To the Editor:
In response to the letter from Spears Framing Ltd., and your Article by Erica Butler January 4, 2007 “Hammering Away” about the efforts of the Carpenters Union to improve the Construction Industry for workers, needs further input. In Mr. Spear’s editorial rebuttal, he reports his operation is “Open Shop”. This is industry code for anti-union, a term spun from the Merit Shop organization of construction company owner devoted to breaking the Union whenever possible. He claims he will employ union carpenters, but in fact, has consistently refused to employ any of our members when they seek employment with Spears Framing.
Mr. Spears suggests in his letter that his wage package is as much as our Union Agreement. The Union’s position is, by taking wages out of competition, our members don’t have to compete with one another, thus driving down wages in the process. Everyone in the industry knows that construction unions set the standard for the highest wages offered.
As for union dues, our members know that their dues go towards supporting our organization that offers them training, wage protection, legal representation to collect unpaid wage and resolve workplace disputes, job referrals both locally and nationally. Even international job referrals come through our offices.
Finally, I wish to comment on workplace safety. Mr. Spears reports that he is proud of his safety record while employees working for sub-contractors on site report to us that his sites are rife with unsafe conditions.
Thank you for your interest in our efforts.Yours truly,
Peter GreerCARPENTERS UNION
By Peter Greer