Fall 2019 Newsletter
Hello Brothers and Sisters!

2019 has been an incredibly exciting year for us, as we've experienced growth in a number of categories. Please take a long look through this newsletter to learn how we are succeeding in gaining more work for our members and giving them opportunities to create a great quality of life for themselves and their families.
But first, please join me in remembering those construction workers and citizens killed or injured at the New Orleans Hard Rock Hotel construction site accident on Oct. 12, when two cranes toppled and the building partially collapsed. Three people were killed and 30 were injured. The importance of safety can't be stressed enough on any building project. It is our mission to have every member go home in the same health as when they went to work in the morning. Please review our approach to safety, here.
Interior Systems: Yes We Can ATX!
Si Se Puede ATX! Campaign Promotes Growth in Austin
For 138 years, the carpenters union  has protected worker rights by fighting for equality in pay, safe working conditions, shorter work day, healthcare benefits and a dignified retirement for middle-class workers. All of that experience is now centered in Austin, Texas and the Operation Bat Fury campaign, focused on the interior systems industry. We are working every day to help unrepresented drywallers unite and fight with one voice to achieve better wages and working conditions.
The Austin construction industry is experiencing a time of great prosperity, but the wages for workers performing the actual work to literally build Austin haven’t seen that growth. “It’s time for the carpenters whose knowledge, skill and hands that built the wealth of this city to be properly compensated for their role in this prospering economy,” said Alex Ornelas, CSCRC Resource Management Director.

Austin carpenters in this sector make considerably less per hour than their counterparts in Arizona, Colorado, and other surrounding states. “Contractors are prospering equally around the country—why not Austin?” Ornelas said. “The difference between ATX and every other area is that men and women stood together there, and demanded better wages, benefits, and working conditions. They succeeded by uniting together.”

In early February, a movement began with a group of drywallers who became tired of being exploited, underpaid, and overworked. They approached the carpenters union in Austin for help. They asked if anything could be done to better working conditions in the drywall industry. We responded with “Yes We Can ATX!”. The workers then were provided a place to meet and discuss industry issues. Since then, they meet once a month at Local 1266 .

People in downtown Austin and at City Hall witnessed how powerful a message can be delivered when workers come together. Marching in the city streets of Austin and rallying at Austin City Hall were carpenters, elected officials, and other citizens, all of whom spent an afternoon determined to help an overlooked segment of the Austin labor force get the wages and respect they deserve.
July 2019:
Drywaller Wages Rise

By July 2019 workers had been meeting on a monthly basis and the word of standing together, shoulder to shoulder, had traveled throughout the city. Men & women were standing together and were in high demand. Wages began going up, from $18-$19 per hour to $22-$25. Although this is good, it is not guaranteed without a contract, or collective bargaining agreement. Therefore, the fight continues until that can be attained.

November 2019: Coming to the Rescue in San Antonio
On November 11, 2019, dozens of construction workers walked off the job at  CPS Energy   in San Antonio to protest not getting paid. The workers were joined and supported by the carpenters' Si Se Puede ATX! program. By the end of the day, many workers received payment. Learn more.
Healthcare Construction: Protecting the Vulnerable
We Get it - So Patients Don't!

One of hottest areas in construction is in the healthcare sector and the UBC is leading the way with proprietary Healthcare Construction training program. It's important, because more than 100,000 people die every year from hospital-acquired infections.

In our Council . we are leveraging the momentum to educate healthcare professionals across the South about how a CSCRC carpenter can protect the staff and patients of a healthcare facility during a building project, thanks to specialized training.

We've set up a dedicated website, CSCarpentersICRA.com , where healthcare workers can learn what we offer and sign-up for our ICRA-awareness course. Since launching this industry training program earlier this year, we've held several dozen classes and have collected incredibly positive feedback. Take a look and see how we help protect the most vulnerable in our community.

Scaffolding: Partnering to Reach New Heights
Houston is Ground Zero for Growing Scaffolding Market Share Across the Council

We made great progress in 2019 in gaining more scaffolding work for our members with PCI, one of the largest employers in this sector (200 construction/150 industrial). After several meetings with PCI officials, EST Engels , and UBC Southern District Vice President Dennis Donahou , a partnership was formed. In April, we staffed our first boiler job in Jewett Texas! Our members did such an outstanding job in Jewett, hat in June, the UBC and PCI had a new agreement and new benefit plan. The teamwork continues, as we work with PCI on recruitment, evaluations, and the hire-in process.

Industrial Report: Hitting the Ground Running!
Here We Grow Again!

