The Gangsters Fall Out Amongst Themselves

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(Right photo: Doug McCarron – second from left – and his mob; left photo: Chicago gangsters)

Doug McCarron, president of the carpenters union, has always led the union leadership in backwardness, selfishness, narrow-minded pro-corporate attitudes, etc. He split the AFL-CIO over ten years ago in order to be free to raid the other building trades. In an act of nepotism typical of his self-serving attitude, he had his brother installed as the head of the biggest Carpenters’ regional council – the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. That’s why I was surprised when I heard that he recently put that council into receivership and ousted his brother over corruption in that council. What was happening?

It turns out that that the McCarron’s mother died recently and left a $2 million estate. Evidently the two brothers are squabbling over their inheritance and Doug is using his position as Carpenter Union president against his former ally turned rival, Mike. (We should note that some years earlier, McCarron was one of those union presidents who tried to profit off of an investment in the Union Labor Life Insurance – ULLICO. What he did was put the ill-gotten gains in his mother’s name. So maybe he’s done that with other money and he figures “it’s my money, why should I give any to Mike?” For more on that, see the pamphlet linked to below.)

Watching such carryings on can be pretty demoralizing for union members, especially members of the Carpenters Union. But we have to realize that the Brothers McCarron represent something: There is a direct link between their corporate personal values (“enrich yourself”) and their pro-employer politics. Doug McCarron always saw the union as little but an employment agency for the employers. He believes that the way to advance the union is to make hiring union carpenters more profitable for the contractors. But the only way to do that is to cut wages, which is what McCarron has encouraged.

He got this view from his association with the likes of financier Richard Blum and contractor Ron Tutor. He also gets his personal values from them.

McCarron is not so different from the rest of the union leadership; he’s only a little more blatant. For those who are interested in reading more about Doug McCarron and the Carpenters Union, we suggest this pamphlet – “What Happened to Our Unions?”.

Categories: labor

10 replies »

  1. How in the blue hell did their mom end up with a $ 2 million estate?

    Before they were union officials, Doug McCarron was a houseframer, his brother Mike was an LAPD Police Officer. Neither one of those are big money jobs.

    Did they use their mom to launder the payoff money or something?

    • Good question. No way for us to know for sure, but one possible explanation could lie in Doug McCarron’s dealings with Ullico (Union Labor Life Insurance). Ullico was set up by the AFL-CIO back in the 1920s or so. It had a peculiar stock sale plan, whereby value of its stock was set by the board of directors. Back in the roaring ’90s, the value of the stock took off, and the AFL-CIO invited various union presidents to buy stock. Much of Ullico investment was in Enron stock. When Enron collapsed, this lowered the real value of Ullico stock. Before the stock value was lowered, union presidents were invited to sell back their stock at an inflated value. McCarron was one of those who did so. The whole deal was so rotten, that he and other union presidents eventually had to return their ill-gotten gains.

      What does this have to do with McCarron’s mother?

      Doug had tried to hide his trade by putting the stock in his mother’s name. So the question is, what else had he put in her name?

      Note: That history, as well as a general discussion of McCarronism is explained in this pamphlet.

  2. General Electric has a plant in California. the workers wages are $20 more per hour than in Arizona . what do they do? they have 2 options- be more productive or reduce wages. its pretty clear. nobody wants to reduce wages but if you have a great CBA and you cant get any work with it what good is it? for anybody to believe that construction unions are not hiring halls what do you think they are? a contractor needs a guy, they are signed to a CBA, who do they call? the union to supply them with men. how is that any different than a company who needs a secretary they call a hiring service and they send one. shouldn’t hiring union carpenters be more profitable for the contractors? if they are not profitable then they cannot bid the next job and hire union carpenters… what am I missing? the mother dyeing is just a smokescreen.

    • I have seen “Joe Jackson’s” comments in debates on Facebook. He is a representative of the Carpenters’ Union hierarchy, and he puts their position very clearly here. Unfortunately, it amounts to nothing more than the position of the contractors – and all employers – carried into the unions by the official hierarchy. According to this view, the unions are not collective organizations built by workers to keep their raise their wages and working conditions by refusing to work for less than set standards. According to his view, which he clearly expresses here, the union is nothing but an employment agency, in competition with other employment agencies.

      The answer to McCarronism is that the unions have to link up a struggle for better contracts with a struggle to organize the unorganized. But this means really organizing workers, not appealing to employers. McCarronism has been a disastrous failure in the Carpenters Union. Even during the ’90s, when construction was expanding at a record pace, when employment was full and overflowing – even then, the Carpenters were not able to expand the percentage of work that was done union.

      What “Joe Jackson” is saying here, what McCarronism stands for – as well as the rest of the top union gangsters — it gives a very real meaning to what these types were called over 100 years ago: “the labor lieutenants of capital”. That is, the representatives of the employers inside the labor movement.

  3. Joe in a nutshell your missing the boat. I suggest you go back to school, learn how to think critically and then on to some union history. Of course don’t forget spelling, grammar, and punctuation. At best this would tend to support your lame arguments. If you are a shill for the union leadership then you are doing a great job of that… as many of us already know how foolish, shortsighted and uneducated you are.

    • In the interests of having an open forum, we allowed this comment to be published. Generally, however, no matter how ridiculous the arguments, it’s best not to comment on spelling, grammar, etc. After all, a lot of people in the US lack formal education but have been to the college of the streets.

      • But as a shill for union management I expect a lot more! Really! If this hogwash is all they got, then why aren’t we winning? At least I pledge never to resort to name calling and abusive language as Mr. Jackson has continually done in the past. Unashamed, I stand by my previous comments.

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