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Price versus CDC

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Carpenter delegate prevails in free speech case!

U.S. District Court Orders Carpenters’ District Council (CDC) of Greater

St. Louis to Stop Infringing Free Speech Rights of Dissenting Members

CDC Prevented from Silencing Members Opposed to Union Raiding

ST. LOUIS – A U.S. district court has confirmed a major victory to carpenters opposed to their union’s effort to raid the work of other trades.  On March 17, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois issued an agreed-upon permanent injunction barring the Carpenters’ District Council (CDC) of Greater St. Louis & Vicinity from silencing the free speech rights of members.

The injunction stems from internal charges that the CDC filed last year against member Andrew Kevin Price for expressing opposition to the CDC’s formation of a carpenters’ electrical division – Local 57. Price, a dues paying member of CDC, openly opposed the formation of Local 57 by Terry Nelson, executive secretary/treasurer of the CDC.  In summer 2010, Price refused to remove an anti-Local 57 sticker on his personal vehicle. When he was then brought up on charges by the CDC, Price filed a lawsuit, alleging that the CDC’s action violated the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA).  On Oct. 8, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. Reagan granted Price a preliminary injunction to prevent the CDC from infringing on his free speech rights.   Reagan made the injunction permanent in a ruling issued on March 17, 2011, on a joint motion of the parties. (see attachment detailing case number 3:10-cv-0741-MJR-PMF).

The permanent injunction prevents the CDC from filing charges against Price and retaliating against any CDC member for expressing opposition to Local 57.  The CDC is also to rescind previous disciplinary actions and reimburse fines against members for opposing Local 57.

In its October ruling, the court characterized Price as “… a carpenter and a loyal union member. He earnestly believes that the council should spend the union’s money assisting carpenters, rather than electricians. Price believes that Nelson formed Local 57 to raid other unions (trying to capture electrical work that other unions historically did), and that this policy is detrimental to the future and long-term goals of the Carpenters’ union.  Price also believes that Local 57 harms union solidarity and runs contra to the traditional notion of ‘brotherhood.’”

More details on the case can be found HERE!


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Last Updated on Friday, 25 March 2011 15:22  

Newsflash

“This is a very, very important development,” said Herman Benson, long time executive director of the New York-based Association for Union Democracy. “Ever since the UBC left the AFL-CIO and joined the Change to Win coalition it was implicit that they had a long-term strategy of becoming a general construction union that would take on all the trades,” he said. “This is the first indication I’ve seen that they will take on the IBEW, which is probably one of the strongest of construction unions. One of the most sacred things for the IBEW is the hiring hall. In effect, the Carpenters are offering employers a sweetheart deal to break into the electrical field and offering non-union contractors a union contract to use as a barrier against the IBEW.”

 

Carpenters Offer a Deal to Electrical Contractors
St Louis Construction News and Real Estate Nov-Dec ‘07