Talk:United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

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100 million dollars "disappeared"[edit]

This seems like a major piece of information to be included without a reference:

after 40 million dollars " disappeared " from the Carpenter's International General Fund via questionable loans and real estate investments to family members and friends of the Carpenter's International Executive Board. Knowing that they would be voted out of office at the next National Convention, the Carpenter's International began to consolidate locals into a district council system. Within this new system working Carpenters lost the right to vote on contracts and to vote for their local's Business Agent, thus consolidating all power into the international appointed councils and leaving locals and rank and file members disenfranchised.[1]

The amount was subsequently amended to 100 million dollars. Does anyone have more information on this?--Bookandcoffee 15:17, 1 October 2006 (UTC) I added the parenthetical reference of 90 million because that was my recollection of the documents I reviewed. There were never any loans to family members the issue that brought Paddy Campbell down was when it became known that Paddy’s son was the investment advisor of one of the failed investments they used the fact that Paddy ordered checks issued to those investors without the Treasurers endorsement to place the blame on him in spite of the fact that the investments were approved by the International Executive Board. (Hammerhabit) The restructuring and the loss of the funds have no connection whatsoever so I added the other parenthetical explaining one of the reasons for the restructuring although there were many survival basis’s for shifting power from the Locals to the Councils, demonstrated now that we are the only building craft union that is growing its membership and many of the other trades are trying to restructure similarly. (Hammerhabit)

    • Struck the "wall-to-wall" reference as it appears to be largely either Anti-Union POV or sour-grapes with no researchable evidence it is actually occuring.
    • The diappearance of a large amount of funds from investments made by the Southern California Carpenters Pension Fund appears to have some basis.

Report At least one report that CA Sen. Diane Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum, a trustee of the fund - in conjunction with UBC&J President McCarron and his brother who's title is Advisor and Trustee of "special investments" or some such nepotismistic label - have had a lawsuit filed against them for monkey business that apparently involved some $170 million+ in questionable "investment loans". It appears that Blum was receiving a finder's fee, as much as $200,000 in one case, from the companies receiving investment loans, loans originating from a pension fund he was charged with overseeing and to some companies of which he was an actual principle. While the final numbers are hard to determine, it appears of the $170 million+, aproximately $66-$70 million of those loans were not paid back as a result of bankruptcy on the part of the companies who received those loans. Blum did not return any of his finder's fees to the pension fund. The $40 million dollar figure would actually appear to be an underestimate of the losses & the statement that it "disappeared" from the General Fund would appear to also be misinformation. The losses were suffered from the Carpenters Pension Trust Fund for S. Cal. and the UBC Pension Fund. (Coincidentally, NOT the first time UBC&J President McCarron has gotten caught with his fingers in the cookie jar. Refer to the ULLICO scandal.) Conflict of interest statement: I am a dues paying member of Local 314 of the UBC&J in Madison, WI, however I do not feel that corrupts my integrity on this issue as I have fairly pointed out McCarron's foibles as well as defended another part of the entry as unsustainable. i4 23:37, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

The article on Douglas J. McCarron discusses the missing $100 million at length. Feel free to plagiarize...uh, er, "use another Wikipedia article to supplement this one." - Tim1965 21:19, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

  • I have long opposed McCarren as the head of the UBC&J, and done a significant amount of research into his shady dealings, Tim, and believe me, if I could hang $100M, or better yet even more, around McCarren's neck, I would be the first one to do so.
  • Unfortunately, the BEST reliable documentation I can find leaves the figure around the $66-$70M that I cited earlier. If anyone can come up with a sustainable number higher than that, I'm on board, but in the interest of exactitude, I cannot agree to more than $70M as the amount lost by the SoCal pension fund - NOT the Carpenter's General Fund as stated.
  • Citations on the legal actionsinvolved - including an article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • A blog entry, which I can't give more than a passing nod to with the controversies surrounding the UBC&J these days, pegs the number at $69M. The pensioner is someone who brought suit against Blum, so he should at least have some idea what the legal numbers are.
  • I'm tired of participating in reversion wars, I have provided a couple links for someone with more investment to follow if they care to clean up this totally bogus article, but after a couple run ins with people who think they own pages on Wiki, I only do punctuation and spelling changes. I leave the controversy stuff for people who need a life.i4 22:31, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

05/02/07 - In reaction to Tim's suggestion I "borrow" from other Wikipedia entries on this part of the recent events, I have been researching the "disappearance" of $95M attributed to Paddy Campbell in the 1980s and can find no reliable source, outside Wikipedia itself, to substantiate this story after more than 2 weeks of looking for some record of it. (Longer actually, since I started looking at this back in February). Until a creditable citing can be provided, the "rumor" has no place on this page. There is some documentation on the Blum involvement with some $70M in bad loans out of the SoCal Pension funds, but even those are blog-type sources - though a Federal Court case has been filed alleging Blum's transgressions, which make them somewhat more reliable on their face. The Carpenters are incredibly tight-lipped about their internal problems, and even as a member, I have trouble finding out what goes on outside my own Local and Regional Council. With the large number of members disgruntled about losing contract ratification rights - and I happen to be one of them - it is probable many stories about this impropriety and that inpropriety have been generated. I can attest to the ULLICO scandal McCarron got caught in for $330,000, and the Blum "bad loans" business, but that's as far as documentation extends.

