April 24, 2001
Mr. Douglas J. McCarron
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
Dear President McCarron:
I would like to make you aware of some concerns being expressed by not only myself but also most of the other Millwrights that I have spoken to in the last few weeks. The foremost being that, since we have no presence with the Building and Construction Trades Dept, and are no longer considered welcome at pre job negotiations. Thus, from our understanding this situation effectively precludes us from any trade level work. Except in the rare instances where the contractors specifically ask for our attendance. It seems with an administration and an economy that has turned distinctly anti union this scenario is not likely.
Secondly there have been many instances where work has been lost to Iron Workers And Boiler Makers, Who now do not recognize us as a Trade any longer and see fit to use this situation to redefine the gray areas between their work and ours. Being opportunistic and militant they know that we do not have recourse without any form of dispute settlement, and no one attending to both sides to see that it is settled fairly
We have essentially been told to sit on our hands and wait until it all works out. We Cannot, Having seen some very promising job prospects fade before our eyes, and more slipping away every day, this situation is very daunting for us. Some of us, our most experienced and seasoned craftsmen, see this as a reason to retire now. Some of us who are younger see this as a threat to our livelihood that we have worked very hard to establish. The youngest among us see this as just another reason to go work at a non-union job
Some of us agree that organizing is very important to recover our market share and garner the new jobs that need to be manned with skilled craftsmen, But if we let the very heart and soul of our trade slip away. We will not hold a very attractive future for the very people that we are trying to attract. And organizing will not work if there is no one to pass along a trade that is already very specialized, and has been eroded by factory installations and complacency in its own ranks.
We are most concerned about what the future holds for a group with such a small voice. We would like to know that there is a clear vision for the Millwrights as we feel that this has been lacking for a long period of time. We would appreciate hearing any ideas and concerns that you would be willing to share.
Thank you very much for your time.
Union Millwright's And Damn Proud Of It