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JULY 1998







Written and Edited by Bill Lebo Local 45


With this issue we hope to bring you, our brother and sisters up to date on our battle for elections and democracy in our union with our International General President Douglas McCarron. It is important that you the membership of our great union be informed and kept abreast of the truth and facts of what is happening to our union and our rights.

There are a few ways of keeping informed:

1. Carpenters for Democracy meetings are held monthly at 10 east 15th st. Manhattan. To find the dates of scheduled meetings you can call; 516-771-8177 or 718-605-3720.

2. Make sure to be at your monthly union meetings and be sure to listen well.

3. There is another paper being circulated called the Plumb Line, try to get your hands on this paper it is informative.


Do you want a say in your unions future? Do you want your right to vote back? You can make a difference.



Index Written and edited by Bill Lebo LU. 45


Rally at the Sheridan Page 2

A Few Facts About Our General President Douglas McCarronPage6

Congress Listens Pages 2 - 4

Apprenticeship School Is Closed For the Summer and Teachers are Laid Off Pages 6-7

Our Stamp Program's Going to be Eliminated            Pages 4-5

Reflections of the 4th of July      Page 7

Your Annuity Money    Page 5

The IRO Kenneth Conboy        Pages 7-8

Our Raise Our Pension Pages 5-6


Who is the New Administrator of Our Benefit Funds   Pages 5-6





One Man One Vote






            On Wednesday, June 24th a rally was held at the Sheridan Towers on 7th Ave between 52nd and 53rd Sts. The time was 4:00 to 6:00 just prior to the apprenticeship graduation dinner. This demonstration was in protest of three things. 1) the dictatorship our union is under. 2) The wrongful dismissal of Sal Zarzana as the business manager and president of local 926, and 3 the wrongful dismissal of Martin Devereau as organizer of local 608. At 4pm members of various NYC locals assembled across the street from the Sheridan with signs proclaiming, REINSTATE SAL ZARZANA AND MARTIN DEVEREAU, RETURN OUR VOTE, and McCARRON MUST GO. Approximately 500 members marched across the street in front of the Sheridan. The Police arrived shortly and tried to get the brothers and sisters to stay across the Street from the Sheridan but they marched from corner to corner crossing at the signal lights effectively bringing traffic to a halt on 7th Ave. A sudden downpour caused many members to give up the march and leave. However about 150 hardy carpenters braved the deluge and finally were allowed to protest in front of the Sheridan behind barricades. The protesters shouted slogans such as, Rehire Sal and Martin, We want our vote, and get rid of Ratty Oneil. Even though the rain brought a halt to things we believe the rally was a success and sent a message to the UBC that NYC carpenters are fed up with this dictatorship. There will be more demonstrations and we thank those brothers and sisters who showed they care about our union and our rights by attending




            On June 25th 1998 a continuing hearing was held by a congressional committee in Washington DC.

            Last month on May 5th a carpenter from Philadelphia, Bill Rugh, and a Pile driver from Oakland, California, Thom Donnelly spoke to the Committee on the loss of democracy in their areas of the country since Douglas McCarron the General President of the UBC has imposed his restructuring on them. A professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania who is a leader of the Association for Union Democracy Professor Clyde Summers spoke as well on the ways the Landrum-Griffin Act which he helped to author in 1959 could be strengthened by Congress to prevent a union from loosing its democracy as ours has.

            At the hearing on June 25th which was attended by many members from NYC, and Philadelphia. Four Carpenters from NYC, and one from Michigan spoke out against the loss of our unions democracy since the onset of McCarrons restructuring.

            Sal Zarzana~ who was recently wrongfully fired as the Business Manager and President of local 926 in Brooklyn for unknowingly having a suspended license (which was rectified the next day by paying a traffic ticket he didn’t realize wasn’t paid) spoke on McCarrons warning to business agents to keep their members quiet and inline or they would be fired, as he was. Sal stated that the Landrum-Griffin Act (the law that governs the way a union must operate) should be amended to require that any amendments to a union’s constitution should go before the membership for passage in a one-man one-vote referendum. He further stated, that for a truly democratic system all officers from the local level to the General office level should be elected in the same way, by the one-man one vote system.

Clemens Wittekind from Michigan, who is the founder of Carpenters for democracy in unions in Michigan, said he recognized improvements in union operations under McCarron and that no-one stands against those improvements”. He stated that,” the autocratic structure is of course more efficient than a more democratic one with empowered members,’ he said. Wittekind objected however, to the international unions method of dictating and executing the restructuring and to “the new structures themselves” which allow less opportunity for members to make their feelings known.

            John Ligouri from Local 20 in Staten Island was one of the several union witnesses who denounced the way the UBC took over operation of the NYC District Council and accused Mr.. McCarron of trampling union members Landrum-Griffin rights.

            International union officials entered District Council offices at night, accompanied by armed guards, “with no warning or due process” he said. This and related acts had a “chilling effect” on members rights of free expression, he said, adding he was “horrified at the unprecedented Gestapo tactics” of the international union.

            William Lebo a member of local 45 in queens and the Vice President of the NYC branch of the Carpenters For Democracy, said McCarrons take over “ had less to do with fighting corruption and more to do with... McCarron’s methodical creation of his personal and publicized goal of restructuring our union, which is no more than the building of his own private empire”. Lebo asserted that his own outspoken activities opposing the International resulted in union charges being filed against him for which he was convicted in a

“kangaroo court” and fined $1500.00 for seconding a motion to hold elections in his local union. Lebo recommended that the panel consider replacing “delegate bodies” in unions with “one man one vote referendums”. Also he spoke about what he sees as “corruption and collusion” between the court appointed Investigation and Review Officer Kenneth Conboy and the UBC.

            Herman Benson. the founder and former executive director of the Association for Union Democracy of 500 State St. Bklyn, told the Committee, “You cant have a robust union democracy without strong unions,” he argued, workers who feel they are under attack “are not likely to exercise their right to criticize their union officials, good or bad,” he said. In Bensons view, “Union democracy will never flourish in the construction trades until unions and government defend their right to work in dignity without fear or favor”.

            McCarrons sole defender was a member of Local 608. Jack Durcan. As a self proclaimed dissident, Durcan said he welcomed restructuring in the “mob infested” New York City District Council. According to Durcan, “40 years of degradation has been undone in one stroke by our General President”.

            Durcan was asked by Congressman Cass Ballenger of North Carolina, if he worked for, or was going to be working for the UBC. Durcan said he was not and was not promised a job by McCarron.


Congressman Ballenger reminded him that he was under oath and that they would find out if he went to work for the UBC when he went back to New York. (Obviously suggesting that Durcan might be praising McCarron for personal gain.)

            Douglas McCarron, the General President of the UBC spoke last. He defended his takeover and supervision of the NYC District Council by saying NYC was the most corrupt area in the country, and that they needed to place NYC under trusteeship in order to remove Fred Devine and his administration because NYC was going bankrupt. He also spoke on what he calls ‘representative democracy’. He said, “Restructuring to Full Service Regional Councils does not take away memberships rights, but instead changes membership rights into a new and functioning form that makes the rights real and effective in the industry facing the union”. He also said, “It is, moreover, a representative form of democracy that America has used for two centuries, and it works. (With this last comment he opened himself up to the fact that Americas democratic system was a two party system with the appropriate checks and balances. these are crucial in our democracy and they are sorely lacking? in his “representative form of democracy”. The committee was quick to point this- out). McCarron further stated that, “some claim that direct election by the membership of Council officers is a necessary safeguard. They ignore, however, that it was this structure which permitted a long time corrupt Union official, Fred Devine, to be re-elected in 1995 as head the New York City District Council, even with federal court supervision of the election”.


            These hearings will be on going and in a letter to the witnesses the Chairman of this Congressional Committee Harris W. Fawell writes; “Your testimony was very informative and much appreciated. It will help the Committee as it continues to explore ways to achieve union democracy and as it examines the need for reform legislation that aims to improve the Landrum Griffin Act. I believe the dialogue among the witnesses made an excellent record and gave the Members a better insight into the impediments that unnecessarily strain union democracy”.




            This is according to reliable sources, as well as in a flyer that was circulated by friends of the restructuring plan that stated N The stamp program will under go some positive changes, more along the lines of a direct deposit plan with a receipt in each pay envelope”. This means that the contractor will be paying your benefits directly into an account set up for each individual employee. For those of us who don’t remember a time without a stamp program, all you have to do is ask an old timer what it was like before we had one. Many contractors in the past were able to screw us out of benefits if we didn’t keep a constant vigil on the payments they were supposed to be making. With our stamps 1. Contractors are held accountable, 2. We have an easy method of keeping record of what we have and what we are owed, and 3. We have stamp shortage forms.


            Without the stamp program we will have to keep our hours straight, we will have to make sure our shop stewards keep our hours straight on their reports. We will have to constantly check to make sure that deposits have been made by the contractors into our accounts at the bank, and lastly we will have to harass the contractor if deposits are not made (which will cause many layoffs no doubt). Many of us will get the proverbial shaft and the benefit plan will be hurt by this. Remember now you as a rank and file member have no say in this and under our newly restructured Council and union you will not be allowed to vote on this. IS THIS DEMOCRACY?




            Many of you are not aware of how to get your annuity money if you need it. You should be aware that if you need your money for a hardship, such as if your home was in foreclosure, or for medical reasons, etc. you can take out up to half of your annuity with a hardship withdrawal, be aware, however, if you must do this you must pay an early withdrawal penalty tax of 25 to 30 percent and then the IRS hits you again because you have to claim it as income for the year, so you get double banged. You can also take a loan at any time and the interest you pay back on the loan goes into your personal account. Lastly, you can at any time you want, roll your money over into your own annuity, money market, or CD’s set up by your bank or accountant. You never touch the money so your not penalized for it. I personally recommend this for a number of reasons. 1. I dont trust the present administration with my money, I don’t like their track record, 2. You can control your own interest rate and investments without having them take risks with your money, 3. your not under their rules and their red tape if you really need the money it’s there for you, and 4. Your not paying them an administration fee on your money. I recommend a rollover it’s your money not theirs.




            As most of you are aware, once again we will not being getting a raise in our paycheck. Our one dollar an hour raise will once again be going into the pension plan. They still want you to believe our pension plan is in jeopardy, even though, the Semi Annual Report or SAR they just sent us shows just the opposite. According to the SAR our pension plan is in excellent health. The plan made a profit of 81 million + dollars free and clear, after all expenses for the plan and all payouts were made. How can they expect us to believe that the plan in such a bad state that they need to take your whole raise? Brothers and sisters I believe there’s a fox in the hen house, and if we don’t do something about it soon we are all going to be very sorry!




            As some of you know the benefits funds office at our Council is going through some major changes. The people who have been working there have all gotten notice that they are to be dismissed. The new people who will be operating your funds is an administration firm called Zenith Corp.. This means they will be handling all the paper work, phone calls, and payments the funds must make. Now step back in time with me for a moment, to a time before our funds were self-administered. We had an outside administrator by the name of UNION LABOR LIFE. Union Labor Life was and is owned by one Bob Georgine, who is President of the National Building Trades Council in Washington D.C. Union Labor Life was thrown out of our Council for over charging us in the area of 20 million dollars (which they admitted to once they got caught, OOPS). They were only made to pay back 1 1~ million dollars. Well, can you guess who is the parent corp. of the Zenith Corp.? Yep it’s Union Labor Life. Furthermore, Zenith Corp. is owned by Bob Georgines wife. I also understand that Zenith is now in Court with a number of local unions in upstate N.Y. and New Jersey for over charging them for administration costs. Better hold on to our wallets or our money will be sucked out once again! We can thank Doug McCarron and the UBC for yet another good decision, a decision we don’t and never will have a say in under their restructuring. By the way, Douglas McCarron 15 on the Board of Directors of Union Labor Life. I have to wonder if someone isnt getting a kickback for this!




            In 1990 Douglas McCarron was sued by an ex-employee Barbara Botos for sexual harassment. The District Council of southern Calif. paid 90 thousand dollars in a settlement in that suit.

            McCarron gave union funds money to Siguard Lucassen for Lucassens campaign in 1990 which caused the Government to step in and force a rerun election which cost our union millions of dollars.

            McCarron accused Fred Devine of nepotism because he had his sons working for the District Council while McCarron himself is guilty of the very same thing because he appointed his brother Michael McCarron as the head        of the Southern Calif. / Nevada Regional Council.


            McCarron is on the Board Of Directors of the Perini Corp. one of the countries largest construction contractors. How can McCarron represent the workers (us) to the boss if he is the boss? This is an enormous and unacceptable conflict of interest.





