what you would get by keeping your hands to yourself, then less is more.
Bottom line, local 608 was dissolved to distract attention from the fact that the current system does not allow for accountability and is the real problem. Dissolving one powerless local and transferring its members to another changes nothing.
From Spencers post on the NYCDCC website.
“the “criminal enterprise”, described as “…the District Council and its constituent locals and benefit funds…”
Why is Spencer only dealing with one local in a criminal enterprise consisting of a district council, its benefit funds and its constituent locals ?
The next shoe to drop will be the disillusion of all geographical unions within the NYCDCC. That means Locals 20,45,926 & 157 will all be dissolved and be replaced with speciality unions such as the interior systems union that has already been proposed by McCarron. At that point and time new wages will be negotiated where a carpenter in one local will be making 30-40% less then a carpenter in another local.
Unless we pull off that shoe ourselves and consolidate all the locals into one body, the council. The council has taken over all the functions previously belonging to the locals, in effect, this makes it our local. Members have to put aside their memories of what their local used to be. It is no longer that.
The same theory applies if all locals are dissolved and were all merged into the district council. Instead of having locals there will be divisions like Local 3 has. The general title of carpenter which 3/4 of the membership is in now will be broken into several speciality carpentry titles
I talking about new divisions such as a Sheetrock division, an Acoustical Ceiling division, a Concrete division, a Scaffolding division, a Woodworking division and many more all of them making less then a general carpenter makes now. This is the new economic future facing ever carpenter in this district council. This is what happened to the Californian Carpenters under McCarron (except it was locals instead of divisions). In theory I have no problem with all the carpenters being merged into the District Council, self-governance with EST's responsive to their members and being able to bring to bring McCarron to heel and all that. In reality however I believe it will only consolidate power for McCarron allowing him to implement his agenda that more easily. It doesn't matter what I think however, all opposition to McCarron's agenda is being systematical wiped out as we speak and when the International leaves in August 2012 you can be sure all these "reforms"and many more will have been implemented.