UBC VICTIMS


vic·tim
ˈviktəM noun: victim; plural noun: victims
a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.
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READ ABOUT THE MANY VICTIMS OF UBC PERSECUTION AND THEIR BATTLES FOR JUSTICE                     
             
               ITS JUST A BUMPER STICKER
                              " KEVIN ANDREW PRICE"
"I've flat out told them that I don't have a vote in this dog-and-pony show," Price said. "But I do have a voice. And they'll never shut it up."
St Louis CDC member Kevin Price commenting on his battle with the St Louis CDC leadership.

                                                              

NEWS RELEASE                                                                    October 2010

U.S. District Court Hands Victory to Dissenting Carpenter
 Court Rules CDC Infringed on Free Speech Rights; Issues Preliminary Injunction
 ST. LOUIS  A dues-paying member and elected delegate of the Carpenters' District Council (CDC) of Greater St. Louis & Vicinity won a victory in federal court for the right to criticize his own union for raiding the work of another union. On Oct. 8, 2010, Judge Michael j. Reagan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois granted Andrew Kevin Price a preliminary injunction to prevent the CDC from silencing him for speaking out against the union's formation of a carpenters' electrical division — Local 57.
     The court noted that "The council's support for Local 57 has been a topic of considerable discussion and severe disagreement within the union." According to the court, Local 57 was formed in 2008 at the direction of Terry Nelson, executive secretary/treasurer of the CDC. "The council then signed several non-union electrical contractors to labor agreements."
     Among the dissenters in the CDC was Price, who in the summer of 2010 put an anti-Local 57 sticker on his personal vehicle. A CDC representative ordered him to remove the sticker. When Price refused, the CDC filed charges and "...Nelson notified Price that he would stand trial on the charges October 19, 2010, conducted by a standing trial committee (of the CDC)," according to the ruling.
     In characterizing Price, the court noted: "He is a carpenter and a loyal union member. He earnestly believes that the council should spend the union's money assisting carpenters, rather than electricians. Price believes that Nelson formed Local 57 to raid other unions (trying to capture electrical work that other unions historically did), and that this policy is detrimental to the future and long-term goals of the Carpenters' union. Price also believes that Local 57 harms union solidarity and runs contra to the traditional notion of 'brotherhood."'
     After weighing the evidence, Judge Reagan granted the preliminary injunction in favor of Price, halting the CDC's efforts to put him on trial before its internal tribunal and infringe on his right to free speech.
     "The message is clear. Rank and file carpenters are free to exercise their right of free speech within their union as it relates to Local 57 without fear of reprisal," said Christopher N. Grant of Schuchat, Cook & Werner, the law firm that represents Price. "Indeed, the court said it best: 'Price is a proud and loyal member of his own Carpenters union who wants to preserve that union. He vehemently disagrees with certain policies advocated by his current union leaders -- policies he believes are antithetical to the best interests of his beloved union.' ... The right to reform a union from within is protected."
The ruling is case number 10-cv-0741-MJR-PMF 


 St Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune October 21-27, 2010 Edition.

Disagreement over Local 57 widespread in CDC, but so is 'fear' to speak out

     The discontent regarding the action of the Carpenters' District Council's leadership to form an electrical Local 57 within the carpenters union is widespread among members, and even some of the union's leadership, but no one wants "to make waves because Nelson (Terry Nelson, the union's top executive) will chop their head off."
     Speaking out candidly to the Labor Tribune, 20-year member Kevin Price is himself a delegate to the Carpenters' District Council (CDC) that is supposed to be the ruling body of the CDC.
     "I've heard plenty of bitching (about Local 57) and a lot of his leadership disagrees with him (Nelson) but members don't want to pursue it. The men are afraid to put them on (the 'NO 57' stickers), but we may see more now," Price added, referring to the ruling last week by a federal judge that carpenters can freely express their opinions about Lo­cal 57, which includes wearing anti-57 stickers, without fear of retribution.
     He said that a CDC official "pretty high up (who also disagreed with the 57 decision) was about to tear his hair out over this issue."
     "The members say it's wrong. Nelson says it's to protect our work, and I'm all for protecting carpenter jobs. But he's taken it to an extreme. There are other ways to settle disagreements. You don't go out and start your own union," Price noted.
     Using an example of his brother he said that they have disagreements, and "we don't get along all the times, but we work it out."
     Nelson has lost sight of what his job is, Price said. "He's acting like the CEO of a company and that members are his commodity. That's not right. He's the representative of us; the bosses are the 20,000 union members in the council."

