Announcing a NEW blog by Michael A. Prate, "Is The Carpenters' Union in Chicago Corrupt." Articles/documents verifying statements at the end of this article.
I have posted a series of articles written by Michael A. Prate, former signatory roofing contractor for the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters. His articles verify and document many things I have been stating verbally for years to members and in the articles I have recently written since 2008.
I have been a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America (UBCJA) since 1979. I would have been a member sooner, if the carpenters union in Chicago had allowed me admission when I requested it several times in 1970. I was refused admission to the union based on my gender.
So, I have been watching the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBCJA) and more specifically the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters (CRCC) and its activities ever since.
The UBCJA has gone from a union supporting the working members and their families to a union that supports only the position of the Executive Board Officers in Washington, D.C. and the power that they want to have over all other unions in America and Canada. This has been their goal since Douglas J. McCarron was elected as the General President in 1995. The Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters (CRCC) had their own agenda, but it was always in line with the UBCJA as long as they benefited.
The overall goal of any union promises the member good wages and benefits. They go on to write a Constitution and By-Laws for specific areas the union is located in. The By-Laws usually includes government mandates, legislation, etc. by the U.S. Government that the union states it will follow, as does the By-Laws.
In my union, I have never seen the carpenters follow any of the mandates, legislation, etc. by our government with regards to minorities or women, except on paper. In reality, it does not happen without the member actively fighting for their rights, and the member usually loses the battle...
The Carpenters union uses their Apprenticeship as a base’s for recruitment (which is useless) for minorities and women. The union contractor’s can sponsor people into the apprenticeship. For every 500 men, I have seen maybe one woman that a contractor has sponsored into our union. And that woman is more than not a relative, daughter, wife, sister, etc. Women who really want a profession in the building trades without someone to help them, have no chance in HELL of making it without support... do yaw think HELL is right here in AMERICA?
Some union and non-union contractors even today have no clue women are part of the carpenters. I will tell you one story I experienced with five non-union contractors and two union business agents (BA) I spoke with as recently as 2008 who actually did not know women are part of the building trades, never mind the carpenters! The BA’s faces got red when I let the cat out of the bag. They were touring the school prior to signing on as union signatory contractors.
The union corrals the minority men and women into the apprenticeship with promises of good pay, benefits and jobs, but has no program to educate the apprentice as to their rights and how to protect themselves. The class they do have in place is a joke...They also do not want any suggestions as to how to recruit and retain minorities and women in their union. They do not want to know! They would rather continue to say that women do not want to work in the trades, or women cannot handle the work, bla, bla, bla. Or like the one BA, who continues to tell women, “don’t you know this is a man’s business, why don’t you learn to fit in? – Circa 2008 at the Apprenticeship Program.
The CRCC motto has always been, “if we don’t know about it, we don’t have to do it or report it.” The minority men have a better support network and chance of succeeding, more so then the women. There are many reasons for this, but not the ones our union has been stating...
There is one reason women continue to be seen as unequal that I would like to state now; CORRUPT POLITICANS. Emil Jones, a Democratic politician in Chicago a couple of year’s ago stated on live T.V. during a news interview; a question came from the news broadcaster, Jones' answered, “We don’t care about women carpenters not being on this jobsite, only black men!” So why do the women in Chicago continue to vote him back in, this is my question to them?
Our members and officers loved the quote that came out of Las Vegas, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” They changed it to make it their own, “What happens in our union, stays in our union.”
Maybe until now...
I have considered the UBCJA and CRCC to be just another bunch of hypocrites running a large non-profit conglomerate using the members as their puppets. I learned to play their game the best I could and survived, so far...
The articles and PDF documents below are written by Michael A. Prate, Contractor. You can go to his blog by clicking the link in his name above.