Carpenters Cancel Agreements with Iron Workers and Sheet Metal Workers
Douglas McCarron, general president of the Carpenters union, has sent letters to the general presidents of the Iron Workers and the Sheet Metal Workers terminating jurisdictional agreements with the two trades.
As reason for the terminations, McCarron indicated that the agreements are antiquated and nonproductive. By canceling the agreements, he maintains, “our union contractors will be more competitive and the members of both our organizations will gain market share.”
The affected Iron Worker agreements include a memorandum between Millwright Local 1102 about conveyor work, a 1974-amended “general agreement,” a rigging agreement, a window agreement, and a door draft. In 2003, McCarron abrogated two other agreements with the Iron Workers agreements covering conveyors. The only affected Sheet Metal Workers agreement covers the installation of suspended ceiling systems.
In a letter to members of the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) Tripartite Initiative, Iron Workers General President Joe Hunt stated that, while the terminated agreements were “not perfect,” they have “done much to weld our two crafts into a cooperative efficient team.” He further stated:
I believe our customers are under tremendous economic pressures today, and the last thing they need is the removal of agreements that provide harmony on the job. Our two crafts need each other more now than any time in our history, and making an attempt to grab market share without considering the impact on our customers is inconsistent with the mission of the [CURT Tripartite] Committee…Please rest assured we will endeavor to realign ourselves with the Carpenters wherever possible, and do our share to make the mission of this committee a reality.
CURT responded with a memo to the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) reminding “each General President that the Owner community fully expects its current and future union work to continue to be performed efficiently and uninterrupted by work disruptions or jurisdictional disputes” representative to the group. The memo urged “each General President to take personal responsibility for delivering projects that are free of disruptions caused by jurisdictional disputes or other issues that may arise from events in the next few months.” (Emphasis in original.)
AGC is closely monitoring these events and will report on all significant developments. AGC has met with the leaders of the basic trades and with the BCTD on related matters several times in the past year and will continue to ensure that contractors’ concerns are heard.
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