Message from Art Esparza, chair of the Carpenters’ P.J. McGuire Group on the Crisis in the PNW Carpenters Council

Note: Oaklandsocialist has carried numerous articles and videos of the struggle of carpenters in Western Washington to win a good contract. That struggle was basically a war on two fronts: Against both the contractors and the union leadership. That struggle and the inability of the council leadership, including its executive secretary treasurer Evelyn Shapiro, to fully control the membership has led the International President Doug McCarron to step in and take control over the council. It seems that the reason was reports of vote rigging in the last membership ratification vote of the last tentative agreement. Among other things, McCarron has reportedly confiscated all cell phones of all the business agents, possibly to find out who was communicating with whom.  The opposition was led by the opposition caucus called the Peter J. McGuire Group. For more on these events, scroll down on this blog site. Here, the chair of that group, Art Francisco Esparza, sends a public message:

Art Esparza speaking at rally

Dear Carpenters Family, and the family in other unions and trades,

The resignation of the criminal Evelyn Shapiro, the removal of the criminal contract administrator Dan Hutchins, the dissolving of the criminal council Executive Board involved in massive voter fraud over the contract shows that the Peter J. McGuire Group, our vision, tactics, and strategy were on the right side of history that serves the working carpenter and the working class as a whole.

Peter J. McGuire Group members and supporters have put their necks on the line, risking their union membership, and sacrificing their paychecks to demand a stronger contract, to demand an effective strike, and to demand real accountability for the union bosses who should be replaced with union leaders. I am incredibly proud of all of you, and humbled to be at your service.

We have out organized the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters.

We brought a tremendous amount of national attention onto the betrayal of the members–and we brought about a decade of change in a matter of weeks. We are not going away. We are here to stay!

We are the only organization in the entire Pacific Northwest representing working carpenters. We intend to continue to grow and expand our reach with the help of committed brothers and sisters in other parts of the country.

It is time for all of our political opponents within the union and other trades, those on the fence, those who doubted us, to admit we were right and they were decidedly in the wrong. It is time for the supporters of the council who supported a criminal conspiracy to sabotage the interests of carpenters; to admit they were complicit, to resign their positions, and admit that we in the Peter J. McGuire Group have promoted the right kind of leadership for the Carpenters Union. We will expose and defeat the union bosses who pose as leaders while shilling in the interests of the employers.

McGuire Group carpenters in action. “Here to stay”.

The Peter J. McGuire Group is the only Carpenters organization in the country that has highlighted in its foundational platform that we believe our class interests as workers are opposed to the class interests of business owners.

The executive committee of the regional council acts like good puppy dogs and asks McCarron to take over.

Let there be no illusions, the International of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ decision to fight corruption in our region is a tactical decision, not one based on principle. We at the Peter J. McGuire Group call for a full investigation of the entire regional council, and all of its staff, in every state. If there is any criminal wrong doing, if there is any corruption, we demand to know about it immediately. We call for the confiscation of all electronics for investigation of every business agent in the regional council who was involved the Western Washington contract negotiations and strike. We call for a transparent investigation with weekly public press conferences by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. We also call for the direct elections of all council positions, delegates, and elections of business agents. We want the UBC to provide any necessary training for newly elected positions and to aid in building a democratic provisional administrative team. We firmly oppose any attempt to merge the PNW Carpenters with any other Regional Council.

Doug McCarron, second from right at the table. Here hanging out with workers’ public enemy #1, Donald Trump

We also call on the UBC to use its legal resources to investigate into the validity of the AGC Western Washington Agreement now that significant voter fraud has been discovered, and that Section 39(A) of the Regional Council’s bylaws was not followed, which gives the bargaining unit of Carpenters in Western Washington the right to vote on a collective bargaining agreement by secret ballot.

We also call on all Carpenters both apprentices and journeymen to attend union meetings in November. These will the most important union meetings of your career, and if you have never been to one, its time to go. We need to demand that we as union carpenters have a say in rebuilding the council to be not only democratic, but in also the direction forward. McCarron is likely going to try and keep us under trusteeship and tighten his grip on us through either direct control by cronies (like Shapiro), or by merging us with another Regional Council. Its up to all of us working carpenters to oppose that direction! It is time for working carpenters in the Pacific Northwest to control the Pacific Northwest from the bottom up!

Thank you all for your continued support! Thank you for your efforts in winning this important victory! Lets continue the fight for a better union and a better future for our families and eachother!

In Solidarity,

Arthur Francisco Esparza

Chair of the Peter J. McGuire Group

Carpenters Local 30

Wednesday October 27

WW Locals (If you’re in the PNW please attend your local meetings! Speak out!) Oaklandsocialist adds: The only ones who can be relied upon to really investigate these matters is a rank and file committee elected by the membership itself. At its root lies the fact that the union is run on the policies that the union and the unionized contractors are part of the same team and, therefore, nothing must be done to weaken their control over the workers or lower their profits. For more on this, see “What Happened to Our Unions?