Any reference to the Patrick Campbell missing $95 million is purely circular and leads right back to Wikipedia, where it apparently originated in the pages on Douglas McCarron, Patrick Campbell, & Sigurd Lucassen. EXAMPLES: http://www.parsnava.com/biography/sdmc_Patrick_J._Campbell http://www.thinkingaustralia.com/thinking_australia/wikipedia/default.php?title=Douglas_J._McCarron

The cite for the $95M is supposedly based on a Washington Post article from 1989 but each time the source cite is checked, it continues to lead right back to these three Wikipedia pages and the lone mention of the Washington Post article by "Swoboda". UNTIL such time as some source more reliable turns up - say some Wikipedia editor actually living in Washington D.C. going down to the archives and verifying said article ever existed - what we have is a Wikipedia fueled cite being taken for truth when in fact it has never been documented at all, simply placed on a few Wiki pages, Answers.com, and a half dozen other bio pages on McCarron that copy Wikipedia verbatum & list the source as a cite in the footnotes. Using Wikipedia as a bootstrap to verify Wikipedia seems a bit redundant and pointless, if the idea is to get an ACTUAL citation on the facts used in the Wikipedia article in the first place. At least one independant source OTHER THAN Wikipedia should be obtained or we are in the business of creating myths and perpetrating legends, not being a source of reliable content.

I have removed the reference entirely. Should one be found, feel free to add it back along with the cite. i4 17:53, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

  • I don't know what you think a reliable source is, but the McCarron article lists two reputable, reliable sources: An article by reporter Frank Swoboda in the Washington Post (the link is http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/access/73899624.html?dids=73899624:73899624&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date=Sep+20%2C+1989&author=Frank+Swoboda&pub=The+Washington+Post+(pre-1997+Fulltext)&edition=&startpage=a.26&desc=Carpenters+Union+Could+Lose+%2495+Million, but you will have to pay money to read the actual article) and an article with no byline in Engineering News-Record. The Sigurd Lucassen article lists another extremely reputable source (this time from Newsday). Don't just look at the footnotes, you have to also read the full reference citation in the references. I only cited the two sources, but a search on Nexis (which I once had access to) shows a lot more newspaper articles about this. Other sources include: "Bad real estate loans endanger union funds," Chicago Tribune, September 20, 1989; John King, "Union Says $$95 Million In Real Estate Loans Gone Sour, Sues Advisers," Associated Press, September 19, 1989; "Carpenter Union Loans Go Sour," The Oregonian, September 20, 1989. That AP story ran in about 75 newspapers nationwide, as I recall. (Nexis doesn't permit searchers to search all newspapers at once. I had to go into individual newspaper and magazine files to do research on Sigurd Lucassen, but still found that AP article running everywhere.) There's even a press release from the Carpenters' union itself: "Construction Loans: Background information on Carpenter's Union loans to construction projects," September 25, 1989 (found on Business Wire via Nexis.com). So I honestly don't know why there is such dispute over this. It's well-cited. I don't know why you are checking sources on the Web, either. You should go to your local public library and look up the "Washington Post" or "Engineering News-Record" or other sources yourself. The Web is notoriously unreliable; it's a guide, but I don't rely on it. Search engines don't pick up everything, and Google's new search engine software is filtering your results based on what Google's computers think you want to find (e.g., it no longer delivers everything to you). Pay-to-view archives (such as the Washington Post's) don't appear in most search engines. (The New York Times pays Google to feature its pay-to-view articles, however, which may show up.) To find articles, I use a library's Nexis account, or look up newspaper or magazine articles in the "Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature" or the "Index of Current Periodicals". I also use specialized indexes: "Business Periodicals Index", "Canadian Periodicals Index," "Chicago Tribune Index," "Christian Science Monitor Index," "New York Times Index," "Wall Street Journal Index," "Washington Post Index," "Essay and General Literature Index," "Humanities Index," and the "Index to Legal Periodicals." You may question the veracity of these reporters, publications and news sources. But they are clearly reliable (insofar as any mass media news source is reliable), and Wikpedia is about citing reputable, reliable news sources. Question this all you want, but the citations are there and the claim should not be removed from the article. - 1965Tim 14:08, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Categories[edit]

I removed the category Category:Woodworkers and Category:Construction workers. Those categories are for distinct jobs, not unions. Instead, I added the category Category:Building and construction trade unions, whichis more appropriate. - Tim1965 21:19, 3 February 2007 (UTC) I am a former Union Carpenter that can not find any Union work since 1990. I for one refuse to pound nails in the US. You can read about my escape from America and my career as a European Carpenter at my blog site. stefonic.wordpress.com An American Carpenter in Poland. As soon as the Union jobs come back, I will be back too. really. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.92.154.74 (talk) 15:36, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

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