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Carpenters Support Down Syndrome Awareness Event

Dan Sivertson, member of Millwrights & Pile Drivers 1090, and his family have a special reason they celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. He and his wife found out their daughter would be born with Down Syndrome 13 years ago. The two quickly made a connection with the local organization, The Up Side of Downs. The organization helped by providing them with support in learning about Down Syndrome and with books to guide them through the diagnosis.

The Up Side of Downs truly made an impact in their lives and they are forever grateful for the support. Their daughter Eve is now 13 years old thriving in the 7th grade. Eve is just like any other teenage girl and loves the time she spends with her friends!

In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, the IKORCC would like to shine a light on an organization we take pride in supporting. The IKORCC was fortunate to be a Presenting Sponsor for The Up Side of Downs Gala/Raffle event on Saturday, March 10th for the fifth year in a row.

Between Carpenters Locals 373, 435 and Millwrights and Pile Drivers Local 1090 we have donated over $50,000 to the organization to help raise awareness and advocate for people with Down Syndrome. Over 570 people attended the Up Side of Downs Gala, 120 of them were IKORCC members.

“I can’t thank my fellow Brothers and Sisters of these Locals for their generous support and donations,” Dan Sivertson says.

If you interested in supporting the cause, there is a Buddy Walk on August 25th. Last year there were over 5,000 plus attendees at the event. Dan Sivertson in a leader of the beli-EVE N US Team and typically has around 75-100 family and friends walk together for the cause.

Apprentice Finds Career & Stability with Carpenter’s Union

carpenter, carpenter jobs, trainingIt wasn’t too long ago when Dave Morrow struggled to find construction work to help support his family. Construction and struggle were a family trade – a fact Dave desperately wanted to change.

Dave grew up in a strictly non-union family, never truly seeing the benefit of belonging. But when times were tough and his brother Steve Morrow of Local 200 joined the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and found success, Dave decided it was time to change his trajectory too.

The small leap he took to join the union, made a huge difference in his family’s life. Today, Dave Morrow is a  3rd year carpenter apprentice with a promising future. Work is steady, school is going well and Dave recently completed four days of intensive training at the Carpenter’s International Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Apprenticeship Leadership Training Program

During the 3rd Year Apprentice Program in Las Vegas, top apprentices gain a greater understanding of the Brotherhood and the construction industry, and of the role union members play in the success of both. Participants learn how professionalism, productivity, skill, and attitude contribute to their own success as well as that of their employers.

For Dave, the highlight of the training was a group discussion with UBC President Doug McCarron.  “McCarron didn’t talk to us, he talked with us. This is a man who didn’t forget his roots or where he came from. It was inspiring,” Dave says.

In addition, Dave says he learned a great deal about the union and his own regional council the IKORCC. “I learned that it takes teamwork, hard work and dedication to get this union back to where we once were,” Dave says, adding that he left Las Vegas feeling inspired, motivated and ready to build a brighter future for his family and brotherhood.

“It starts with us – the apprentices. We part of something much greater than construction,” he added.

Union Focus on Career and Family

Dave took his new leadership skills back to the job, where he’s worked for two years. He’s found a new sense of job security and a career that allows him to spend more time with his wife and two young children.

“If you come in and do your job well, you will have work.” Dave says, adding, “I get to be home with my family on the weekends – it’s great.”

Dave Morrow is a proud member of Carpenter’s Local 200 in Columbus, Ohio.

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IKORCC & JATC Add 222 New Journeymen to the Workforce

5200 hours of on the job training, 640 classroom hours, 4 years of dedication and sacrifice – that’s the kind of experience you get when you hire a union journeyman. Carpenters, Ohio Carpenter JourneymanSaturday night, 222 fully trained journeymen and women graduated from the JATC & IKORCC apprenticeship program in Columbus, Ohio.

The graduates are a vital addition to a workforce desperate for skilled tradesmen. Graduates were trained as carpenters, millwrights or floor coverers.

