Arts & Video
News Archives
About LaborNet

 From: Terry Havener theraven15909@yahoo.com
 Date: Fri, 25 Mar 2005
TO: Presidents of National and International Unions
 Presidents of Trade and Industrial Departments
 Presidents of State Federations
 Presidents of Central Labor Councils
FROM: John J. Sweeney
DATE: March 18, 2005
RE: United Brotherhood of Carpenters
AT THE AFL-CIO'S RECENT Executive Council meeting in Las Vegas, I
 announced that effective following the conclusion of the
 Federation's July Convention, unless the United Brotherhood of
 Carpenters have taken the appropriate steps to seek AFL-CIO
 reaffiliation, the AFL-CIO will take all necessary action to enforce
 its Constitution across the board in all related matters, as
 described below.
This determination was reached following close consultation with the
 officers and the affiliates of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction
 Trades Department, since it will potentially have a particularly
 significant impact on unions that share common employers, common work
 sites, and common job projects with the Carpenters. Other
 Departments, such as the Metal Trades Department, will obviously be
 affected as well.
This decision follows exhaustive efforts stretching over several
 years by BCTD President Ed Sullivan, several national union
 presidents, and myself to engage Carpenters President Doug McCarron
 about the Carpenters' concerns or differences with the AFL-CIO.
 These efforts met shifting and inconsistent explanations about the
 Carpenters' abrupt disaffiliation from the AFL-CIO in 2001 and
 about their concerns since then. On some occasions, the explanations
 offered to us had to do with per capita tax; on others, they related
 to desired Article XX reforms, or organizing subsidies, or the size
 of the Executive Council. Most recently, President McCarron has said
 that he is waiting to assess whether the current debate over reforms
 inside the labor movement is resolved to his satisfaction.
At this point, the only thing that is clear is the Carpenters'
 leadership's desire to have all the benefits of an AFL-CIO and BCTD
 affiliation throughout the country without any per-capita tax
 obligations to the AFL-CIO itself, without obligations under Articles
 XX and XXI, and without any responsibility to participate in charting
 the course for the AFL-CIO and the labor movement at this critical
 time. These are obviously unacceptable terms.
So that there will be no confusion concerning our intention to
 enforce the Constitution, and in order to give all AFL-CIO
 affiliates, trade and industrial departments and councils, state
 federations and other central labor bodies adequate opportunity to
 prepare in the event the Carpenters fail to reaffiliate by the stated
 deadline, I want to be clear about the following expectations:
1. The Carpenters will be barred from affiliation with all state,
 area, and local central bodies and trade and industrial departments
 and councils of the departments of the AFL-CIO, and all such bodies
 must expel the Carpenters and refuse to accept their per capita tax
 or per capita tax equivalents;
2. The Carpenters will be precluded from participating in any manner
 in activities, programs, operations, and affairs of all such bodies,
 and the AFL-CIO will exercise its best efforts to end participation
 by the Carpenters in all projects sponsored by AFL-CIO related funds
 and enterprises;
3. In full consultation with the Building and Construction Trades
 Department, the Metal Trades Department, and other affected
 affiliates, the AFL-CIO will entertain charter applications from
 former Carpenters District Councils or other appropriate
 carpenters' organizations as direct affiliates of the AFL-CIO and
 its departments;
4. The AFL-CIO and its affiliates will provide to each other
 support, as necessary and appropriate, if they are confronted with
 raiding or other attacks or interferences by the Carpenters.
Questions will undoubtedly arise regarding the application of some of
 these requirements. Please feel free to address them to my office.
Finally, in making this announcement to the Executive Council, I
 concluded by noting that this is a year of great debate, discussion,
 and hopefully progress within the labor movement. I stated that
 while we welcome all unions to join in that effort, at the same time
 we must recognize that a revitalized and growing movement is
 incompatible with special arrangements rewarding conduct that
 undermines the solidarity crucial to the serious work in front of
 us. Therefore, unless the Carpenters do choose to reaffiliate by
 that time, we will have no choice but to enforce the Constitution.

contact LaborNet

copyright 2005 © LaborNet