Category Archives: Local News

Thank you!!

We had a huge turnout at the Grand Opening event tonight. Thank you to Jason Engels and all the Regional and Local staff for putting together this great event. Also thank you to all the great guests we had, including Congressman Lloyd Doggett, State Rep Paul Workman, City Councilman Mike Martinez, UBC General President Doug McCarron, UBC Secretary Andy Silins, UBC VP Danny Maples, and many more. I’ll post some pictures when I can!

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.

Horseshoe Tournament A Big Success

Some of our Union Brothers that work for Craftcorps put together a horseshoe tournament to raise some money for a couple members that have had some health problems that kept them out of work recently. Numerous members and their families made it out to Decker Lake this Saturday to enjoy fajitas, camaraderie, and some shoe tossing. Thanks to everyone who participated and a big thanks to the guys who put this whole thing together. It’s this type of togetherness that helps keep the Union strong.

All Terrain Lift Rollover

There is a construction project I pass everyday on my way home on southbound 183 near Bolm Rd.

Today there was an all-terrain fork truck rolled over on its side. It had taken out a chunk of the elevated platform they’ve been constructing, almost rolling down in the creek bed. As I passed by, they were trying to lift it out with a large excavator. I don’t know if anyone was hurt. It would be surprising if they weren’t.

I mention this as a reminder to be safe and that, in the blink of an eye, your Friday afternoon can come to a screeching halt in a very bad way.

And a little good news….

Tezzaron Semiconductor Corp. from Illinois has agreed to buy the SVTC Technologies fab facilities in Southeast Austin. Formerly known as Sematech, this fab puts our members to work from time to time and it was facing closure. Good news for us and the 100 or so full time employees there.

Read about it here.