Friday, September 14, 2012

There are workers aplenty for Kitimat with the right union

By Ken Lippett, Vancouver Sun

Re: Kitimat smelter project suffers skilled labour shortage, Sept. 10

The Construction Maintenance and Allied Workers (CMAW) has 70 carpenters and apprentices working on site at the Kitimat modernization project (KMP); this is down from a high of 121 carpenters and apprentices in March/April.

The article states that the project is short 50 carpenters.

CMAW has always been able to supply this project with tradespersons, the majority of whom came from northwestern B.C. There is still a supply of tradespersons wishing to work on the project. In addition there are an additional 25-30 applicants per month wishing to join CMAW.

What Colleen Nyce from Rio Tinto/ Alcan (RTA) must be referring to is the inability of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA) to supply carpenters and apprentices to the Kitimat project.

In 2008 RTA's managing contractor, Bechtel, chose to do a deal with the American carpenters union (UBCJA) that attempted to exclude the Canadian union CMAW from the project.

Through a B.C. Labour Relations Board order and a directive from RTA to Bechtel, CMAW was written into the Project Labour Agreement (PLA) as a participant union. There are two separate and distinct carpenters unions on that project.

The CMAW was formed in 2004 when over 95 per cent of the B.C. members of UBCJA voted to leave that union, forming the CMAW, head-quartered in Vancouver and led by an elected board of Canadian tradespersons from Western Canada.

It is the contractors who have no relationship with CMAW who are having the perceived supply problem.

One reason the UBCJA contractors may have a supply problem on the project is that they believed the UBCJA's claim that supply of tradespersons would be no problem.

It is CMAW's opinion that the UBCJA assumed temporarily unemployed CMAW members would come flocking to the UBCJA contractors. This has not happened.

Another issue that aggravates the problem is the distaste the majority of CMAW's members have in working under a UBCJA agreement (an organization they voted overwhelmingly to leave).

The manifestation of this issue is a perceived supply problem.

There is no skills shortage in the carpentry trade in northern B.C.

Ken Lippett First vice-president, CMAW © Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/There+workers+aplenty+Kitimat+with+right+union/7241746/story.html#ixzz26UkprftI

Monday, September 10, 2012

IN MEMORIAL 18 UBCJA Union Carpenters Sept. 11, 2001

SEAN CANAVAN, 39 Brooklyn NY Initiated 1981. Finish/Furniture. Local 608. Father and brother are also UBC members. Survivors include his many beloved nieces and nephews.

MARTIN COUGHLAN, 53 Bayside NY Initiated 1987. Interior Systems. Local 608. Immigrated with family from Ireland in 1987.Wife Catherine; Orla (27),Ailish (24), Sinead (21), Denise (19).

MATTHEW DIAZ, 33 Brooklyn NY Initiated 1998. Floorlayer. Local 2287. Reached safety but returned to help others.Wife Karen; Michael (7), Christopher (3).

PAUL GILL, 34 Astoria NY Initiated 1986. Carpenter. Local 608. Fulltime NYC firefighter lost in the line of duty. Wife Tina; Aaron (14).

MAURICIO GONZALEZ, 27 NYC, NY Initiated 1995. Carpenter. Local 608. Held dozens of skill and safety certifications. Wife Evan; Nina (1).

MAURICE KELLY, 41 Bronx NY Initiated 1980. Interior Systems. Local 157.Acoustical ceilings specialist. Children Danielle (17), Sean (10), Thomas (7).

CHRIS KIRBY, 21 Bronx NY Initiated 1997. Carpenter. Local 608. A third-year apprentice and sports lover.

BENJAMIN MILLMAN, 40 Staten Island NY Initiated 1999. Carpenter. Local 608. Wife Toby; Brandon (14), Maghan (7).

JOSEPH MISTRULLI, 47 Wantagh NY Initiated 1982 Interior Systems. Local 157. Foreman and holder of numerous certifications. Wife Philomena; Joseph (22), Mary (21),Angela (16).

BRIAN MONAGHAN, 21 New York NY Initiated 2001.Apprentice. Local 157. Reached safety but returned to help others

DAVID ORTIZ, 37 Bronx NY Initiated 1998. Carpenter. Local 608. Employed by the Port Authority (NYC transit agency).

JOSEPH PISKADLO
, 48 N. Arlington NJ Initiated 1973. Carpenter. Local 157. Immigrated from Poland in 1962. Wife Rosemary; Brian (23), Laura (21), Steven (18).

JOHN RIZZO, 50 Brooklyn NY Initiated 1979. Carpenter. Local 608. Wife Concetta; Giuseppe (20), Luigi (10)

DANIEL ROSETTI, 32 Bloomfield NJ Initiated 2001. Journeyman Carpenter. Local 15 (NJ). Was thrilled to “work above the clouds, close to heaven.” Fiancee Christine Bennett; son Justin (14 mos.)

DAVID RUDDLE, 31 Bronx NY Initiated 1996. Interior Systems. Local 157.The youngest of eight children. Daughter Amanda (11).

STEPHEN RUSSELL, 40 Arverne NY Initiated 1987. Carpenter. Local 45. Fulltime NYC firefighter lost in the line of duty.

ERICK SANCHEZ
, 41 Brooklyn NY Initiated 1987. Journeyman Floorlayer. Local 2287. Children Kathleen and Raymond.

PATRICK WOODS
, 36 Staten Island NY Initiated 1996. Furniture Systems. Local 608. Beach goer, dog lover, strong union man. Survived by both parents and two younger brothers.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Commentary: Labor Day and Peter McGuire

Read the full article by Sharon K. Williams

"No festival of martial glory or warrior’s renown is this; no pageant pomp of war-like conquest … attend[s] this day. It is dedicated to Peace, Civilization, and the triumphs of Industry. It is a demonstration of fraternity and the harbinger of a better age—a more chivalrous time, when labor shall be best honored and well rewarded."—Peter McGuire

Peter J. McGuire, a young carpenter, stood before New York’s Central Labor Union on May 12, 1882, to suggest an idea of setting aside one day a year to honor labor. His idea was simple. The day should "be celebrated by a street parade which would publicly show the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organization."
"No festival of martial glory or warrior’s renown is this; no pageant pomp of war-like conquest … attend[s] this day. It is dedicated to Peace, Civilization, and the triumphs of Industry. It is a demonstration of fraternity and the harbinger of a better age—a more chivalrous time, when labor shall be best honored and well rewarded."—Peter McGuire

The trade unionists, enthusiastic about the idea, quickly established a committee to plan the event. The committee chose the first Monday in September because "it would come at the most pleasant season of the year, nearly midway between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, and would fill a wide gap in the chronology of legal holidays."

McGuire, a man of many talents, became known as the "Father of Labor Day." He was born into a poor family on July 6, 1852, in a Lower East Side tenement in New York City. His working career began at the age of 13. He held many different jobs and was quoted as saying, "I have been everything but a sword swallower…and sometimes I was so hungry, a sword—with mustard, of course—would have tasted fine."