Labor picketers return to Doc Burnstein’s

March 3, 2010

Labor picketers from the Carpenters Union are resuming their protest of Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab, despite last Friday’s union demonstration of support for the Arroyo Grande shop.

“It’s hard to believe that the banner is back out again today,” said store owner Greg Steinberger, referring to the large banner that has been on display in the Village since late October.

Hundreds of people lined up last Friday afternoon for free ice cream, courtesy of the AFL-CIO and other trade unions, trying to make up for the actions of the rogue Carpenters Union.  Their protest stems from a dispute involving alleged labor practices at the Santa Maria Mall where a second Doc Burnstein’s is scheduled to open. Steinberger continues to insist that he merely is renting space in the mall and has no say in hiring practices.

“I agree with Congressman Kevin McCarthy, who told me it will take national attention for these guys to wake up and see how detrimental their actions are,”  Steinberger said.

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Does the rank and file carpenter realize that they have no one to back them up? None of the construction unions back them up or the majority of those unions members, not even their union leadership cares what happens to them. Dear rank and and file union carpenter, WAKE UP and think for yourselves. The carpenters union was once a decent organization and you are letting it go to hell. The carpenters union has waged a war on everyone “Doc” so don’t feel so privileged.

Here is another website from youtube on how McCarron’s Carpenters treats the membership:

In Canada, McCarron informed the membership he was unilaterally removing their democratic rights, the video illustrates what happened.

This is what the McCarron family has done to us

The following are additional telephone numbers for Mike McCarron’s Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, LA is the mother office:

LA-(213) 385-1457

Phoenix-(602) 272-2700

Las Vegas-(702) 531-1800

This is an interesting site talking about the Carpenters

Here is another:

This is what the Carpenters in Canada think about the McCarrons:

Let’s get something straight, WE Carpenters are not Yellow Dog Union members, WE do get to vote on our contracts. I’m perplexted as to why the AFL-CIO and the Building Trades Dept consider The United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, a Yellow Dog Union.

We are the Union that help start the AFL, WE are the Union that fought for the Weekend, WE are the Union that YOU of the Building Trades threw out twice. That’s right YOU threw us out! And just as you did here in Portland OR in 2007, when YOUR Unions had your International Reps walk your members across picket lines, you do it again in California. How sad.

What ever happened to “A Picket is a Picket, WE don’t cross Picket lines”

The Carpenters Union is trying to bring to the publics attention how unscrupulus contractors tear down living wages with benefits & retirement for ALL TRADES.

I’ll not stand by and watch YOU tear down MY Union, Nor will I Cross Your Picket Lines.

I was brought up to respect ALL Unions, not those that must be under the control of the AFL-CIO.

Remember ” Solidarity Forever”

Wake up and stand for the working

hem1053 states “WE Carpenters are not Yellow Dog Union”, OK then explain the Pacific Rim Drywall agreement that allows contractors to pay below non-union wages at 8 cents a square foot and less, as long as the Regional Council gets its dues check-off from the workers pay check, just explain that?

Explain the “residential” agreements throughout the west coast that have been forced on the membership by Mike McCarron without a vote of the membership. We are told it is only for residential but it also covers all high rise apartments and hotels. It also undercuts the drywall finishers and demands that any contractor using it give a portion of the drywall finishers wage to the Regional Council and force the drywall finishers into the Carpenters. When we asked the Regional Council we were told that it wasn’t for us (the white guys), but for the Mexican members as they were willing to work for less. So now the contractors want that rate on all jobs.

hem1053 states” We are the Union that help start the AFL” Sam Gompers was not a member of the UBC. If you are speaking of Peter McGuire, he was the first Secretary though. This was a coalition of many trade Unions and while it is true that McGuire was an important figure in early American Labor movement it was not the UBC that created it. McGuire believed so much in the need for the Federation that he worked diligently with other Unions to peaceably resolve issues such as jurisdictional issues. The McCarrons have done the opposite and drove a wedge between the membership of the UBCJA and the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win Coalition.

It should also be noted that the leadership of the early Carpenters had McGuire indicted for embezzling Union funds and McGuire was expelled from the Carpenters Union and died four years later from alcoholism.

hem1053 states that the Carpenters were thrown out of the AFL-CIO but fails to explain why. One of the purposes of the Federation is to establish a forum where disputes between Unions can be settled in a fair and impartial manner. Each expulsion was caused by the leadership of the Carpenters rejecting this mechanism whenever it did not conform to their demands. Simply, the misguided leaders of the Carpenters wanted a deal where their point of view was the only point of view that mattered, this is not democracy but a dictatorship.

