A Greek artists group named Deep Green Sea produced and posted this short film titled "The Carpenter." It was directed by Dimitris Ladopoulos and Spiros Rasidakis and features carpenter Vironas Papadakis.
The opening sequence features the following text:
A carpenter is a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture and other objects. The work, known as carpentry, may involve manual labor and work outdoors. A cabinetmaker is a carpenter who does fine and detailed work specializing in the making of cabinets made from wood, wardrobes, dressers, storage chests and other furniture designed for storage."
On Saturday, November 5, 2011, representatives from Wentworth Institute of Technology will be hosting an informational session at the New England Carpenters Training Center (NECTC) located at 13 Holman Road, Millbury, MA. Representatives from Wentworth will be discussing their associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs for Construction Management. The program is now being offered at the NECTC and the Boston Training Center, 750 Dorchester Ave, Boston.
The information session will cover registration, fees, and the various courses offered. Members will have the opportunity to ask questions. Representatives will be on hand to assist any member interested in registering for the program that day.
This specially tailored program allows members to transfer up to 22 credits from apprenticeship training and journeyman upgrade courses that have been accredited by Wentworth. Members also receive a 33% discount off the normal tuition rates. To learn more about the program click here.
The session will begin at 9:00 am. Meals will be served.
Please contact the NECTC at 508-792-5443 if you are planning to attend.
Mehul Dhruv, the Principal of Engineers Design Group wrote to the project's architect that they were "extremely concerned with the performance of the General Contractor, their sub-contractors and the quality of their work."
At issue at that time was largely foundation work that was done in cold weather without proper protections which EDG described as "blatant disregard to various requirements and details on the contract documents" and failure "to correct the deficiencies brought to their attention."
Dhruv wrote that CTA "failed to provide any protection against cold weather to the green concrete and subgrade for foundations." The work the contractor did do Dhruv described as "absolutely not acceptable, it violates all the requirements of ACI Cold Weather Protection requirements, violates the contractor's submitted plan for cold weather protection and is totally inadequate in protecting the concrete against cold weather."
Members of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters have been asking questions in town with a 20-foot banner asking "Is the Paker School Safe?" It's a question that concerned Dhruv, as well who wrote that his company was "extremely concerned with the quality of the work performed by the contractor."
Dhruv noted that in addition to shoddy work, the contractor may have been trying to avoid or ignore suggestions that there were problems. "The contractor has not provided adequate time or notice for inspections, leaving insufficient time for correcting the deficiencies noted by the inspector."
It's hard to imagine the very strongly worded letter from the Principal of the engineering company to the Senior Vice President of the Architectural firm was the first attempt to address the issues with CTA and the shoddy work.
Not included in the story is the fact that one of the companies CTA hired to work on the project is prohibited from doing public work. Action Floors was debarred from bidding on or performing any public work for a period of three years in 2009 by the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents. (see line 3607 of linked spreadsheet)
Billerica Town Manager John Curran issued a statement claiming that any and all deficiencies found by the engineering firm were addressed before construction continued. The question remains how fully they were resolved and at what cost to Billerica taxpayers. And given CTA's apparent blatant disregard for oversight, project quality and acceptance of oversight, it remains to be seen if other letters will come out detailing similar problems with later stages of the project.
Carpenters will also be watching to see how Billerica treats CTA when it comes to grading them on the project. Only two years ago, Fox25 ran an investigative piece about contractors who do shoddy work but get passing grades by essentially blackmailing cities and towns.
NERCC and the New England Carpenters Labor Management Program will be at the Mainebiz Momentum Convention in Augusta, Maine this Thursday, October 20, to talk about how union carpenters and contractors are the best joint venture in the construction industry.
If you're in the area, stop by the Augusta Civic Center and visit us in the exhibit hall between 8:30-5:00 pm.
Three trade agreements opposed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters were passed by the United States House of Representatives this week without sufficient protections for workers in the US and abroad. The passage of the three agreements--with South Korea, Panama and Columbia--continues a two-decade trend of trade agreements that have each cost American workers hundreds of thousands of jobs, increased our trade deficit and made it easier and more profitable for corporations to abuse workers in low-wage, regulation-free countries.
The New England delegation to Congress, dominated by Democrats, voted largely against the agreements, though not unanimously. Representatives Jim McGovern, Barney Frank, John Tierney, Ed Markey, Mike Capuano, Stephen Lynch and Bill Keating from Massachusetts voted no on all three proposed agreements. Both Representatives David Cicilline and Jim Langevin from Rhode Island voted no on all three, as did Maine's delegation of Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud. Representatives Joe Courtney, Rosa DeLauro and Chris Murphy also voted against passage of the three agreements.
Representatives John Olver, Richie Neal and Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts, Representative Peter Welch from Vermont and Representative John Larson from Connecticut all voted to pass the proposed agreement with Panama. Neal and Larson also supported the South Korean agreement.
The only Republican Representatives from New England--Representatives Frank Guinta and Charlie Bass from New Hampshire voted in support of all three agreements. Democratic Representative Jim Himes from Connecticut also voted in favor of all three agreements.
Congratulations to union carpenters who recently completed construction on the expanded Portland Jetport. The building, which is receiving rave reviews, opened this weekend. It will greatly expand the capacity for travel to and from Maine. New England Cable News reported on the project: