For a larger view of the Fair Deal 2008 Slate Cbox, go to http://franco1.cbox.ws/.
2008 NYCDCC Election Poll
Poll Started 2009-09-11
2009-01-09 Franco Letter to McCarron
2008-12-29 Election Monitor Decision to Franco
2008-12-18 Franco Letter to Election Monitor
2008-12-16 NYCDCC Election Committee response to Franco
2008-12-05 Franco Letter to NYCDCC Election Committee
2008-11-14 NYCDCC Election Committee response to Franco
2008-11-03 Franco Letter to the NYCDCC Election Committee
2008-02-01 McCarron response to Forde
2008-01-25 Forde Letter to McCarron
After you read the letters, let us know what you think.
(Not counting the 161 "Challenge" Votes)
We sincerely and graciously thank all those who supported us.
(Updated 2008-12-21 10:19 PM)
(Updated 2008-12-17 03:11 AM)
You stated, “…I do applaud the challenge as it accomplished for the first time under an information era there are those willing to act.” We appreciate your gratitude and we will continue to act.
You also stated, “Not only will the same leadership be present…” Well, not necessarily, at least not for long.
The “rumor” that Forde, Thomassen, and Sheil are collecting pension benefits came to our attention just days before the November 3 nomination meeting. We waited the few days until they were nominated, since we needed to address the pension issue only if they were nominated. With the pension issue being, they shouldn’t be allowed to seek re-election while collecting pension benefits. That night, November 3, we submitted our complaint letters regarding this issue to the Election Committee.
We insist that those who have been elected or are seeking reelection and are receiving pensions should be deemed ineligible to have held or hold their elected positions. Those who are receiving pension benefits are considered retired and, for the NYDCC Pension Plan, aka the “on-the-tools” pension, cannot work 40 hours or more per month in “disqualifying employment” to receive benefits. If a member is working less than 40 hours per month, they are not depending on the trade for a livelihood. Those who are retired or are not depending on the trade for a livelihood cannot hold union officer positions, amongst other positions. If a member receives pension benefits and works 40 hours or more in a month they must repay the received benefit, if they do not they are likely to have unrightfully received pension benefits. This means that Forde, Thomassen, and Sheil should at least be found to not have been eligible to run in the NYCDCC 2008 Election and may have unrightfully been receiving pension benefits. Only after internal remedies have been exhausted, we can then bring this case before the US DOL. We’re working on it.
I knew before even being nominated that my former company was going to be an issue. If the Unity Team didn’t pick-up on this it would have been blatantly obvious that they were inattentive to my history and would have invited much further questioning their inattentiveness about other matters. Additionally, I knew their attempt to use my former company against me would likely eventually backfire upon them because they didn’t know that I requested to become a shop signatory and that I had been seeking a CBA to cover the residential market.
I knew well before their submission of the complaint of allegedly being a “contractor” was presented and was ruled upon the NYCDCC Election Committee they would rule that I was a contractor because they are bound by the letter of the UBC Constitution. However, if this case was brought before a judge, who having discrepancy over such matters and taking into account precedence and actual implementation of the UBC Constitution and CBA’s, it is quite possible that I have been allowed to retain my eligibility. However, this would require more money and time than I can afford and would not have happened before the upcoming election. Additionally, there are other arguments and remedies still available.
I know that the order of events will usually proceed as - first they will ignore, then they will ridicule, then they will attack, and then there will be truth (and those who were hiding something will lose).
Nonetheless, I must exhaust internal remedies first for two reasons. One, I prefer/need to request from and give to our representatives the opportunity to respond and act. Two, if/when they fail or refuse to respond and act then I have gained personal experience to further understand directly who, what, where, when, why, and how. With this information and understanding, either I have provided additional weight to their defense or to their removal. I am not out to get anyone. I have no vendetta. Simply, I do not agree with many of the actions and inactions of the NYCDCC representatives and want to correct the direction from the one we have been traveling.
As uncertainly as Todman and Davenport are, and I was, to be elected, the Unity Team hasn’t ever had as strong and large of an opposition as we have presented in less than two months. Even though I was deemed ineligible as a candidate for the NYCDCC 2008 Election on a technicality doesn’t mean I have stopped working to address the problems that need to be corrected. I was working for correction before the election and I will continue to work after the election. Running in the NYCDCC 2008 election has allowed us to discover information more quickly and deeply, to show openly and directly that there is discontentment amongst the members, to address many of our union’s issues, and to force corrective action sooner.
The only time we will have a union that works strongly toward the interests of the members is when the members are strongly interested in our union. A few strongly interest members will accomplish only so much change that will last for only for so long. Government or court control or oversight will never achieve a lasting affect without strong member interest. Asking the government or the court to remedy a union ailment is akin to asking our parents to remedy problems amongst our (literal) siblings, even though we are supposedly adults.
We must not be naïve, fearful, or apathetic. The only way we can achieve lasting correction is for us the members to reduce, if not eliminate, naïvety, fear, and apathy. For us to work continuously together to supply to all members plentiful accurate information, to marginalize bullies, to expose criminals, and to inspire rather than penalize members to act. We must work together continuously to create a culture whereby all members want and are enabled to better our union.
