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From The WarZone
Thu, 22 Jun 2006


WHEN YOU PICK up Carpenter magazine you would expect some degree of honesty and at least a degree of relevance for working members who pay the bills. That however, is absolutely never the case. Like all publications in the house of labor, the news becomes that which the current dictator wants members believe and which supports the power structure he or she has established. Labor publications, even news releases to members, have stooped to new lows in propaganda designed to deceive and shape the direction current corrupt mis-leaders are going to take the organization without regard for the will of the members and all too often, at the request of the employers.

A case in point is the Carpenter April-June issue and its coverage of British Columbia carpenters. It is curious that The Carpenter has been silent of carpenter affairs in that Canadian Province for several years, at least since the defection of the BC Carpenters from the UBC [United Brotherhood of Carpenters]. BC Carpenters disaffiliated by a membership vote of more than 80% several years ago with no mention in Carpenter magazine. More than 8000 carpenters fed up with the UBC dictatorship under the control of Doug McCarron, President, voted with their feet. Perhaps the silence from the Carpenter is to downplay the tens of thousands in dues money spent by McCarron in unsuccessful lawsuits in retaliation. If you read this issue, that disaffiliation is not mentioned and the article hails the two small locals the UBC organized in hopes of disrupting the effort of BC carpenters to control their own destiny.

Why now has the Carpenter magazine decided to do an article on BC carpenters? The two small locals mentioned in the article fall under new labor provisions forced on skilled trades in BC that take them in the direction McCarron is forcing the UBC to go in the U.S. Without any vote of UBC members, McCarron and his henchmen pulled the UBC out of the AFL-CIO. In spite of phony complaints on organizing, in letters between McCarron and John Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO, McCarron made it clear the real issue was Sweeney's refusal to suspend the articles of the AFL-CIO constitution governing jurisdiction. Those rules forbid the UBC from raiding other skilled trades work. The BC locals now affiliated with the UBC are negotiating "all employee" contracts under new laws in British Columbia. Could it be that now, labor conditions forced on labor in BC, agree with the direction McCarron wants to go in the U.S. and Carpenter magazine is being used to sell this clearly employer motivated agenda?

While some of the article contains a measure of the truth, it is what is not being said that is the most damning. Why shouldn?t rank and file members of the UBC have full knowledge of the exodus of BC Carpenters? Why are members denied a full accounting of the enormous expenditures McCarron has made if fighting the will of BC carpenters? Carpenter has never mentioned the disaffiliation of a New York local or its destruction by the UBC. We never read about the many trustee-ships McCarron imposes when locals vote in the wrong leadership or opposes his dictatorship.

Half-truths, misdirection, and spin doctoring seem to be the real challenge for writers and publishers of the Carpenter. How quickly labor lashes out at the mainstream media when they misrepresent our issues, and how amazingly adept our own publications are at misrepresenting issues our members have every right to be informed about. Even Hitler would have been impressed by this machine.

Mike Griffin
Decatur IL

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