Building America with Skilled Trades

In a speech to graduates, Patrick Reardon, Executive Administrator of Apprenticeship for the Ohio Office of Workforce Development, said IKORCC carpenters are building our future.

“When we think of an elite carpentry workforce here in the United States – it’s everyone graduating in this room,” he said. “Everyone here is building America and we are relying on you to continue to catapult us to the future.”

16 Veterans Graduate through Helmets to Hardhats

16 of the graduates honorably served in our nation’s military and took part in the IKORCC’s Helmets to Hardhats program. Helmets to Hardhats puts vets on a fast track to union apprenticeship and a rewarding career in carpentry after their military service.

State Training Director Vince Wright said, “Thousands of veterans come home to Ohio each year and need new jobs and careers to get started in. I’m proud to say out of our 2,200 apprentices, we have 216 Helmets to Hardhats apprentices.”

Colonel Mark J. Cappone, Assistant Director of Ohio Veterans Affairs, said, “Tonight is a great way to remember the contributions that our vets make to the workforce, to remind us that those who have served have grit, determination, perseverance and they know how to be on a team.”

Colonel Cappone presented a sealed recognition of the apprenticeship program on behalf of Ohio Governor John Kasich at the event. Governor Kasich commended the graduates for their hard work.

Continuous Training Sets Union Carpenters Apart

IKORCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark McGriff also commended the graduates, while offering advice for the future. “When writing the story of your life, make sure no one else is holding the pen,” he said.

“There are so many opportunities in this organization, you have to take advantage of every single one of them,” McGriff added. McGriff and other staff members encouraged new journeymen to keep up with continuous training and serve as role models for apprentices.

A New Generation of Journeymen

New graduate Jacob Weiser, from the Northwest JATC and Local 351, plans to do both. Staff chose Weiser to speak at graduation after recognizing his dedication. “I’ve learned the importance of this apprenticeship and why the training is necessary to push our union and our trade forward,” Weiser said.

Weiser added, “I’m going to keep learning and keep trying to find better ways to get things done. I’m going to give my contractor what he’s paying for – a solid eight hours of carpentry, from a well-trained union journeymen carpenter.”

Congratulations to all graduates! 

Akron Carpenters Donate Fire Alarms to Save Lives

Sound the alarm – members from Local 285 are doing their part to save lives in Akron, Ohio. In the past five years, every fatal house fire in Akron occurred in a home without a functioning fire alarm. To combat this problem members from Local 285, with support from the IKORCC, donated 70 smoke detectors to the Akron Fire Department for residents with financial limitations. This represents the first of what will now be an annual effort on the part of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America to provide smoke detectors to those in need. 

Rossford Carpenters Help Boy Scouts with Soapbox Derby Cars

Get your engines ready! The Erie Shores Boy Scouts raced into the Rossford Training Center for some much-needed help constructing their soapbox derby cars. Over 250 scouts made first cuts to their derby cars thanks to some expert help by carpenters from Local 351 in Ohio. The boys and their families learned basic carpentry skills and had a lot of fun in the process. The scouts plan to race their cars during the Northwest Pinewood Derby on March 24th in Toledo.

Senator Brown proposes anti-wage theft legislation

CINCINNATI, OH – In the wake of Cincinnati becoming the first Ohio city to pass a wage theft ordinance, one of Ohio’s senators is trying to bring the momentum nationwide.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown introduced the Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act Wednesday. The legislation would give workers the right to receive full compensation for all of the work they perform, as well as the right to receive regular paystubs and final paychecks in a timely manner.

It would also provide workers with tools to recover stolen wages and make assistance available to enhance the enforcement of and compliance with wage and hour laws.

The bill was co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.; U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Wage theft occurs when employers refuse to pay workers money that they are owed by withholding pay, tips or overtime.

“When bosses don’t pay their workers what they’re owed, it robs them of money they earned for their hard work and hurts businesses that play by the rules,” Brown said in a news release.