Again, though I am “out”, I am not “down” and even though it is the EST who delegates responsibilities to the President and Vice President, the EST alone is incapable of running the NYCDCC. Having Todman and Davenport elected will nevertheless achieve considerable progress toward reviving and strengthening our union and implementing the members’ interests.
Furthermore, when Forde is deemed ineligible to hold his position, so too will Thomassen and Sheil. The contested election should default to the remaining eligible candidates with the most votes. With Todman will become President, being the only remaining candidate for President, along with Davenport being the far most likely to be Vice President. With the EST position vacant, according to UBC Constitution, Section 32B, the President may appoint an EST pro-tem until an election is held to fill the vacancy, which would be December 2011. http://franco1.info/UBCJA/UBC_Con_2006.pdf
VACANCIES IN LOCAL AND COUNCIL OFFICES
Section 32 B When vacancies occur in any elective office of a Local Union, the President of the Local Union may appoint a qualified member to fill the vacancy pro tem, until such time as an election is held to fill the vacancy. When a vacancy occurs in any elective office of a Council, the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Council may appoint a qualified member to fill the vacancy pro tem, until such time as an election is held to fill the vacancy. If no Executive Secretary-Treasurer position exists or such position is vacant, the President of the Council may make such pro-tem appointment
After having challenged the NYCDCC Election Committee’s ruling and the Election Monitor's initial ruling, as of last week it was ruled final by the Election Monitor that I have been deemed ineligible as a candidate for the NYCDCC 2008 Election.
The only reason for my ineligibility was that I had not given at least six months notice prior to the upcoming election that I had ceased contracting as is required by UBC Constitution, Section 31D.
UBC Constitution, Section 31D states, “A member cannot hold office or the position of Delegate or a Committee position, or be nominated for office, Delegate or a Committee position, if receiving a pension under the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Pension Plan, or unless present at the time of nomination, except that the member is in the anteroom on authorized business or out on official business, or prevented by accident, sickness, or other substantial reason accepted by the Local Union or Council from being present; nor shall the member be eligible unless working for a livelihood in a classification within the trade autonomy of the United Brotherhood as defined in Section 7 or in employment which qualifies him or her for membership, or is depending on the trade for a livelihood, or is employed by the organization as a full-time officer or representative; provided, further, that members who are life members, apprentices, trainees or probationary employees shall not be eligible. A member must have been twelve (12) consecutive months a member in good standing immediately prior to nomination in the Local Union and a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America for two consecutive years immediately prior to nomination, unless the Local Union has not been in existence the time herein required, and must remain a member in good standing at all times in order to remain in the position to which he is elected or appointed. A member who retires after being elected may complete the term for which elected unless receiving a pension under the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Pension Plan. Contracting members are not eligible to hold office, nor shall a member who has been a contracting member until six months have elapsed following notification by the member to his or her Local Union in writing that he or she has ceased contracting.” [Emphasis is mine] See http://franco1.info/UBCJA/UBC_Con_2006.pdf
As many of you know, I had a company - Franco Woodwork, Inc. It was a legal (on-the-books, insured, and licensed) one-person S-corporation business whereby I fabricated, finished, and installed custom architectural and artisan woodwork, and installed mouldings, directly for homeowners. My shop was/is in my basement and the office was/is in a room on the first floor of my house.
I attempted to unionize my one-person business in (if I remember correctly) 2004. Local Union 2090 Business Manager/Financial Secretary Joe Ventura and Business Agent Hermann Foullois obliged me a visit at my basement. They were very cordial and we had a pleasant conversation. Though I don’t recall at this time them saying directly that they were unwilling to allow me to become a signatory, Joe Ventura did state that my shop “wouldn’t pass an OSHA inspection” and to give them a call when I got another shop, which referred to my “garage”. (I was working upon a 24’ wide by 20’/16’ deep L-shaped detached garage/workshop at the back of my property at that time.) Additionally, I asked the NYCDCC many times about a Residential Agreement to cover the residential one and two family home market. What was eventually produced was the Market Recovery Addendum (http://danieljfranco.info/NYCDCC/CBAADD_2006_NYCDCC_MRA.pdf) to the Independent Building Construction Agreement. However, the MRA was untenable for the work I was doing.
I argued to the NYCDCC Election Committee and the Election Monitor that I should not have been considered a “contractor” since I wasn’t allowed to become a shop agreement signatory and there are no other NYCDCC CBA’s that cover the work I was doing and therefore I wasn’t within the jurisdiction of the UBC. Since you now know that I have been deemed ineligible as a candidate, you therefore know the results of my protests.
I stopped contracting in the spring of 2007. However, I didn’t give notice to my Local Union, Local Union 157, that I stopped contracting as is required by the 2006 UBC Constitution, Section 31D. However, I have since sent my notice in writing to Local Union 157 and verified that it was received.
Initially, I had no intention to run in the NYCDCC 2008 Election until I realized in early September that an opposition slate against the incumbents wasn’t going to occur.
However, I would not have run at all if I didn’t know that I could run the DC better than the incumbent. I would not recklessly risk the livelihoods and retirements of over 26,000 carpenters and employees just for the sake of choice.
Nonetheless, though I am "out", I am not "down". I will continue to do what I can.
What the FAIR DEAL slate did, we did in less than two months.
I’ll be more attentive for, at the very least, the next three years. If I know there will not be better candidates within the year before the next election, I will run again.