The Central South Carpenters Regional Council is proud to welcome nearly 1,300 brothers and sisters into our organization from the industrial sector! These fellow members were formerly in the Carpenters Industrial Council. Since then, they have been on fire!
One of most stunning victories logged by our industrial brothers and sisters was an arbitration victory for a brother. Drew Whittington recently won his arbitration case against West Fraser Huttig in Arkansas. Drew will get reinstated and will get 14 months back pay. Drew said he never gave up and knew justice would prevail. He would like to thank everyone who didn’t give up on him.

Drew (center) is seen here with Union Steward James Manning (left) and Local President Carlos Perry (right).
Here's a rundown of more victories that are helping to grow our industrial program:

  • Employees of West Fraser lumber mill in Leola, Arkansas voted to form a union under the UBC. Since then, Council reps and Council leadership have been hard at work bargaining a contract for wages, benefits, and working conditions.

  • The Central South Carpenters represented members at Freeman for many years under Local Union 429 in Arlington, TX. Recently, EST Jason Engels and Assistant to the EST Kavin Griffin negotiated helpers into their new contract, all of whom are now proud members of Local Union 724. 

  • At the Georgia Pacific plywood and studmill facility in Taylorsville, MS, Members focused on initiating a Membership Action Committee and mobilizing members throughout the facility to actively engage in organizing their workplace. Dozens of members have been signed up by the collaborative efforts put forth by both the Council and Local Union 2086 Membership Action Committee.
Political Report: Winning One Race at a Time
A Big Political Win Highlights 2019

What better shot of momentum to prepare for the 2020 election season than helping John Bel Edwards earn re-election as Louisiana's governor. Mr. Edwards, a great friend of union labor, faced a formidable opponent who is not a friend of union labor. Governor Edwards (seen here with EST Engels (left) and Council President Dwayne Young (right) was the keynote speaker at the Council's August Delegate meeting .

A key strategy in helping this campaign was phone banking. Here’s a big shout-out and thanks to these Local 1846 members who stepped-up and worked a phone bank to support the Edwards re-election campaign (left to right): Wilfrido Mendez, Salvador Gonzalez, Devin Turner, Willie Thompson, Canaan Clanton, Lars Charles, and John Halby.
Tax Fraud: Let's Stop It!
Did you know that there is a terrible epidemic in the construction industry that regularly steals money right beneath your nose? A growing number of construction contractors are tax cheats. They pay their employees off the books or, less often, wrongly classify them as independent contractors. Many use labor brokers to get away with it. We see it out in the field every single day.

The UBC is taking an incredibly aggressive stance to fight Tax Fraud and the Central South Carpenters are right in step. Not only did we participate in the first UBC Tax Fraud Day of Action in 2019, but we are already strategizing for a bigger push in 2020.

Led by UBC Southern District Vice President Dennis Donahou, the CSCRC will join other councils within the Southern District for a combined effort to stop tax fraud in our District's 11 states. Look for much more to come on this, especially as Tax Fraud Day of Action 2020 approaches.

But - don't wait until then! Get involved now. Go to StopTaxFraud.net and learn about this issue and ways you can get involved. This isn't something that's happening to "the other guy." It is happening to you, and you may not even know it. We will fight for you, but we will fight even stronger if you join us.
Members On the Move
From the top leadership to our first-year apprentices, it's the people of our Council who fuel our success and growth. Here are just a few 2019 highlights...

EST Engels Unanimously Re-Elected

Congratulations to our Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Jason B. Engels , a member of Local 1098 , for being unanimously re-elected to another four-year term as Executive Secretary-Treasurer.

Mr. Engels collaborates daily with business, labor and industry to create a safe, productive, professional workforce that makes the region’s construction community more competitive and creates opportunities for a rewarding career that supports a good quality of life. Mr. Engels is also steering an aggressive recruitment campaign to attract and train more skilled carpenters to the area to address manpower opportunities in the industrial, infrastructure and commercial industry sectors.

