|Fact Sheet: The Petitioners http://www.ita.doc.gov/media/FactSheet/LUMBER_424.html
The petitions were filed by the Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports Executive Committee, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, and the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (the petitioners).
May-June 2001 Carpenters Magazine General President Editorial Page
Carpenters Grab Some Ole-Time Union Religion
The dramatic decision by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America to quit the AFL-CIO should send a message to labor leaders across America that something is amiss spiritually. The carpenters have struck out on their own in the belief that they can better put to use the $4 million a year that the union contributes to the labor federation. ``Organize'' is the marching order from Carpenters' General President Doug McCarron. The union may be right.
The AFL-CIO seems to be losing the not-so-lively national debate over whether unions are good for American workers. Instead of looking at how unionism can affect and hopefully improve the lives of real people with real problems at the local level, the federation's leaders seem to take the 50,000-ft-panoramic view, much the same way that some detached corporate leaders do. But that kind of view and leadership may be producing the disconnect with people that is slowly but surely eroding union influence in America.
Where is the fire and passion that unions used to have? We are not talking about violence and confrontation, but the vigorous debate over ways unions can make a difference in career-building and in the workplace.
The building trade unions have an advantage over others in the federation in that they are more alike than different in their approach to issues and can speak the same language. Despite their sometimes noisy differences, there is strength in numbers and those numbers mean something in construction, which is having trouble mobilizing forces for the execution of projects.
This solidarity issue raises the question of how the carpenters will be able to maintain ties with other building trade unions and still withdraw from the federation. This doesn't seem likely officially, since the federation has ordered a severing of all relationships. But the teamsters' union was able to keep up a meaningful dialogue, at least among the building trades, after it was kicked out of the federation in the 1950s for corruption. It has since reaffiliated.
The 500,000-member carpenters' union cannot be ignored, either. For example, it is part of a new coalition that is petitioning the U.S. government for duties on the import of Canadian softwood lumber. It has joined with other unions and companies in the effort. While we don't support the reimposition of the expired duties, the union's action shows that the carpenters intend to keep up a vigorous voice on the issues that affect it. Maybe with an extra $4 million to spend a year, it can bring more focused clout to issues, the bargaining table, training, outreach and organizing. At the very least, the union has everyone's attention.
ENR: Engineering News-Record 04/09/01 http://www.enr.com/new/editorials40901.asp
Copyright 2001 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. reprinted with permission
"And we're actively involved in the issues of softwood timber imports, having already ensured that the talks will seek a fair deal for UBC members on both sides of the US-Canada border."
Carpenter Magazine Sept/Oct 2001 PDF http://www.carpenters.org/carpentermag/
"The UBC remains firm in its support of fair trade and its opposition to free trade. The union does not and has not supported imposing duties on Canadian softwood lumber. We want a negotiated settlement and preferably the extension of the status quo, which helps our members on both sides of the border."
James Smith UBCJA Vice-president Canda, The Carpenter Magazine (Canadian insert) 11-12/01
Good Old-Fashioned Protectionism
More importantly, the UBC can now spend more money lobbying Washington for protectionist legislation. On March 31two days after the Carpenters left the AFL-CIOthe 1996 U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) expired. The Agreement had placed a quota on Canadian lumber imported into the United States, which kept lumber prices high; thereby protecting unionized U.S. lumber producers from competition. The Carpenters union and U.S. lumber interests, who anticipated the agreements expiration, quickly sprang into action.
full text half way down page http://www.capitalresearch.org/publications/labor_watch/2001/0106b.htm
Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports http://www.fairlumbercoalition.org/news_otherssay.htm
"[A] resolution that calls for 'open competition' for lumber without competition for timber is unbalanced and simply endorses the continuation of timber subsidies that injure U.S. mill workers and promotes over-harvesting in Canada."
Boyd Young, Pulp-Allied Chemical Engineers (PACE), and Mike Pieti, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners Association, December 29, 2000
COMMERCE DEPARTMENT ACTION ON LUMBER IMPORTS HARMFUL TO U.S. CONSUMERS, ECONOMY
American Consumers for Affordable Homes (ACAH)
MILLWRIGHTS, MACHINE ERECTORS & MAINTENANCE UNION LOCAL 2736
June 11, 2001
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
Attention: Douglas J. McCaron
Dear Brother McCarron:
Your decision to petition the U.S. Government for duties on the import of Canadian softwood lumber without regard to the impact that it will have on the Canadian membership once again demonstrates your lack of commitment to us.
Pulp and paper and the lumber industry have been the livelihood of members in British Columbia a great deal longer than this organization has existed. By joining forces with the U.S. Government on this issue, you are actually saying that it does not matter what the repercussions to Canadian workers are because we do not count. The only time that we do count is when you receive our monthly per capita tax. Maybe it's time that we as Canadians start using that per capita tax to help us lobby the Canadian Government to fight vigorously any attempt by the Americans to destroy our lumber industry.
