[Marxism] Carpenters union backstabs other trades, cuts its own members pay

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Wed Oct 24 19:14:57 MDT 2018

A hugely contentious issue has been roiling the building trades unions in
New York City for quite some time. That is the Hudson Yards construction
project, which I understand is the largest construction project in the
country. As I understand it, the first phase was completed union, but now
the plans are to go non-union with the second phase. All the building
trades had gotten together to try to fight it, but the carpenters union
leadership had gone behind the backs of the other unions and signed an

This is happening while there has been a marked increase in non-union
construction throughout the city, traditionally one of the strongholds of
the building trades.

Under the terms of the agreement, carpenters will take about a 10% pay cut.
The head of the district council of carpenters commented, “The New York
City construction market is evolving, the District Council will continue to
innovate to ensure our members meet the needs of the market.” In other
words, this will be repeated throughout the city. This is the inevitable
consequence of the entire policy of the carpenters (and the building trades
in general and, truth be told, the entire labor movement) to help "their"
contractors compete with the non union contractors. In reality, this means
union carpenters competing with non-union carpenters for who can make a
greater profit for the employer. In that case, what's the point of having a
union at all?

The policy has been a devastating failure as witness this disaster at
Hudson Yards. If the Carpenters can't reverse the flow of non-union
construction during a massive building boom, what will happen in the next


John Reimann
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook

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