“We must create a system where employers who steal wages are held accountable and workers have the tools they need to recover their wages when they’ve been cheated.”

A 2009 study by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) of nearly 4,500 low-wage workers found that more than 60 percent had been shorted by their employer each week, equivalent to $2,634 per year in unpaid wages. Analysts applying this study to Cincinnati estimate that low-wage workers here lose $52 million per year to wage theft.

Low-wage and immigrant workers are victims of wage theft when they are paid less than the minimum wage, are shorted hours, forced to work off the clock, are not paid overtime or not paid at all. These are pervasive practices across many industries.

Despite complaints about wage theft, Ohio has cut the number of state wage investigators from 15 to five since 2008.  The closest investigator to Hamilton County is located in Dayton, Ohio.

In early February, Cincinnati became the first city in Ohio to pass an ordinance to improve enforcement of existing wage laws.

City Council voted 7-2 for the ordinance. Under the measure, if the city or another agency determines a company has committed wage theft, city officials would be able to have the money returned and the company would be barred from doing business with the city.

During a news conference call Wednesday, Brown was joined by Brennan Grayson, director of the Interfaith Workers Center in Cincinnati, who helped organize support for Cincinnati’s recently-passed wage theft ordinance.

“Sen. Brown’s bill is the type of change we need to begin making things right, to begin restoring dignity to wage earners,” Grayson said.

Under the Ohio Democrat’s proposal, workers would recoup the full compensation that employers have taken from them, create a civil penalty of $2,000 when employers violate minimum wage and overtime protections and  increase the time that employees have to bring a claim for owed wages.

The bill also would make it easier for employees to take collective action to recover their stolen wages and remove the current requirement that employees affirmatively “opt-in” to engage in a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Last November, Brown introduced legislation to take action against employers that misclassify their workers to cheat them out of wages, benefits, and important workplace protections – one of the practices that contributes to wage theft. He has also introduced bills to raise the minimum wage, expand paid sick leave to all workers and support workers’ right to bargain with employers.

Source: Cincinnati.com

Carpenters assemble Valentine’s Day care packages for US Military

In preparation for the upcoming holiday, Local 200 of the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) volunteered to assist in the assembly of Valentine’s Day care packages for military members.

Earlier this year, Brenda Bishop Young of Buckeye Military Families reached out to Local 200 regarding its third annual Operation Sharing Hearts project. The project focuses on assembling and sending 50 Valentine’s-themed care packages to service members who are deployed and stationed overseas.

In addition to presenting Buckeye Military Families with a $500 donation, five Local 200 members and their families were more than happy to assist with Operation Sharing Hearts and dedicated a Saturday and a total of 20 volunteer hours to the project. Assembled at the Local 200 office, eachcare package contained Valentine’s Day cards, candy, batteries, sports and auto magazines, toiletries and small Valentine’s Day cakes.

“I have to thank Local 200 for the use of their office – the facility was perfect for our event,” commented Bishop Young. “The help we received from their members was so awesome! They jumped in and made us feel right at home. I know this is a long-standing relationship we can look forward to in years to come.”

Michael Freeman, IKORCC Representative and Local 200 Recording Secretary and Political Advisor, commented, “We have four veterans in our Columbus office. Having served in the military, it makes me so proud to be involved with an organization that truly cares about our nation’s heroes – veterans and active duty alike. Being stationed away from family and friends can be very tough, and we know how much a small gesture like these care packages will be appreciated. They’re also a small token of our appreciation for everything our military does for our country.”

Buckeye Military Families is the Ohio chapter of Semper-Fi Sisters, which consists of individuals with a loved one who served or is currently serving in the military. Their mission is to support the families of those currently serving, the service member themselves and Ohio veterans.

Senator Brown Reintroduces Fair Playing Field Act

US Senator Brown (OH) appeared with Labor Secretary Tom Perez at a forum in Cleveland to meet with workers who have been victims of payroll fraud. They met with construction, package delivery and other workers who have been denied basic employment protections because they were misclassified as independent contractors or paid off the books.

