Local 57 Facts

UBC deserts organized labor!

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Shame on Terry Nelson!

From the Latin - ($) Pro Capite | Caveat Emptor!

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Carpetbagger Exploits KC Labor Goodwill

     Like most of you I learned about our universe in elementary school science class, but even with modern day technological advances in communications and transportation meant to close the gaps of space and time - 240 miles now seems a universe away. If this weeks St Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune left you stunned, you’re not the only one. We all admire Ed Finkelstein and his lifelong devotion to telling our story through his proud paper, but the editorial blurb preceding the reprint from the Kansas City Labor Beacon seemed to be suffering from amnesia. It was barely two months ago when 8 union presidents and many other union representatives from every craft convened at the Worlds Fair Pavilion in Forest Park to “draw a line in the sand” regarding the actions of Terry Nelson and UBC General President McCarron, yet Missouri’s neighboring labor leaders talk as if Paul Revere never arrived. To quote IUPAT President Jimmie Williams in a recent phone interview, “Coming soon to a theater near you!” Heads-up Kansas City, this is no time for rose-colored glasses!

     In the United States history during the Reconstruction Era, outsiders who moved into a territory for opportunistic and exploitative purposes were called “carpetbaggers”. Opportunism is exactly what Terry Nelson was afforded by Kevin B. O’Neill in the KC Labor Beacon. Perhaps the most absurd statement made by Mr. O’Neill was, “For me, anyone who is transparent is usually honest. And one thing I will say about Nelson is this man is transparent.”  Click on the JURISDICTION tab of this website and read the article and perhaps Mr. O’Neill will rethink his self-perpetuated theories about honesty. Nelson was quoted in the Illinois Business Journal saying the exact same thing he told Mr. O’Neill. If fear is what is driving Labor’s reaction to the KC merger then Labor’s troubles are much larger than they appear. No one knows if the former KC District Council continues to contribute the hundreds of thousands of dollars of per-capita subscription fees to the KC Labor Beacon, something stopped by Terry Nelson in St Louis. Could the lure of reinstating these per-capita fees in St Louis and the possible loss of these contributions in KC have caused these two journalists to obfuscate our reality?  Mr. Oneill's closing statements "drew a line in the sand," separating Kansas City and St Louis and once again offered up the "ego" argument, a ridiculous fairy tale built on scuttlebutt and propagated by uninformed union members not yet touched by the UBC scourge. Terry Nelson didn't call for rain yesterday, but it sure rained in St Louis. We know the facts and we are devastated by the misrepresentation promoted in both these papers. To react to this article in the spirit of Terry Nelson would mean withdrawing our per-capita subscription contributions, yet solidarity is in our blood, not just on our lips.

     The fact is that Terry Nelson has started another electrical union in St Louis that undercuts St Louis area wage standards of the IBEW. Terry Nelsons group of non-AFL-CIO and non-BCT contractors signed a sweetheart contract (drafted by Nelson) which does not specify limits on territory and his newly created AEC continues to seek members. In a phone interview documented for the St Louis Powercast a St. Louis IBEW member spoke at length with UBC General President McCarron. During this conversation General President McCarron said he believed Terry Nelson went too far. He admitted that when Terry Nelson approached him with his request for a new union charter he promised General President McCarron that  (paraphrasing), "he would only organize one contractor to scare IBEW Local 1!" Still think Nelson is transparent? He will lie to his own General President! Now, understand that these statements were made by a General President who has isolated himself from every other union craft (bar one) and has a reputation for lies and deception nationwide. Local 57 Facts also has copies of letters from St Louis AGC member contractors to UBC General President McCarron praising Nelson's new electrical union. These letters were sent after Nelson pleaded with his signatory contractors to respond on his behalf to St Louis Building Trades leader Jerry Feldhaus' letter to National Building and Construction Trades President Mark Ayers . For Nelson to respond so strongly to this letter left us wondering if he was drawing heat (from McCarron) for crossing his promised boundaries. Given the anti-IBEW nature of these letters from the AGC we feel Mr. O'Neills choice of character references was short-sighted, perhaps due to his profoundly obvious lack of understanding of the struggles in St Louis or the actions of the UBC nationwide. Mr. Oneill also claims to be a long-suffering witness to labors self-destruction whilst buying a case of Terry Nelson's own brand of snake-oil. Remove the UBC from labor and what do you have? IBEW President Ed Hill said it best, “We will not stop until we drive these imposter's from our midst!” This is about solidarity – not geography! Sometimes doing what's right is difficult, but the choice is always there. If you are buying the Nelson rhetoric then we say, "Caveat emptor!"

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Last Updated on Sunday, 31 October 2010 21:49

The Knights of Labor and the UBC; Eerie Parallels from Labor’s history

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The Knights of Labor and the UBC;

eerie parallels from Labor’s history

   Does McCarron’s autocratic leadership style truly signify a “new breed of labor leader” as stated in Business Week?  Is Terry Nelson’s plan in St Louis to establish replacement craft unions to undercut area wage standard’s a new approach?  New for the late 1880's perhaps! The following excerpt is from Wikipedia regarding the formation of the American Federation of Labor as a result of the actions of the Knights of Labor. The parallels to our struggles with the UBC today are overwhelming and have been highlighted!

