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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Saturday, September 17, 2005 ::

    Job Rules of Carpenters' Union Encourage Corruption, U.S. Charges - By STEVEN GREENHOUSE The New York Times
    Prosecutors say corruption will be easier under the new system because contractors will have more power to pressure unemployed carpenters to do their bidding.

    'Because contractors can handpick virtually 100 percent of the work force at a job site, carpenters are now beholden to contractors for job opportunities,' Mr. Kelley wrote. 'Carpenters who are at the mercy of employers for job assignments know that if they stand up for the enforcement of union rules or legal requirements or refuse to work off the books or for cash when asked by a contractor, they run the risk of being laid off.'

    Many contractors prefer paying workers off the books, he said, to avoid paying fringe benefits and to hide evidence that wages are below those required by the union contract.
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