Just got the newest rag of the Northern California Council of Carpenters (the word “Union” is mysteriously absent). Some more thinking from those brilliant minds. On page 3 is the usual drivel from the Council executive secretary, Bobby Alvarado. It’s titled “Mastering new technology in our industry,” and it’s all about how new technology has cut the labor hours required to build anything, and a lot more is coming.
Alvarado’s conclusion from this? That “our union embraced” new technology in the past, making us “the strong international union that exists today.” That means that the international treasury is still fine, assuring the likes of Alvarado a fat pension. Not so much for the working carpenter, for whom in several contract areas the leadership has abandoned that pension.
“My best advice to the carpenters who want to stay in the game is to make use of the opportunities at the [UBC training] facilities,” Alvarado writes. In other words, those who have time and energy can get training – on their own time and own dime – at these facilities and can then out-compete those who don’t for the fewer and fewer jobs that remain.
The other part of their “thinking” is revealed in the center spread, where they brag about… a contractor, this time George Meyer. It seems Meyer has figured out how to cut labor better with his framing methods. Of course, the contractor loads up the usual b.s. about how happy he is with the Carpenters Union, and the likes of Bobby Alvarado and Co. eat it up.
No wonder even in this construction boom the union is completely unable to beat back the non-union wing of construction.
As for the working members: Heaven forbid that the union really represent them and, recognizing how much more productive they are, fight for a severely shortened work week at the same weekly pay! Oh, no. The contractors might not like that.
For those interested in reading more about the carpenters union and the whole issue of the union leadership lying in bed with the employers, we recommend this pamphlet.