The American Federation of Labor (AF of L) was organized as an association of trade unions in 1886. The organization emerged out of a dispute with the Knights of Labor (K of L) organization, in which the leadership of that organization solicited locals of various craft unions to withdraw from their International organizations and to affiliate with the K of L directly, action which would have taken funds from the various unions and enriched the K of L's coffers.[1]

One of the organizations embroiled in this controversy was the Cigar Makers' International Union (CMIU), a group subject to competition from a dual union, a rival "Progressive Cigarmakers' Union," organized by members suspended or expelled by the CMIU.[2] The two cigar unions competed with one another in signing contracts with various cigar manufacturers, who were at this same time combining themselves into manufacturers' associations of their own in New York City, Detroit, Cincinnati, Chicago, and Milwaukee.[2]

In January 1886, the Cigar Manufacturers' Association of New York City attempted to flex its muscle by announcing a 20 percent wage cut in factories around the city. The Cigar Makers' International Union refused to accept the cut and 6,000 of its members in 19 factories were locked out by the owners. A strike lasting four weeks ensued.[3] Just when it appeared that the strike might be won, the New York District Assembly of the Knights of Labor leaped into the breach, offering to settle with the 19 factories at a lower wage scale than that proposed by the CMIU, so long as only the Progressive Cigarmakers Union was employed.[3]

The leadership of the CMIU was enraged and demanded that the New York District Assembly be investigated and punished by the national officials of the K of L. The committee of investigation was controlled by individuals friendly to the New York District Assembly, however, and the latter was exonerated.[4] The American Federation of Labor was thus originally formed as an alliance of craft unions outside the Knights of Labor as a means of defending themselves against this and similar incursions.[5]

On April 25, 1886, a circular letter was issued by Strasser of the Cigar Makers and P.J. McGuire of the Carpenters, addressed to all national trade unions and calling for their attendance of a conference in Philadelphia on May 18.[6] The call stated that an element of the Knights of Labor was doing "malicious work" and causing "incalculable mischief by arousing antagonisms and dissensions in the labor movement."[5] ( Remember IUPAT Jimmie Williams speech at the AFL-CIO convention? Remember St Louis Buidling Trades leader Jerry Feldhaus's letter to President Mark Ayers?) The call was signed by Strasser and McGuire, along with representatives of the Granite Cutters, the Iron Molders, and the secretary of the Federation of Trades of North America, a forerunner of the AF of L founded in 1881.[5]

Forty-three invitations were mailed, which drew the attendance of 20 delegates and letters of approval from 12 other unions.[7] At this preliminary gathering, held in Donaldson Hall on the corner of Broad and Filbert Streets,[8] the K of L was charged with conspiring with anti-union bosses to provide labor at below going union rates and with making use of individuals who had crossed picket lines or defaulted on payment of union dues.[9] The body authored a "treaty" to be presented to the forthcoming May 24, 1886, convention of the Knights of Labor, which demanded that the K of L cease attempting to organize members of International Unions into its own assemblies without permission of the unions involved and that K of L organizers violating this provision should suffer immediate suspension.[9]

For its part, the Knights of Labor considered the demand for the parcelling of the labor movement into narrow craft-based fiefdoms to be anathema, a violation of the principle of solidarity of all workers across craft lines.[10] Negotiations with the dissident craft unions were nipped in the bud by the governing General Assembly of the K of L, however, with the organization's Grand Master Workman, Terence V. Powderly, refusing to enter into serious discussions on the matter.[11] The actions of the New York District Assembly of the K of L was upheld.

And the parallels do not stop there:

  • Unable to sway leaders of the Knights of Labor (K of L), craft unions united to form the American Federation of Labor (AFL) (Negotiations with McCarron have failed to stop Nelson or the UBC's movements nationwide)
  • Some Knights of Labor members supported the Cigar Makers International Union and left the K of L to join the AFL (many rank-and-file carpenters wear NO 57 stickers and most other craft unions post them everywhere!)
  • Per-capita tax was established to support the new organization (many craft unions today have mentioned that Resolution 70 needs funding and this could happen very soon)

Neslon's statements on the Dave Glover show that the St Louis CDC is a "merit shop type union" is also reminiscent of the Open Shop movement of the early 1900's!

The struggles of the young trade unionists of today are not as insurmountable as they seem if you study labors storied past.  We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and Rich Trumka is our Samuel Gompers - guess who the other players are? McCarron and Nelson claim to know the future whilst repeating the mistakes of our past!

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Last Updated on Sunday, 31 October 2010 21:49

On McCarron Rule

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New website exposes UBC GP McCarron

  The website McCarron 2010 is devoted to exposing the strategies being implemented by the UBC all across the country under McCarrons direction. The site has interactive portions for adults and children alike, informational flyer's in a down-loadable format, and links to social networking sites! Check it out - share this link with your carpenter friends!

Here is an excerpt from the ISSUES tab in the main menu that refers to the situation in St Louis:

3. UBC should use resources to organize the un-organized rather than the members of other unions.

In 2010, the Carpenters chartered a local in St. Louis, Missouri - not to take advantage of new and additional work in their own crafts, but to steal work from existing electrical workers in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Although they promised more work and better pay to the workers, the UBC was actually offering contractors labor at sub-standard wages and benefits. The IBEW and fellow building trades united in protest and continue to warn everyone - Beware of Carpenters Bearing Wires!


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Last Updated on Monday, 16 August 2010 18:41

Page 13 of 18


"We have no intention on intruding on the carpenters' jurisdiction nor do we intend to foment any dispute between our two organizations over jurisdictional agreements."

IBEW Local 1 Business Manager Stephen Schoemehl in a letter to the CDC's Nelson