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— by Olga Aguilar Olga Aguilar
Ted, no offense taken.

Your take on McCarron and the UBC has merit, you are not the first to make these points.  However, I have to say that we did have an opportunity to at least challenged the man 8 months ago and not a single soul had the courage.  Only 8 months ago!  I went to the convention on my own to see what it was all about.  I think the number of members that paid out of pocket are in the single digits.  Honestly is big pony show that everyone grumbles about underneath their breath, but no one publicly stands up against McCarron policies or vision.  What does this say to a young and inexperience member about the state of this union?

"With all due respect to RO Walsh, he is not a Construction Industry expert by any stretch of the imagination, and his holding of a workshop is nothing more than a vehicle for the UBC, BTEA & the Contractor Associations to introduce their material which will be used to brainwash uneducated union brothers & sisters that they are the problem."

Perhaps I confused you, but the RO did not have a workshop on this report.  He referenced the report to informed the members present about its existence and the need for more members to get involved with union issues.  The main subject was the apathy displayed by members and the need for us to get more members involved and informed.

"You are still quite young and relatively inexperineced in these matters. Your efforts are respected and commendable, but also warrant more time, seasoning & experience before you comment on areas and subjects where you have no experience. When you investigate things more and have more time and experience under your belt, you will then learn to ask the right questions and will not fear these so called authorities."

I think being a union member warrants me ASKING about these issues.  If you read my article, they are mainly questions than comments.  I make it very clear that I need to know more about the subject.  Where should I go to get these answers and what experiences do i need to have a better understanding of the issues to affect our CBAs?  If interest and desire are not enough, what is?  I don't why you think I fear anyone? Brother, my limited years in the union have been busy ones.   Spencer and Ballantyne know very well where I stand.  I don't fear them or anyone else.  I think the "assignments" are a positive start.  Those are questions that I would like to know and that I would find helpful.

I'm also a practical person Ted.  First things first: get the articles out to the members to read. Give them the background information. Educate them on the subject, ask questions and encourage positive discourse (like this one).  If members left hundreds of comments on the daily news and NY post sites and rebutted those "propaganda puff piece" articles that would be a positive start.  

The undertaking of the leadership of the UBC is only a dream when you have a divided membership.  If 4.5  years is too long to wait, what can the everyday carpenter do?

P.S. "Improving our union should take place the second the contracts are signed in order to improve our position for the next collective bargaining season. "

"Improving our union" is an ongoing and important process.  Unfortunately right before our contracts are negotiated, it's a term that is used against us.  Like I pointed out to Lawrence D'erico when he said that OWL carpenters were unskilled. "if the union thinks this is an issue, why not tackled the issue 5 years ago" Why now? To give full mobility some legs? How unfortunate to hear a union leader speak that way.  We want our signatory contractors not only to compete, but to strive in the industry.  We know union labor makes a difference and we ask that we are compensated accordingly.  

Thanks for responding.