A New Chapter

It’s official!! We’ve moved into the new Central South Carpenters Training Center!! Stop by and see this new beautiful space and take the tour. The address is 1825 S. IH-35, Austin TX. Coming either way take the Oltorf exit off of I-35 and it is on the east frontage road between Oltorf and Woodland (South of Riverside Dr.). Our first Local Union meeting will be held there on April 15th at 5:30. Get your taxes done early so you can join us. Also, keep an eye out for an updated training schedule now that the new training center is up and running.

Work day at the Hall

We’re getting close to moving, and we have about 70 years worth of stuff to sort through and pack. We are planning on a work day for February 22nd to get a group of members together to help us clear a path and get a jumpstart on the moving process. If you’re interested in helping out, call Brenda at the Hall to let her know.

New Building is Almost Done!!

It’s down to the wire at the new Carpenters Training Center here in Austin, TX. The final touches are being put on a grand opening open house and we’re starting to get serious about needing to get a group of members together to help move us in. Contact the Hall to let us know you want to help.

Workers’ Memorial Day

As you know, Texas tops the list for construction deaths and injuries in the United States and an upcoming event is hoping to draw attention to this so that maybe something can be done.

The Workers’ Defense Project is organizing “Sounds of Justice” at the Capitol for Workers’ Memorial Day. The date of this event is April 25th. The WDP asked us to participate in this event. If you’re interested in participating, please contact them for more information. The event page has the details or you can call them at 512.391.2305.

English Partners Night: April 8th

Here is a wonderful opportunity to help out in the community.

From Workers Defense Projects Facebook page:

This is the 2nd and final English Partners Night of this 10 week course! English Partners Night is an opportunity for ESL students to speak one-on-one with a native English speaker in order to practice what they have been learning in class. Help us offer our students as much conversation practice as possible! It’s easy: Just show up and speak in English!

When: Monday, April 8, 7-9pm

Where: WDP, 5604 Manor Rd., Austin, Texas 78723

Find out more on the event page.

English Partners Night

The Workers Defense Project has an opportunity coming up this Monday to help out. From their Facebook page:

Our English classes are in full swing and English Partner Night is quickly approaching! Come speak English with our members and enjoy some snacks while doing so. We hope to have enough volunteers so that each ESL student has their own English Partner, so invite your friends!

Contact Courtney at courtneyk@workersdefense.org or 512-391-2305 x8036 to sign up.

For more information, visit the event page on Facebook by clicking here.

Don’t fall for it, Austin City Council

White Lodgings, the developer behind the JW Marriott being built downtown, is trying to back out of a deal they negotiated with the City of Austin in which they agreed to pay prevailing wages in exchange for $3.8 million in fee waivers. With the city launching an investigation into why they aren’t paying prevailing wages after complaints from the IBEW, White Lodgings is arguing that the city and the company had different definitions of “prevailing wage” when they agreed to it.

Their argument is based on the idea that a developer who advertises a portfolio of 167 hotels & 14 restaurants (source: whitelodging.com) doesn’t know what “prevailing wages” means. I find that hard to believe.

We have to hold them to the fire on this issue and let our voices be heard so that the City Council knows we will not tolerate them backing down or giving in. The Austin skyline is better off with this hole in the ground than allowing White Lodgings to play dumb on something as straight forward as “prevailing wage.”

Read the article in the Statesman.

New Regional Council Affiliation

Local 1266 and all of the Texas Carpenters’ Locals have been realigned to be part of the Central South Carpenters Regional Council. The Texas Carpenters Regional Council has been absorbed into this council that represents the 12 locals and the over 5000 members from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

I think this will be a great thing for Austin and Texas Carpenters as we work to rebuild our Union here in the state and look forward to working closely with our new EST, Jason Engels. He came and spoke at tonight’s regular Union meeting and there was a very positive energy in the room as we begin this new chapter in the Union. Local 1266 is excited to see the coming changes as the integration gets ironed out.

I encourage all of our members to take this opportunity to re-engage in the local and help us move into the future with an active rank & file membership that truly represents how passionate we are about the Union and our Local. Big things are happening and new opportunities for involvement abound. Please do your part to help us be successful with everything we have going on. Contact me or Tom, to find out what you can do to be involved.