NW Carpenters Attend GOTV Conference in Las Vegas
This month over 320 members from across the United States converged on the Carpenters International Training Center in Las Vegas for a three-day conference preparing us for an active and engaging 2020 political season.
Most of the attendees were field carpenters interested in organizing around the upcoming elections at the local, state, and federal levels. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is a non-partisan organization aimed towards one goal–carpenter economics. As UBC Political Director Kyle Makarios put it:
“We don’t do politics to win elections–We do politics to better the lives of our UBC members.”
So what are “Carpenter Economics?”
Carpenter economics are issues that directly impact our members’ ability to obtain work and to thrive as professional union carpenters. They include topics such as:
- Protecting Prevailing Wage
- Opposition to so-called “right-to-work”
- Apprenticeship Utilization
- Infrastructure Spending
- Tax Fraud
During the conference, members were educated on these topics and how they affect their day-to-day lives as union carpenters. By being better informed on these issues, carpenters can take action against legislation that threatens their livelihood and that of their families. It is also a chance to combat misinformation that is often spread through social media–a chance for discussions face-to-face on and off the job site.
Fighting Back Against Against Anti-Union Legislation
320 energized members also received insight on under-reported issues that can have devastating effects on the union’s ability to organize new workers. Favorables rules at the Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have been chipped away at through decisions made by anti-worker board appointees. These rule changes have largely flown under the radar, but have had a significant impact on things like secondary campaigns involving area standards activities, union recognition elections, and our ability to lawfully picket bad employers.
The 2020 election cycle gives organized labor a chance to elect union-friendly politicians who have the ability to appoint new people to boards that could reverse, and possibly strengthen rules that govern organizing efforts.
Focusing on Carpenter issues in 2020
UBC General President Doug McCarron addressed the group on the last day. “Thank you for rolling up your sleeves and doing the hard work to make a successful 2020 election. We have the opportunity to take the future into our own hands!”
2020 is an important election year for labor, as we have the opportunity to make gains that will better the lives of carpenter families, and help us organize.
Whether you vote democrat, republican, or anything in between, it is important to keep our jobs and economics in mind. These days it’s easy to muddy the waters with other issues facing our democracy, but the UBC’s first and foremost concern is how it affects members and their livelihood. That is why the UBC supports politicians that support the work we do for the union and will continue to go to bat for them, no matter which side of the aisle they sit.