If you haven't heard about or seen "The Greening of Southie" you might want to check it out.
The documentary follows the construction of the Macallen building in South Boston and the efforts to win Gold LEED certification during the design and construction of the project. It was on the Sundance channel last night.
Through interviews with the developers, project managers, material suppliers and workers on site, they show you what's involved in green building.
They also give some interesting insight into how people react to the concept. Remember, some of this footage was taken a few years ago and the level of education and acceptance about green building has increased, no doubt.
Members should be aware that an extension in unemployment benefits has recently taken effect after Congress passed and the President signed emergency legislation.
The length of the extension and eligibility varies from state to state. For more information on the extension, how they work in each state and links to state specific details, visit this page on the US Department of Labor's website.
The school is offering an Associate's Degree program at the Boston Carpenters Training Center in Brighton. Classes will be held one weekend a month over a two-year period and at a 33% discount off regular tuition.
Members may receive credit for completing a four-year apprenticeship or other training they may have taken. The program is currently open to members in Massachusetts local unions, but may be expanded in coming years.
Wentworth is one of the most respected colleges in New England, with a long standing reputation for providing highly qualified graduates for the construction industry.
Politicker, one of the most trusted insider political sites, is reporting that Tricia Mueller, the national Political Director for the United Brotherhood of Caprenters has been selected to run the New Jersey campaign of presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama. Mueller was the Political Director for the the New Jersey Carpenters before being tapped by the UBC last year.
Though the site notes that the campaign has denied the hiring, Politicker "strongly stands by" their report, claiming the move has been made and top Democrats in the state were notified as early as Thursday.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research has released a study that concludes union membership is a significant benefit for low-wage workers. The study examined wage data and union status population of workers in a five year period from 2003-2007 gathered from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey.
The report indicates that while workers at mid and higher level wage groups also benefit from union membership, low wage workers get the biggest benefit. The wage benefit derived from union membership for that group was estimated to be 20.6%.
"Unionization raises wages for all workers, but unions have by far the biggest impact on the wages of the lowest-paid workers," said John Schmitt, a Senior Economist at CEPR and the author of the study."Unions give the biggest boost to low-wage workers because these are the workers that have the least bargaining power in the labor market," Schmitt said. "Unionization has a large and measurable impact on the bargaining power, and therefore the wages, of low-wage workers."
A few saturdays ago, the Boston Herald ran a prominent story about recent activity by the union to highlight problems associated with Avalon Bay projects. The union has been demonstrating in front of an Avalon Bay project in Hingham, educating the public there about the misclassification of workers on Avalon Bay sites. They are also talking about numerous OSHA safety violations on Avalon Bay sites connected to fall safety that generated citations. Fines were issued just months before a worker was killed in a fall on an Avalon Bay site.
The New England Regional Council of Carpenters is one of many groups in Massachusetts working to defeat a ballot question that would eliminate the income tax. That's 40% of the state budget. Bridges, roads, schools, police, fire, courts? Yes, they'd all take a hit.
The problem of workers in the construction industry being misclassified a independent contractors rather than employees is not only bad for workers, it's bad for honest companies trying to compete. It's also bad for state and federal governments, who are robbed of proper revenue.