Monday, June 29, 2009

one million visits to and one more McCarron cartoon

It's been 10 years since I started and the visit counter is now over 999,000. By the start of July it will roll a million or go back to zero. To celebrate I have made the 100th poster satirizing Douglas J. McCarron, the CEO of the Carpenters Union. You can view it at the douglas j mccarron: the complete despot collection weblog where the other 99 cartoons now reside on the internet.

It's been 10 years since Doug McCarron ventured out of his comfort zone to have the lights turned off on him at Local 513 in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada when his restructuring initiative tried to take away the right to vote for contracts and officers. YouTube - Lights Out, McCarron It's been 10 years since the wildcat strike at the San Francisco airport and McCarron and Draper hung John Reimann of Local 713 out to dry by expelling him from the union. Since that time McCarron has not missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. He hobnobbed with George W. Bush on Labor Day in 2001 and 2002 when he flew to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania on Air Force One with Dubya. It's a been 7 years since he locked out the officers of Atlanta 225 and imposed trusteeship.

He tore down 101 Constitution Ave. in Washington DC and had condos built within spitting distance of the White House. He gambled your dues money on a new training center in Las Vegas and there are 2000 members sitting on the board there now. He lined his pockets with insider trading loot in the ULLICO scandal and had to give it back. He did his best to gut the AFL-CIO by withdrawing along with Hoffa's Teamsters and the Labourer's Union. He endorsed John Edwards (and Bush before him) for President.

He makes over a quarter of a million dollars a year plus tips over the last 10 years and is about as visible these days as Pauxutawney Phil at midnight. He only surfaces to be voted Construction Man of the year by the Association of General Contractors. He addressed them again on May 28th of 2009. Busy guy, but he hasn't done much for you, the rank and file carpenters.

UBCJA carpenters can print this Where's McCarron poster and hang it by the phone as you continue to wait for the call for work. Enjoy your summer off.

CMAW carpenters can take a bit of pride in the fact that McCarron lost face, bigtime, right here in BC.

You earned your autonomy.

Friday, June 26, 2009

1995 Elections results

unofficial results of the 1995 election/June 16th

President, Bill Duck 193
Randy Smith 117

Vice President Randy Freeman 124
Eugenio Zanotto 190

Monday, June 22, 2009

1995 Elections

I would like to congratulate the Bill Duck and Eugenio Zanotto slate for taking all positions in the CMAW 1995 election except for the position of Recording Secretary which was won by Randy Freeman.

Thank you for all your support.

Randy Smith
CMAW Local 1995 President

Good luck to the new executive in solving the many issues within CMAW. Hopeful the issues of being the construction arm of CEP get dealt with in a manner that all CMAW 1995 members can be proud of.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Retail Wholesale Union cuts pension benefits

read article: Vancouver Sun
One of the plan's problems is that there are about 660 retired members receiving benefits and only about 400 active members paying into the plan. This is due, in part, to contracting out of some work that union members previously performed.

Even before the recent market meltdown, the plan was in some difficulty. As of Dec. 31, 2007, the plan had a 'solvency deficiency' of three per cent, DeBeck noted in his letter to members.

That deficiency jumped to 24 per cent by Dec. 31, 2008, due mainly to the plan's heavy weighting in equities, a weighting so heavy that by April 30 this year -- even after the stock market had suffered a sharp reversal -- the plan had 57 per cent of its $215 million total assets in stocks.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Alberta oil jobs returning, but N.L. workers see leaner offerings

read article: CBC
The president of the Newfoundland and Labrador United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners says that at this time last year workers from the province couldn't keep up with the demand from Alberta.

Gus Doyle said many of his union's 2,000 members found work in Alberta's oilfields, but lost work when the economy tanked last year. Now Doyle said some of them are finding jobs in Western Canada again.

'I would say we still got 200 or 300 members working there,' he said.

But Doyle said workers aren't piling up overtime hours like they used to anymore.

'Now it's 40-50 hours a week, as opposed to 70 or 80 hours. So they're going to be more cautious about what they put in for overtime,' he said.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Judge orders union to return $800,000

read full article: The Province
A judge has ordered that a union representing electrical workers pay back more than $800,000 in dues unlawfully collected from more than 400 members.

In a class-action suit, former International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 213 union member Richard Frick objected to dues collected from members working on the Vancouver Island highway deal under the then NDP government's union-only hiring policy.

The money collected on those projects was put in a fund to subsidize bids for contractors on other jobs.

B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Kirsti Gill found that the IBEW could collect dues for that purpose under their standard agreement, but not under the union-only deal.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Almost half of top unions have underfunded pension plans

read full article:
Almost half of the nation’s 20 largest unions have pension funds that federal law classifies as “endangered” or in “critical” condition due to being underfunded, an Examiner review of federal actuarial reports shows.

Pensions with less than 80 percent of the assets needed to cover present and projected liabilities are considered “endangered,” while those that fall below a 65 percent threshold are classified as “critical” under the Pension Protection Act of 2006.
Unions are required to file 5500 forms that record the financial health of their retirement plans, show that union pension funds have lost their financial footing over the past several years.

Eight of the largest unions have underfunded plans, according to the most recent 5500 reports, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Laborers International Union of Northern America, the International Association of Machinists, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the National Plumbers Union.

The average union pension has resources to cover only 62 percent of what is owed to participants, according to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). Less than one in every 160 workers is covered by a union pension with required assets.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

CMAW Construction

read full text:
"I can (see) how one issue might bother CMAW Local 1995. CEP representative Mike Fenton is list on the CEP Western Region site a the Recording Secretary for CMAW. Who interests does Mike represent? I would assume the one that is paying him which would be CEP. I could see why CEP would like to have a representative on the board of CMAW. After all this is the construction arm of CEP ( well that is the way CEP likes to say it )

“CEP’s construction arm will work to change that, and we will also work to ensure that workers who are laid off in other sectors of the economy, can transition to construction, when skills permit,” says Coles

CMAW views the relationship slightly differently in the CMAW Owners Manual it says ' as an independent Canadian union CMAW is organizing workers in construction in other fields...'"

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

CEP Union: Forestry Not The Only Protest

read full article (and 1995 press release) via

It is interesting that CMAW and CMAW Local 1928 went to get an order to stop protesting in front of their offices. Especially when CEP members across the country have occupied a number of member of parliaments constituency offices in trying to raise awareness about the forestry issues across Canada.

'An Order that the CMAW Bargaining Council Local 1995, its officers, members employees, agents and any other persons authorized by Local 1995 and Randy Smith and Mitch Nowak shall refrain from picketing at or near 2806 Kingsway, in the City of Vancouver BC which means refraining from attending at or near the entrances, exits, or premises of the building for the purpose of persuading or attempting to persuade any one not to enter that place of business or building, and includes any similar act at such place that has an equivalent purpose.'

This issue seems to have been an on going issue since the fall of 2008 when CMAW Local 1995 member(s) voted to leave CEP. Since that time CMAW has continued to (remit) dues on behalf of CMAW local 1995 members to CEP.