Art Esparza

Categories: labor

3 replies »

  1. Yea .Once again I would be interested to see any proof of the above statements by Art. Also would like to know how he has this information while nobody else seems to. He has stated ,”The resignation of the criminal Evelyn Shapiro, the removal of the criminal contract administrator Dan Hutchins, the dissolving of the criminal council Executive Board involved in massive voter fraud over the contract” Has he viewed any official Statement from the International that no one else has been given??Was there any official notice that the Eboard was removed by the parent Union. If the Eboard was removed then so was the EST and she could not have “resigned” the position. Art has now admitted that McCarron was invited to come in and has seized the council at the invitation of some members who must know they have let the fox in the hen house. It seems they do not care about the consequences to the council, its locals or the membership by allowing McCarron in.Art has also declared this is all about “massive voter fraud over the contract” .Yet the statement issued by the council declares the trusteeship is in regards to “election” vote rigging the council representatives uncovered. If it was contract vote fraud these representatives would be the ones who committed the fraud and surely would be calling for an independent investigation. Further per the UBC Constitution and the LMRDA the only way the UBC could impose a Trusteeship without a hearing is to declare an emergency situation “”If the General President determines that an emergency situation exists, the General President may appoint a representative to assume trusteeship over any Local Union or Council pending the holding of a hearing and the completion of the proceedings as provided for in this Section” Who is the special Representative. When asked Art has also declared the UBC International Rep Jim Gleason is leading the investigation. How does he have that information. Have you reached out to ether the International or Jim Gleason for comment. Art has stated “McCarron is likely going to try and keep us under trusteeship and tighten his grip on us through either direct control by cronies (like Shapiro), or by merging us with another Regional Council” No kidding .and who has facilitated this by inviting the UBC in?? How about we discuss what the UBC will do and has done to councils put under trusteeship.
    Further despite Arts attempt minimize its importance and to make sure this is all about contract fraud a very important event took place that has ramifications way beyond any contract vote. On October 6,2021 By a vote of 26-1 the Pacific Council Representatives by NLRB vote joined the UFCW and as reps are not members of the UBC but members of the UFCW. What a slap in the face and embarrassment to Douglas McCarron. The fallout form this has not even started. In the UBC by declaration of McCarron once hired as a Council Representatives the UBC member or not they sign a document declaring them at will employees and with no Union representation. How can such a condition even exist??
    McCarron has controlled the actions and votes of Council employees including the Northwest Reps by making them at will employees with no Union. He cannot and will not allow them to be members of any Union let alone the UFCW.In Philly and New Jersey last year the UBC used Covid as an excuse to fire over 100 employees at will employees with no ramifications.” “In order to purge the Union of those who wanted more honesty, accountability, diversity, and inclusion, the Union leaders employed tactics against my clients which included spying, defamation and intimidation,” said Smith. “They were verbally threatened and stalked; tracking devices were surreptitiously hidden on their vehicles; their phones were monitored; and their every movement was scrutinized and questioned
    Members were fired via email and denied access to the building to retrieve personal belongings.

    “On March 27 of last year without warning. What’s more, added Smith, the union continually harassed the dissenters. The retaliation went further. According to the complaint, the union cut the employees’ pay and budgets, demoted them, and forced them to relinquish the passwords to their digital devices. Moreover, the union reassigned the dissenters to distant job sites, significantly adding to their daily commute. In short, the union did everything possible to frustrate these employees into quitting, and when that didn’t work, it fired them.”

    Another aspect of the UFCW vote raises the question of how can UBC Reps that are not members of the UBC but members of the UFCW can ever instruct or control a UBC member.

    Next it raises the issue of dual Unionism. The UBC Constitution Section 42 I declares:
    I No member of the United Brotherhood can remain in or become a member of more than one Local Union, or any other organization of carpenters and joiners, or any mixed union of building trades workers, or any organization whose jurisdictional claims overlap or infringe upon those of the United Brotherhood, under penalty of expulsion

    The UBC obligation declares:” And I further affirm and declare—that I am not now affili¬ated with—and never will join or give aid—comfort—or support to any organization that tries to disrupt the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America or any of its affiliates.”

    The most concerning part for McCarron is that other Rep across the country will follow these Reps and seek representation with the UFCW or others. And trust me others are watching.

    There are ramifications here we have not even fathomed. McCarron could NOT allow the UFCW vote to stand. To end similar conditions previously he has dissolved and merged to eliminate positions and those he is opposed to .Watch how many of these new UFCW Reps are eliminated. Lets watch the response from the UFCW.

    Evelyn Shapiro had a target on her back for failing to control the membership and for the UFCW vote. McCarron was coming into the Pacific Council no mater what .He need to figure out a way in. In my opinion he was hesitant to touch Shaprio because she is female. Doug McCarron is fresh off a lawsuit accusing him of sexual harassment. He certainly did not want Shaprio who has already used this tactic to accuse him of taking her out because she is a woman. Instead he got in by being invited in by those who clearly do not care about the consequences and have sacrificed the council, its locals and its members by inviting the fox into the hen house.
    McCarron and the UBC have proven they do not care about their members and could give a rats ass about the Peter Maguire group. The certainly would not take over a council in Trusteeship over a contract they wanted these members to take to start with and would have forced on them by an International Reps signature if it had failed to pass. The Council has declared this is over election rigging the Council discovered. They were more than capable of investigating this on their own with no trusteeship. Art Esparza would have us believe this is all over the contract vote and the Trusteeship is a result of the Peter Maguire group raising hell all summer insinuating the UBC International was coming to their aid. I say nonsense. What we have here is members pursuing their own agenda giving McCarron the means to take out Shapiro and the UFCW reps. Lets see the official statement the UBC must release and the LM15 they must file with the DOL before we start the rah rah party shall we. Perhaps this is nothing more than McCarrons move to force another merger as he has recently forced on the St Louis District Council.
    Despite the attempts to elevate the contract vote and dismiss the UFCW vote as irrelevant perhaps an unbiased review is in order. Before we accept these statements as facts perhaps we can be provided some documentation as proof. You would think a group who has been demanding transparency would be more than willing to provide proof of their claims. I for one think members have a right it. UBC members certainly do not need another shut up and take my word for it answer.

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