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Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Steward Ad-Hoc Committee aka The Steward Underground

Attention All Stewards: The following is a statement composed by the Ad-Hoc Committee for a Steward Alliance / Association / Network / Organization, or recently more commonly known as “The Steward Underground“.

The rank and file have asked the Ad-Hoc Committee via email many questions. Most of these questions have a prevailing theme. In short we have been asked for full disclosure. This letter will attempt to address these questions and concerns. Feel free to cross post this statement in its entirety wherever Carpenters may dwell. We make no apologies.

Who and What We Are

First and foremost we are not politically allied with any current groups or associations. We are simply a small number of honest, hardworking New York City Carpenter’s Union Stewards, who have become increasingly frustrated in our efforts to do our jobs, free from reprisals and admonishments from our superiors. We have therefore been forced to seek other avenues by which to monitor companies and enforce the various contracts under which the Union and contractors function. For this purpose we have informally begun to network amongst ourselves. We share information on contractors as well as business agents. More importantly, we provide each other with on site assistance, support, and research when issues arise regarding a clause in one of the various contracts we are responsible for protecting. We do this solely when such information is unavailable or denied us by normal venues. To date this system has been successful, albeit minimally due to the limited number of participating stewards, and the clandestine nature in which we are forced to operate.

Why “Underground”

It is common knowledge that some elements within our union are of the school of thought that, in the long run, it is not good practice to give contractors a “hard time” when enforcing contracts. It is believed that a company that deems it easier and more profitable to function outside the union contract will do so, causing the union to eventually lose said company as a signatory. It is therefore within “our” interests, according to this theory, to not pursue small and/or unintentional infractions of the contracts.

To those of us who are charged with monitoring and enforcing the contract on a day to day basis, stewards in particular, such “schools of thought” can hinder ones efforts. This most times, creates an atmosphere ripe for potential reprisals, if you do not fall into line. Furthermore we believe that with thousands of members on the Out of Work List, such leniency towards contractors is not justified. As stewards and fellow rank and file carpenters we believe we must do all we can to assist those men and women languishing on the Out of Work List due to company Request Clauses and practices. Because of this activism on behalf of the rank and file some stewards have experienced subtle, and increasingly not so subtle, reprisals. Therefore, for the time being, many wish to remain anonymous.


Our Goals

We urge all Carpenter Stewards to move with due diligence and integrity. The prevailing atmosphere in the field is that Stewards are not only replaceable but disposable. This is unacceptable. We find ourselves constantly trying to prove our merit to companies that assume we are all the same, referring to stewards as “Shop Stupids” and “Foot Dragging Do Nothings”. The time has come to step up and show the companies, and the corrupt elements within our own ranks, that an honest hardworking steward is a force that will be reckoned with. We must take back our union one steward at a time. We must educate ourselves, network among each other, and protect our interest, so that we may better defend and serve the rank and file. The membership is counting on us and we may be the final line in the sand.

We are firmly committed, as stated above, to educate, organize, mobilize, and agitate Carpenter Stewards. We are of the belief that all that stands between contractors, seeking to illegally enrich themselves on the backs of rank and file carpenters and the membership, are un-corruptible, vigilant well trained stewards. Carpenter Stewards are the first line of defense against corruption. We fail and the Union as a whole fails. We will not stand idle and watch this happen.
We therefore propose to all who would hear us that a full scale Steward Network or Steward Alliance need be established. This we are committed to accomplishing, be it formal and official (sanctioned by the Union), or be it clandestine and underground as it is currently. For now it is necessary that the Ad-Hoc Committee remain anonymous as we gather information, and further organize. To those stewards that are on the take we say this: we WILL weed you out and expose you for what you are, the scourge of the union. No longer will honest stewards stand by and watch you destroy our image and credibility.

Know this: “The power of the Union lies within its Membership”. Our representatives are elected to serve the Rank and File members and protect our future. This is what helps keep our union strong and shores up its long history.

Due to recent events, we believe that it is imperative to refocus and reshape the strength of our Union, so that its members are truly represented by those elected. We have concluded that until this comes to pass, it is necessary to hold our elected and appointed officials accountable. We must turn our focus on our members who work hard to pay for their well salaried positions. The input of the rank and file is crucial in helping to reshape our union. All active members and retirees’ inputs are sought so that our efforts will better reflect the resolve of the membership.

Either you are “Real within the Union” or you are impersonating a genuine member. Union entails more than one, in our case 23,000. The truth however is that 2,300 good men and women, acting together, can introduce positive change to our union. We are calling on these “GOOD MEN & WOMEN” to stand up NOW for what is innately theirs. Remember, an idea whose time has come can not be stopped. Your destiny is now in your hands.

To all Carpenter Stewards who wish to assist us in our struggle for a better, more accountable union, please contact us with your support and/or suggestions. Together we will accomplish this essential goal. We have established the following email address for this purpose: stewardunderground@gmail.com.

We urge all Stewards to fight the good fight. If you are so inclined, then … Welcome to “The Steward Underground”. We’re here, we’re watching, and we’re un-corruptible.


The Steward Ad-Hoc Committee


  1. Kool icon where'd ya get it from?

  2. Finally! Keep doing what you're doin.

  3. great web page keep it going

  4. I want to join. How do I sign up?

  5. what a bunch of retards

  6. Remember "Your anger is your gift" Channel it wisely and let's turn this union back around to it's intended purpose of serving the members.
    "What better place than here, What better time than Now!!!!!"

  7. stand up for your union brothers. dont be pushed around from some of these companys. the union is the power behiind its membership.let us take a stand and make noise.

  8. We need "front line" candidates for every local and the dc. No more convicted in "Unity Teams" or "Contractors Choice" slates.
    EDUCATE !!!
    AGITATE !!!
    ORGANIZE !!!

  9. I think you guys would be better off going back to bed and hiding under the covers.

  10. our union is at a crossroad,our memberhip is the answer witch will chart our future,solidarity will keep us stronglong live the union.

  11. I have a flyer that we will be using at our nominations meeting. I'll be glad to send the pdf to anyone who wants a copy to use. Norman. I'm at: goodforus1@gmail.com

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