“We should call this what it is: fraud,” said Sen. Brown. “This is unfair to workers, unfair to businesses that play by the rules, and it must stop.”

At the forum, Sen. Brown announced that he is reintroducing the Fair Playing Field Act. The bill seeks to amend the federal tax code. Previously, the Fair Playing Field Act was blocked in House and Senate committees.

Why should politics matter to you?

American workers have felt a slow decline in their wages since the early 1980s, meaning wage increases have been slightly lower than the cost of living increase. This means less money for groceries, clothing, your children and the everyday essential you may need for raising a family or saving for retirement.

Union wages for the construction industry are no different, except unions have contracts that include wage increase, healthcare and retirement plans. With ongoing training programs for apprentices and journeymen this allows the workers to be more skilled than the nonunion workers. Productivity levels are higher, accidents are lower, and attitudes on job sites are more positive than ever before because of the investments in training by the members and their union. These union contracts are agreements between Labor and Contractors. The more highly skilled workers usually result in better wages, better working conditions and better benefits for their family.

On the other hand, payroll fraud is spreading rampant through the construction industry. This is where unscrupulous nonunion contractors choose to hire hourly workers and pay them cash or as independent contractors (1099s) by not withholding the employee’s state or federal tax deductions, FICA withholdings and Medicare deductions, leaving this responsibility on the workers to pay.

Learn more about payroll fraud

Local Carpenters walk in city’s annual Welcome Santa Holiday Parade

Source:ohio.com

A relentless drizzle and temperatures in the low 40s weren’t enough to knock the Christmas spirit out of about 3,000 parade-goers Saturday morning in downtown Akron.

Spectators lined both sides of Main Street, three or four deep in some places, as more than 75 units slogged through the rain in the city’s annual Welcome Santa Holiday Parade.

Although the event is a longstanding local tradition, there was nothing remotely provincial about it. Among the spectators was a woman from Cleveland Heights who said she makes the trip often because nothing in Cleveland matches up.

“We come here because it’s a very nice family occasion for the Christmas holidays,” said Kathie Demetz. “We have a lot of nice Christmas activities in Cleveland, but we don’t have a nice parade like this.”

She was sitting in a folding chair between her grandchildren, Sammy Grace, 4, and Bear Grace, 2. All three wore Santa caps. Bear wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as the other two, occasionally nodding off in his stroller.

Older kids along the route scampered around in the rain, fishing candy out of puddles.

Parade announcer Jasen Sokol of WAKR (1590-AM) noted early on that the day coincided with the big Ohio State-Michigan football game. His call of “O-H” elicited a boisterous “I-O” response from those near the main stage, located in front of KeyBank, directly across from Lock 3.

Someone else suggested adding a cheer for another hometown favorite. “What about the Zips?” yelled out a woman across the street.

Sokol immediately jumped onboard, pointing out that the University of Akron is bowl-bound after Friday’s win over archival Kent State. The enthusiastic Zip fan also was an out-of-towner — the mother of redshirt freshman Hayden Grover, a long snapper from upstate New York.

Grover’s mother, Kim, and father, Jeff, made the 5½-hour drive not only to watch Friday’s game but also to watch their son sing with Nuance, UA’s all-male a capella group, which took the stage at the close of the parade.

The Grovers have become huge fans of the school and the city.

“We’re thrilled,” said Jeff. “Coach [Terry] Bowden’s done a great job. We’ve fallen in love with the city of Akron and the whole Akron community. It’s been an overall positive experience for our son here.”

Nuance performed briefly before hiking across the street with Santa. Yes, Santa arrived on schedule despite the absence of snow.

Although no reindeer were visible, the hourlong parade included horses and dogs and elves, oh my.

The units spanned the spectrum, from unicyclists to police and fire to private contractors to classic automobiles to public officials to dancers and marching bands of all ages.