At numerous conventions Canadian issues have been raised over and over again only to be frowned upon and swept under the rug. This latest decision fortifies that, as Canadians, we are not even remotely considered participants of this organization.
In closing, I would like to ask you one question. Will Jim Smith be on this committee to petition the U.S. Government and what is Jim Smith's position on this very important CANADIAN issue?
copy: BCPCC, James Smith, Canadian Board Member, All B.C. Locals
The 77% that voted for autonomy clearly showed the members' frustration and resolve, and if we were to conduct the referendum today after reading that biased drivel, the percentage would be much higher. Your actions directly impacts one of our affiliated plants, and because our economy is dependent on the Forest Industry, indirectly all of us are affected one way or another. To be using our dues to directly oppose our members place of employment smacks of fraud and theft.
No wonder members want out.
Sincerely, A.J. Heisterkamp, Business Manager
c.c. Provincial Council
CARPENTERS UNION NORTH VANCOUVER ISLAND LOCAL 1989
Via Fax Only: June 7, 2001
Dear Mr. McCarron;
I apologize that this letter took so long to be sent to you concerning the Canadian Softwood Lumber Duties, but I do not receive the Carpenters Magazine and have not received it for about a year. The article was brought to my attention thru a letter by Fred Brown, B/A for local 527 sent to you. I have a number of letters in front of me from locals and councils around the province and I see no point in repeating in what was written except in asking if you ever think things thru. Obviously not!
Sent by fax: June 7, 2001
Douglas J. McCarron - General President
I have read the article that was printed in the May/June issue of the Carpenters Magazine on the coalition that is being formed with other Unions to petition the US Government for duties on our softwood lumber. I had to read it twice to make sure I understood what it meant because it is with total disbelief that you a so called Brother of mine would endorse and help fight something of this magnitude.
In the article it says that, and I quote, "there could be an extra 4 million to spend a year, it can bring focused clout to issues, the bargaining table, outreach and organizing. At the very least the union has everyone's attention."
Well let me tell you Brother, it sure got my attention. How the hell do you expect the Organizers in Canada to go after the nonunion saw mills and then tell them that once they are in the union their dues will be used against them to fight softwood from going to the US. I also find it appalling that my dues are being used for the same thing.
I wonder in your arrogance, did you forget who you are suppose to be representing? Let me tell you Brother that you are sure not representing me or my Canadian Brothers and Sisters.
cc Provincial Council
Sent by fax: June 1, 2001
Douglas J. McCarron, General President
Dear Douglas McCarron
RE: Canadian Softwood Lumber
I recently received the May/June issue of the Carpenters magazine. I am deeply concerned with statements made in the article "Carpenters Grab Some ole-time Union Religion." To read that the Carpenters Union as a whole, is part of a coalition that is petitioning the US Government for duties on Canadian softwood is a deplorable act. Your position on Canadian softwood is a slap in the face to every brother and sister in Canada. Your position has divided our Union at the Border and further damaged the relationship between yourself and the members of this union.
Your actions taken on Canadian softwood are done to please your political allies, not for the benefit of the Brotherhood. This would not have happened, had you consulted with the membership in Canada. Canadians know it goes against your grain to ask the opinion of the members of our union.
Next time you chose a critical path for the UBC, you may want to ask for a second opinion - the members.
01 Jun 2001
Text of Letter to GP McCarron:
RE; Canadian Softwood Lumber
Your myopic lobbying for duties on Canadian softwood lumber clearly demonstrates a parochial USA first attitude, not an attitude of a man who has sworn to uphold the interests of the membership as a whole.
As a signing officer for my locals chequing account I can tell you that there will be an awful lot of personal soul searching before I sign another per capita cheque.
Fraternally: Ken Lippett, President Local 1735 Carpenters
To Recording Secretaries of all affiliated Local Unions re: Canadian Softwood Lumber
May 29, 2001
PRINCE RUPERT LABOUR COUNCIL
This is in answer to your fax dated June 1, 2001, concerning the position the UBC has taken regarding the Canadian softwood lumber imports. First, let me be clear that the UBC has not taken a new position regarding timber import and export, but is in fact calling for an extension of long standing, fair trade policy between the US and Canada. I can certainly understand why you would be concerned if you thought we had made major changes in policy that could have an adverse effect on Canada, and most especially our Canadian members, without consulting with our affiliates. But that is absolutely not the case here.
McCarron under oath in Vancouver 2002
Q - Am I correct that under your direction the International petitioned the United States government to impose those duties on Canada?
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