Mr. Engels is a native of Louisiana, resides in Baton Rouge and attended Louisiana State University. He earned the position of Executive Secretary-Treasurer to lead the Central South Carpenters in 2004 by making his way through the ranks as a professional carpenter. He is well known in the construction community for his sound leadership, business acumen, and technical proficiency. 
New Slate of Council Officers Installed in 2019

Congratulations also to our new slate of council officers (shown below), who were unanimously elected in August. They are (left to right): Gary Warren, trustee; Ray Calamari, executive committee; Charles Davis, trustee; Alex Ornelas, warden, Kavin Griffin, vice president; Jason Engels, executive secretary-treasurer; Dwayne Young, president; John West, executive committee; Jeremy Hughes, trustee; Doug Wilkinson, executive committee. Not pictured is Troy Jupiter, conductor.
Delegates Keep Council Business Moving Forward
The foundation of our Council is our Council delegates. Take a look at who they are and, be sure to thank them when you see them around your Local Union.
New Member Leaders Emerge in 2019

Hundreds of our brothers and sisters took the time and put forth the commitment to become member leaders this year. These 3rd Year Apprentices, 300-Hitter Journeymen and an advanced group of 212 Journeymen leaders all successfully completed the intense training program offered only at the UBC's International Training Center . Take a look at who our Council member leaders are, here.

Special recognition is sent out to Oklahoma Local 329 , the leaders of which keep the momentum of this leadership training moving forward when these newly-trained member leaders get back home. Check it out.
From Mississippi through Texas, our members got it done in 2019 on the jobsite, at industry events to promote union labor, and in their local union halls. The momentum gives us a lot to look forward to in 2020. Take a look...
Training: The Driving Force Behind ALL Growth
We're Going Green for Union Jobs in Austin!

A joint effort among the CSCRC , American Youthworks, and Austin employers has earned the group a $50,000 grant to enact a proposal to train and employ dozens of Austin’s at-risk youth for careers in the green energy construction industry!

CSCRC’s training arm, the  Texas Carpenters and Millwrights Training Trust Fund , and its longtime project partner, the American Youthworks YouthBuild Program, are leading the way in this effort. Learn more about this great program!

Louisiana Attracts Tomorrow's Members via Career Connections

Louisiana's training program does an outstanding job in leveraging the UBC's wildly successful Career Connections program to attract tomorrow's members. The St. Tammany Parish School District is the latest to begin offering Career Connections to all carpentry students this year, and will further the program in 2020. This is another big win for the program and signatory contractors. This is the fifth school district using Career Connections in the New Orleans area.

The LA staff are also working closely with the East Baton Rouge Parish School District during their transition from NCCER to our Career Connections program for high schools. Students that complete this program will receive advanced credit for apprenticeship.
In the Spring of 2020, from JANUARY-MAY, there will be a need for more than 800 carpenters with a scaffold card, OSHA 10 and a red badge for nuclear plant work. If you have never been in a nuclear plant and are interested in getting a red badge, please call your local council representative for more details.  NOW would be a great time to get your red badge , which you can do if you have a clean record. Learn more.
Paving the Way in Russellville
Plans are in the works to build a new $5 million training center in Russellville, Arkansas! The facility, part of the Arkansas/Oklahoma Carpenters Apprenticeship & Training Program , will house state-of-the-art equipment, new classrooms, and a comprehensive shop area to prepare both carpenters and millwrights for the demands of our employers. Much more to come on this project!
There's never a dull moment in any of our training centers. Here's a recap of just some of their outstanding efforts in 2019:

Stay Trained.
Stay Employable.
There is no shortcut to being the best carpenter you can be.

It all begins with training.

We have the classes, facilities, staff and resources - all supported by the UBC's $200 million annual training program - to help you be the best you can be. And when you're at the top of your game, you are in-demand on the job site.

Did you know there is a FOR MEMBERS section on our website dedicated to help brothers and sisters, or their families, get the resources he or she needs quickly? Know where to go - use the For Members section often for info on....
Our brothers and sisters lost in 2019 will always be remembered and honored. They are (years of service in parenthesis):
Local 14: S. Gooden (71), Hubert McFatridge (48), Pedro Olivarez (52)
Local 329: Elmer Bobbitt (49), B. Thomas (63), Lee Vickers (66)
Local 429: B. Toon (76)
Local 551: Lewis Cotto (71), Daniel Knotts (50), Paul Oakes (64), James Roane (24), W. Wood (65), Thomas York (48)
Local 665: Floyd Adlong (36), William Butler (67), Ray Hughlett (70), Jerrel Mulkey (47), David Stillman (68)
Local 690 : June Skinner (53)
Local 943: Mark Nunn (42), Edwin Orpin (52)
Local 1098: Lester Myers (63), Roy Myers (44), Roy Reed (60), Hobert Smith (55), Provosty Tassin (51)
Local 1266: Jesus Garcia (19), Oscar Puckett (66)
Local 1836: Glennard Brown (49)
Local 1846: Danny Bingham (28), M Faucheux, Jr. (52), Frank Lawson (44), Wilber Navarre (65), Kirk Reulet (38), Sidney Sanford (43), Walter Tate, Sr. (10)