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A carpenter on the East Coast reports that the Electricians have a new category called "seasonal helper". They more or less do laborers' work, but get this: They get paid minimum wage!
What's happening is this: The building trades leadership has swallowed whole the line from the contractors that they must help them compete with the non-union. So they continually look for different ways to cut their labor costs. The carpenters initiated a pre-apprentice program years ago. Now, the electricians are doing this.
Faced with the inevitable failure of this approach to stem the union busting tide, they turn on each other, cannibalizing each other's work. Carpenter pre-apprentices are paid well under laborer scale and these electricians' "seasonal helpers" are paid minimum wage. This is simply talking work normally done by laborers. Meanwhile, the Laborers' union has set up a training school to teach their members to do the work of the other unions.
Meanwhile, carpenters in the Pacific Northwest are reporting that a drive is on to move away from what's known as a "defined benefit" pension (the normal pension where the retiree is guaranteed a set or "defined" payment every month) and towards some sort of 401(k), which will let the contractors off the hook. This has been a goal (largely accomplished) of all employers for several years now, and the Carpenters Union leadership is apparently cooperating with it.
As with the pay cuts, of course, the full time officials won't be losing their International pension, though.
Fight each other. Scratch and claw. Undercut each other. Anything but join together to fight the employers.


From Greg, a Carpenter on Facebook:

Recent activity on another carpenters page illustrates just how far some will go to protect the agenda of our leaders. An entire post was deleted to silence dissident voices. When I commented that I would gladly SERVE my brother as General President and do it at a greatly reduced salary, one member attacked my character and later the entire thread was deleted. Any voice questioning our leadership is silenced using methods not u-similar to those in any authoritarian system. Attack the character of the dissident question their motives. paint them as someone who is not working for the good of the group. These tactics are being TAUGHT to these people. In the case of the member who attacked me, previously before he attended the 300 hitters program he had agreed to much of what I was saying.


From a Union Autoworker:

“It seems for the last few decades that the Solidarity House is more united with management then they are with their members. We are only strong if we have the International UAW leadership willing to lead with transparency and willing to stand united with their membership and our interest, not their own. It also seems that our International Leadership is no longer willing to fight for it’s members, but would rather continue a cozy relationship with management and become nothing more then Corporate Watchdogs and a Contract House for labor.

The UAW leadership said we must pick our battles. So my question is when will our UAW leadership start fighting for labor and my 2nd question is when will labor open their eye’s and see we are being played by our UAW leadership and decide that we must fight for leadership reform in order to get control of our legal voice under the NLRB? The UAW leadership does what they want with no accountability, no transparency and even without the memberships backing. If we do not get control of our leadership we will lose our voice and we will continue to move backwards. We will only watch what our union brothers and sisters before us fought so hard to get, deteriorate.

The Labor Day parade has just become a formality with no real purpose in today’s Global environment if we as a union are no longer willing to fight for equality, wages, benefits, safety and other labor issues. We are more divided now then ever before. Solidarity is needed in order to have strength in numbers, but if our union lacks equality, we will lack Solidarity and will continue to be divided. The International UAW leadership no longer supports equality, the membership and retirees have more Healthcare costs today then they ever had. Our rights are deteriorating, retirees and the membership as a whole lack true representation, the lack of protections against management, jobs going abroad, a few specified job classifications for union management, hardships and attendance issues caused by AWS and these are just a few of the memberships issues. Our Unions were founded by labor and based off equality, fairness and rights for all. Our way of life continues to erode because the 99% refuse to come together in Solidarity for the common good we all share. The laborers that came way before us all fought a good fight against the system that was and is to this day controlled by the 1% and the laborers won what we once called the American Dream.

The problems we face today is not just our government, its our International Leadership. The International leadership has no real strategic planning on reversing the erosion of jobs and the middle class here in America. The International UAW is more concerned about collecting more union dues then they are representing the members they have now. Our Government and International UAW leadership share the same goals for globalization. It seems that the goal of the International Leadership is to unionize world labor, only to control labor and force us in submission. The International UAW is no longer fighting hard against government policies like NAFTA, TPP or RTW that continue to hurt labor nor is the leadership fighting against corporate greed with a force of Solidarity through a full fledged labor strike. The International Leadership said we must save the body and cut off the limbs. With labor being the limbs, it is my belief that the International leadership is saving themselves by no longer supporting equality amongst it’s membership by which only serves to divide us while the leadership continue to live lavish off our union dollars. If the UAW leadership would unite other union forces in Solidarity instead of this going it alone mentality we might be able to reverse the deterioration of the middle class, wages, benefits, rights and jobs going abroad. Remember the U.S. dollar is still the world currency. Just my view.”


From a Union Ironworker:

"Wow, this is the kind of letter on behalf of SCABS you'd read about in your labor history.

"Dear Governor Dalrymple,

We strongly encourage you to utilize the power of your office to keep our workers safe and to ensure protesters are following the letter of the law in North Dakota... Please act as soon as possible and give our men and women the opportunity to do the jobs we were hired to do.

A bunch of pie card labor faker useless bureaucrat fuckheads (James Hoffa & Co.)""


The Carpenter's Trust/Millimen' presentation of the new SIP Pension held at the Seattle Labor Temple tonight had a woefully small audience of maybe 40 people, most or many of whom were Labor Reps and two Employer Trustee, one owner from GLY and the other from Foushee, What was also woefully absent was any real information beyond what has already been mailed out. We did learn however that the new plan will require a gift of $5 million dollars from the existing defined benefit plan; that the new benefits to be paid will be approximately $42/per month for 1500 hours as opposed to the current $72 under the current plan. More importantly that none of the employer Trustees and none of the Labor Trustees know what amount our current plan is earning; and more importantly no one would admit how much Millimen's is charging the Trust for selling us this bill of goods, Everything was completely hypothetical and there were all kinds of assumptions about a return of 12%; 8 % and 4 %, when the current earnings are still hovering below 4% and 1,58%. It's all smoke and mirrors and "the power of positive thinking", when the reality is that this will completely destroy the union in a relative 4 or 5 years. Organize or Die!!