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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Tuesday, November 08, 2005 ::

    McCarron threatens hostile takeover of BC Carpenters Union - latest news, plus backgrounder
    'Supervision' move threatens carpenter wage increases, union assets

    UBCJA President McCarron in Washington DC is threatening American-style bully tactics to conduct a hostile takeover of the autonomous BC Carpenters Union.

    The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBCJA) sent a letter last Friday to the BC Provincial Council of Carpenters elected President, Len Embree, threatening to impose immediate 'supervision' over the independent BC Carpenters Union, its 7000 members, and their union's assets.

    'This is like a bad Hollywood war movie,' said BC Provincial Council President Len Embree. 'Without any BC membership support or mandate, the UBCJA is invading Canada and trying to muscle control over our smaller independent Canadian union. These Americans plan to invade our Vancouver union offices like we are living in Baghdad.'

    The BC Union has been involved in a long struggle for autonomy from its former parent organization, the UBCJA, also referred to as the 'International.' The cross-border dispute has intensified over the past decade as the International has increasingly interfered with Canadian members' rights to elect their own officers and make autonomous policy decisions in the interests of Canadian workers.

    UBCJA's General President Douglas J. McCarron says he will enact 'emergency powers' to place the BC Carpenters under trusteeship, which is viewed by Embree as, 'a last ditch effort to extract revenge and attempt to steal our members' assets.'

    'What is really sad is that the invasion threatens the ability to finalize construction bargaining for carpenters,' says Pat Haggarty, Secretary-Treasurer of the BC Union, referring to the recent signing of a tentative collective agreement in the construction sector.

    Highlights of the new collective agreement include the removal of compulsory enabling and an increase of $7.50 an hour over the 6-year term of the agreement.

    The BC Union has filed complaints against the UBCJA at the BC Labour Relations Board and expects an injunction against the Americans early this week, before their planned Supervision.

    'Our members have said repeatedly, in vote after vote, that we must do everything necessary to stop this unwarranted and unsupported American takeover,' concluded Embree.
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