Reply – Interior systems and contracts
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Interior systems and contracts
— by bill lebo bill lebo
In McCarron's letter to Drapper he says," interior systems as defined by the drywall industry". What about acoustical ceilings, wood work, store front, glass partions, furniture, all the different types of flooring, etc.? Are these all part of interior systems or not? I got a bad feeling when they started to name a local by interior or exterior. Why would you do that? Is it because they want to start breaking up the skills of a carpenter into specialties? Thats what I see. I for one am a carpenter,I can do drywall, framing of all kinds, wood work, ceilings of all kinds, concrete form work of all kinds, layout, well you get my drift. CARPENTER, not drywaller, or any of the sub-categories therein, I joined a CARPENTER UNION, NOT A DRYWALL union.
This apparent break down of our trade skills, to me, can only mean one thing, a break down of our pay rates. That's just what I see. I can almost hear the rationale... In order to better compete with the non-union drywallers we must lower your rates so that we can regain market share and put more of our members to work blah, blah blah.
For those of you who have been in for 25 years or more you've seen the way the economy effects our trade. It has its highs and lows. This low has been the worst I myself have seen, however, I know it comes back up. Supposedly this year is going to be a little better than last in the private sector and worse in the public sector. Point being, the work will come back and not because of any concessions the UBC makes in our contracts.
Two pay raises ago we were told our raises were frozen because the contractors said they would be able to put more members to work if they would forego the raise. A few months later we got the raise because, according to the supervisor, there was no increase of members being put to work. Is that bargaining in bad faith? Where did that money go? I didn't get any retroactive pay, did you? I guess the contractors got over on us that time. I thought when a contrator bid on a job they took the raises into consideration when they put in the bid. So I guess the contrators made a little more than they would have if we had got the raise that was in our contract, in our "collectively bargained contract".
Now, once again we are told we will not be getting our January raise because the contractors will be able to put more members to work if we forego our raise.... Am I missing something here? As far as I'm Concerned our contract has been broken, not once but twice. If you or I break the contract we're subject to charges being filed against us, possible expulsion, and possibly other legal ramifications.
The UBC is in negotiations with our various contractors for our next contracts.
Now at 157's meeting Frank Spencer told the members present that we would not be getting any pay cuts. Do you believe him?
At Local 45's meeting I made a motion that was seconded and carried to send a letter to the supervisor that our members demand to review the contracts and ratify them. I bet that letter went right in the rectangular file.
Brothers and sisters, we seriously need to wake up. This has the potential of setting us back a long, long way. I didn't see the electricians, or the operating engineers giving up thier raises. Why is the hardest working entity on any construction job giving up wages? Does anyone know if members of any union have ever gone on strike against thier own union? What if every member of our union were to hold back thier union dues until we got what we asked for? Just a thought. Maybe its as simple as motioning the court for an injunction on any contract negotiations until such time as we have an elected by the membership executive body at the coucil because the UBC is negotiating in bad faith. I don't know. Have to think about that.