The 2013 Carpentry Expo was held last week at the New England Carpenters Training Center in Millbury, MA. Over 1,000 students, representing 43 high schools attended the event. Students, along with their teachers, were given guided tours of the training facility by members of the NERCC staff. 44 NERCC apprentices participated in the event working on projects throughout the facility. These live demonstrations gave the students a better look at what a career as a union carpenter might look like.
Live demonstrations included: Infection Control Risk Assessment, Interior Systems, Flooring, Residential Wood Framing, Scaffolding Erector Certification, Cabinet Installation, Door Hardware, Finish Carpentry, Welding, Concrete Formwork, Insulated Concrete Forms, Pile Driving, Under Water Welding, Exterior Siding, and Stair Layout and Framing.
People in New Hampshire are learning more about unions and the wage and training opportunities they offer thanks to panel discussions being held, which elected officials and Carpenters Local 118 Business Manager Elizabeth Skidmore.
The forums focus primarily on the wage gap between men and women and are being sponsored by the NH AFL-CIO and New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, which is 23 cents and hour in New Hampshire and 18 cents nationally. While women are still under-represented in construction, Skidmore points out that wage equality is not an issue in the union sector.
“In union construction, women make exactly the same as men,” Skidmore said at one of the forums. “Starting 35 years ago, when women started getting into construction. Every hour we work, every dollar we get paid, we get paid exactly the same.”
In addition to collective bargaining agreements ensuring equal pay, unions also offer apprentice and journey level upgrade classes, which allow for entrance and advancement in the industry. Each of the forums, held in Manchester and Portsmouth, received prominent media coverage, including quotes from Skidmore.
The Polaroid project--to be done in phases--will involve the construction of 180,000 square feet of retail space, 100,000 square feet for a Market Basket and another 100,000 square feet of office space.
Members of Local 275 were joined by members of other UBC locals who live in Waltham. Local 275 Business Manager Kevin Kelley was one of the few speakers at the meeting, expressing his desire for developers to make a commitment to decent standards on the project. The meeting was not open for everyone to speak, so carpenters made their feelings known by holding up and rotating small signs that read "Save The Middle Class" on one side and "Build Union" on the other.
Members in Waltham plan to be active a other upcoming meetings, to discuss the Polaroid project as well as work at One Moody Street, with an eyee toward cementing Waltham as a strong union city. Members in and around Waltham who are interested in participating can contact Brother Kelley at Local 275's union hall.
Multiple enforcement agencies in Massachusetts today announced that five subcontractors employed by Pulte on sites in Eastern Massachusetts have been ordered to pay workers more than $400,000 in owed wages and make payments totaling $141,000 to cover unpaid taxes.
The order is the result of investigations that began after workers complained to Representatives of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters that they had been unpaid for extended periods of time. Workers went on strike at several Pulte locations and filed complaints with the state.
"The investigation fined five separate subcontractors, but the real culprit is Pulte Homes, a multi-billion dollar national homebuilder," said Mark Erlich, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. "Those subs are interchangeable and were just doing Pulte's bidding. Cheating is Pulte's business model and, unfortunately, that approach is far too common in the residential construction industry."
Subcontractors that were part of the order include:
--AM Construction Services and its President, Adimar Demoura, age 32 of Framingham, allegedly failed to pay four workers a total of $15,331.50 for framing work done on private residential projects in Braintree and Plymouth. They were also fined $22,500 in penalties.
--Five Stars Construction and its President, Alexandre Miranda, age 40 of Trumbull, Connecticut, allegedly failed to pay two workers a total of $30,700 for framing work done on a private condominium project in Natick. They were also fined $30,000 in penalties.
--Nunes Brothers Construction and its President, Tiago Aguiar M. Nunes, age 28 of Brooklyn, New York, allegedly failed to pay 23 workers a total of $99,086.75 for framing work done on private condominium and single-family homes projects in Braintree, Plymouth, Natick, and Northbridge. They were also fined $112,500 in penalties.
--Seven Seas Group and its President, Jackson Croscup, age 55 of Fall River, allegedly failed to pay five workers a total of $10,333 for framing work done on a private condominium project in Natick. They were also fined $20,075 in penalties.
--Two Brothers Construction and its President, Wellington DeLima Borges, age 41 of East Natick, allegedly failed to pay six workers a total of $34,751.50 for framing work done on a private home development project in Plymouth. They were also fined $34,500 in penalties.
Investigating the complaints were Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office (AGO), the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD), and the Joint Enforcement Task Force on the Underground Economy and Employee Misclassification (JTF). The JTF was established by Governor Deval Patrick through Executive Order #499 in March 2008 to coordinate multiple state agencies’ efforts to stamp out fraudulent employment activities by enforcing the state’s labor, licensing, and tax laws.
“All workers in the Commonwealth deserve to be paid for the wages they have earned, including their overtime,” said Attorney General Coakley. “We will continue to work together and take appropriate action to stop these unlawful business practices, level the playing field for companies and protect workers.”
“The Commonwealth is committed to insuring that all businesses carry both workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance coverage,” said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Joanne F. Goldstein. “We will not tolerate employers or developers who proceed without this coverage, which puts employees at risk and employers who play by the rules at a competitive disadvantage. The Joint Task Force will continue to take all necessary action to protect legitimate employers, employees and the taxpayers of the Commonwealth.”
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.
Despite many municipalities across the state of Massachusetts cancelling school due to today's snowstorm, officials are still gathering today (1/21) and tomorrow (1/22) at the 32nd Annual Massachusetts Municipal Association Annual Meeting and Trade Show. NERCC staff are on hand exhibiting at the trade show at booth #1125.
The MMA Annual Meeting and Trade Show is the largest regular gathering of Massachusetts local government officials. The two-day event features educational workshops, nationally recognized speakers, awards programs, a large trade show, and an opportunity to network with municipal officials from across the state.
The MMA’s annual Trade Show, at the Hynes Convention Center, features more than 200 exhibitors offering the latest products and services of interest to the cities and towns of Massachusetts.
Staff from NERCC will be on hand to discuss topics such as the Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAM) contractor prequalification process with various municipal representatives from cities and towns across the state.
Join us this week as nationally and internationally recognized industry leaders team up with the Northeast’s best to share their expertise in over 150 workshops, sessions, symposiums and tours at the 26th annual Build Boston, November 17-19, 2010.
The Carpenters Union is exhibiting at this year’s event in booth number 952.
Build Boston is the Northeast’s premier architecture and building event. Representatives from the Carpenters will be on hand at the booth to speak with architects, engineers, contractors, interior designers, and other industry professionals participating in the three day event.
Build Boston is a regional convention put on by the Boston Society of Architects. The event features nationally recognized industry leaders and is New England’s largest annual convention and tradeshow for the design and construction industry. For more information visit www.BuildBoston.com.
Don’t forget to stop by and visit the Carpenters Union at booth #952.