As far as helm1053 assertion that a “picket is a picket” and invoking “solidarity” this is a joke. Since the McCarron family seized control of the Carpenters, the Carpenters have not respected any other Union’s jurisdiction or any other Union’s picket lines. As for Portland helm1053 does not realize the point of contention that lead to a strike was not money or conditions but rather a demand made by the Regional Council that the signatory Drywall Contractors abrogate their relationship with the Drywall Finishers and force those employees into the Carpenters Union. Those construction workers affected by the Regional Council’s demands didn’t need to have “International Reps” lead them across the picket lines, they did it on their own. They did it because they did not agree with McCarron and believed that they, the employees, should be able to choose what Union they belonged to.

Since the McCarron family seized control our rights to vote on contracts have been removed, I was in Las Vegas when the membership rejected the contract proposal and Mike McCarron came to town and told us we didn’t have a voice anymore and we would live with what was given to us, like it or not. Since the McCarron family seized control we are no longer allowed to vote on our Local Business Representatives, rather delegates, the majority of them being employees of the Regional Council and not working carpenters are the only people that get to vote.

If the Carpenters Union leadership were truly honest trade unionist and not a pack of predators who have transformed the UBCJA into a business why have they chosen to be outside of the house of labor? The McCarrons left both the AFL-CIO and the Change to Win Coalition rather than be subject to the internal dispute resolution mechanism which would prohibit the McCarrons from raiding other Unions.

If Mike McCarron was honest why do these picket signs say Local 150 when we know that the action was undertaken by the Regional Council, the signs and banners paid for by the Regional Council, the Organizer paid by the Regional Council and the picketers who are paid below area standards without any benefits are paid and controlled by the Regional Council?

We were a Union, now we are just a yellow dog Union, bullies and cowards who are not willing to hold our leadership responsible for creating this sad state of affairs.

I believe that McCarron’s Carpenter’s help illustrate my previous points. The action on the part of Mike McCarron to order the bannering of Doc Burnstein’s less than one week after representatives from the AFL-CIO, Building and Construction Trades Council and the Change to Win coalition publically denounced the actions taken by the McCarron family.

It should be clear that the McCarron family not only supports politicians who oppose the goals of the broader Labor movement but that he is willing to use his business, The Carpenters Union, in an effort to discredit all Unions. McCarron understands that the public does not differentiate between a yellow dog Union such as the Carpenters and legitimate Union. McCarron’s actions are being taken not to improve the lives of working people but to destroy the Labor movement.

Everyone should ignore the Carpenters pleas, The State should investigate McCarron’s actions in paying the employees in cash to banner, and everyone should call the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters at either, or both, (661) 334-1506 & (213) 385-1457 and let them know how you feel about Mike McCarron’s actions

Great fact-filled comment.

Does McCarron somehow benefit from us calling the Regional Council?

Does his standing in his battles improve because he is a bigger thorn?

I do not want to make the call if that is the case. In fact, I kind of do not want to make the call at all because this showmanship is doing so much to undermine unions generally, and I cannot help but think that’s kind of a good thing.

The Carpenters organization is ran by Doug McCarron who seized control of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters without a direct vote by the membership. Doug McCarron installed his brother Mike McCarron as the Business Manager/Executive Secretary of the Southwest Regional Council.

The McCarron family restructured the Carpenters shortly after gaining control of the organization. The McCarron’s took all decision making power away from the Local Unions, took away the members rights to vote on contracts, took away the members rights to directly elect representatives and prohibited Local Unions from engaging in any action independent of the Regional Council.

Though the people that are engaged in the bannering are identified as Local 150 people they are not, rather they are paid by and directed by Mike McCarron’s Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters.

The Regional Council uses the Local Union identifier simply to distance the individuals at the Regional Council from having to take responsibility for actions such as this. Another reason why the Regional Council uses the Local Union identifier is to exploit a federal loophole that does not require an employer to pay employment taxes and file reports on individuals being paid less than $600 a year by a labor organization.

As the vast majority of people engaged in the Carpenters actions are not truly Carpenters but temorary employees, these employees can be shifted on paper between Local Unions as the Locals employees thus allowing McCarron to pay these individuals in cash. Labor Organizations are also heavily regulated by the Department of Labor and by using this scam it allows the Regional Council to avoid reporting these employees on Form LM2. If these temp workers were reported on form LM2 the Regional Council would be required to perform background checks and comply with the Langrum Griffin Act which bars undocumented workers and felons from working for Labor organizations.


This is why a call to Local 150 is a waste of time as it is the Regional Council that controls these activities.

AG residents have ringside seats to watch the union’s influence bleed out onto the sidewalk. Watch your step as you go by.