            Ask yourself why our Apprenticeship school was shut down for the summer and why 6 teachers were dismissed? The teachers were Steve Michaels, Lisa Margarita, John Harkin, Jack Hendrickson, Pete Moratta, and Harlow Haggesen. I spoke to Eric Andersen the person apparently running the daily operation of the closed school. His reasons for the school being closed for the summer for the first time since I can remember was “so it could be maintained and because people go on vacation for the summer’. He must have meant Mr. Martin Daily, the schools director. It can’t be for lack of funds when 35 cents an hour of our pay goes to run it and according to sources the school really only costs 19 cents an hour to run. Money can’t be a reason or they never would have taken 15 cents an hour that we allocated out of our pay for the school and given it to the Labor Management Fund, would they? Could it be because there is a lack of apprentices even though they put on all those organizers to help increase our numbers? Or could it be that the rumors are true and they are looking to sell our Councils building and have the apprentices go to school out in Long Island? Would this help them to force us into the Long Island! Westchester suburban Regional Council?




On Sunday the 5th of July, I took my wife and daughter to Point Lookout in Longbeach Long Island where they had a concert and fireworks display in celebration of our countries birthday. I for one take great pride that I am a part of this land, the U.S.A. Anyway, it was a beautiful day, the color guard brought out our flag, a lovely young lady sang the Star Spangled Banner, the Del Vikings (a 1950’s group) entertained the crowd, and then Garucci put on a fantastic fireworks display. I sat back watching the Fireworks, proud to be an American, proud to be a citizen of this great land of freedom and democracy. But in my reflections I couldn’t help but to be saddened when my thoughts turned to our unions loss of that very thing that makes our country so great, its democracy. The loss of our right to vote for our leaders, the loss of our voice in our union and its policies. These are the very rights the forefathers of the U.S.A. fought and died for. This is no less than taxation without representation. We live in this land that sends its children off to war to fight and die protecting the democratic rights of people worldwide and yet we our allowing democracy to be crushed in our union. It’s time to put a stop to this injustice. after all brothers and sisters aren’t we Americans?




Kenneth Conboy is the Investigation and Review Officer who is appointed by the Court to make sure that the NYC District Council and all its constituent locals are kept in abeyance with the consent decree our Council had signed under Fred Devine. His Job among other things is investigate and bring charges against anyone who violates the Consent Decree. Mr. Conboys tenure under the Consent decrees original agreement was over as of August 1996. He helped bring the UBC into our Council in June of 1996, just before the end of his tenure. At this point he had already cost us $2.5 million dollars. The UBC immediately gave him an extension but decreased his monthly retainer from $85 thousand dollars a month down to a measly $45 Thousand a month. Mr. Conboy has been with us damn near 4 and one half years now, bringing his cost to us for his services alone to approximately $3,630,000, not including court costs and the fees paid to lawyers when the council had to deal with him. Since the UBC’s take over Conboys tenure has run out numerous times. It seems, each time it runs out he writes a report praising Mr. McCarron and the UBC’s Restructuring to the Honorable Judge Haight, who rules on the Consent Decree, and then McCarron gives him an extension. The last extension was in June, just as he wrote his 9th interim report which involved the UBCs progress and their plans to hold elections in the distant future.

            This time around Conboy, according to his Esquire Dennis Walsh, had a change in his payment arrangement. He is now on a bill as necessary plus expenses plan. That’s right , time and materials. Mr. Conboy has shown us time and time again, that he can’t be trusted. His opinions and actions are blatantly in favor of anything his boss McCarron does. Thats right I think its obvious he’s been bought and sold and can’t be trusted by anyone who opposes the currant administration. So for those of you that need to report any wrong doing by the UBCs appointed cronies like Patty (ratty) O’neil, Bilello, Early, Hermanson, or any of the other appointed cronies please contact the Carpenters For Democracy, at 516-771-8177, and we will refer you to other channels other than Conboy.


Some of the article CONGRESS LISTENS was taken from the Labor Law section of the Daily Labor Report ISSN 0418-2693 titled House Panel Hearing Focuses on Democracy in Carpenter’s Union by Brian Locket



You can get all the Congressional testimonies on the internet at under the committee on education and the workforce, labor force. Click on hearings on June 25th and May,


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