HOPING OTHERS STAND UP

     "Yes, I'm a bit nervous about it all. Some members tell me I'm cutting my own throat by standing up," Price admitted. "I'm hoping that more of my union brothers will now stand up."
     He added that he has been warned that, "they're going to hurt you. Your union's never going to help you now." To that he replies, "We'll just find out. I'm a carpenter, I'll always be a carpenter. I believe in brother­hood. I've got brothers in my union, and union broth­ers in the Ironworkers, Sheet Metal workers and Pipe Fitters. By all of us standing together, we are stronger."
     He proudly adds that his father was a union pipefitter working in the 50's at Shell Oil. "To me we're a brother­hood. We stand together, all unions."
     However, he said that Nelson himself told him, "Why call it a brotherhood? It's a business."
     Not to me it's not," Price responded.


Carpenter tops his own union in free speech case



After two years absorbing shots from other labor organizations over its organization of an alternative unit representing electrical workers, the Carpenters District Council of Greater St. Louis has now been dealt a blow from within the ranks of its own membership.
The details of the internal dispute emerged in a legal tussle that last week prompted a U.S. district judge in Southern Illinois to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the council's bid to sanction a union carpenter who expressed his dissent by placing a sticker opposing Local 57 on his personal vehicle.
The carpenter, Kevin Price, has long challenged the decision by council of leadership to charter a local meant to challenge the dominance of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1 at area construction projects.
Local 57 "is anti-union, it's anti-labor and it destroys (labor) unity," Price said in a telephone interview from his home in Dongola, Ill., population 780. The town is 100 miles southeast of St. Louis.
"We didn't have a say-so (on Local 57) and we didn't have a vote," Price added. "Then they stifled our voices. And they always succeeded. Until now. I called them on it."
Terry Nelson, the executive secretary-treasurer of the Carpenters Council, supports Price's right to speak his mind.
But he questions whether the Constitution guarantees Price the freedom to exercise that right at a workplace guided by union rules.
"He publicly displayed the sticker on one of our job sites and we took exception to it," Nelson said.
"Sometimes, your freedom stops at the end of my nose. That's why we call this America."
Price drew the line after a council business representative ordered him to remove the anti-Local 57 sticker from his truck, parked outside a Carbondale work site on Aug. 9.
When Price returned to the site with sticker intact the next day, the representative followed up on a threat to bring Price up on "union charges."
A month later, after a review of the incident, the council executive committee ordered Price to answer allegations of dissent before an internal "trial committee."
The carpenters and most labor organizations have internal tribunals with the power to subject members who violate union rules with fines and other sanctions.
Price responded by suing the council, alleging the demand that he remove the sticker violated his right to free speech.
"I know what the Constitution is," said Price, a Navy veteran. "My dad was in World War II, my uncle in Korea, my brother in Vietnam and my son has served two tours in Iraq. The U.S. Constitution, to me, (supersedes) all the other constitutions."
U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan concurred.
In his decision, Reagan wrote that Price may "vehemently disagree(s) with certain policies advocated by his current union leaders — policies he believes are antithetical to the best interests (of the council.) But he is not sponsored by (or sponsoring) a rival union. He has not joined a rival union and is not encouraging others to do so. His expression of anti-Local 57 views occurred squarely within the context of his desire to reform (the) union's policies from within..."
Citing an infringement of Price's "right of free speech," Reagan issued a preliminary injunction preventing the council from convening the trial committee to hear the charges against Price on Oct. 19.
Nelson said the council will decide whether to proceed after review of the decision by counsel.
He emphasized that the union's request that Price remove the sticker was not personal.
"We respect his opinion. Voicing his opinion is not an issue. If he wants to sit at lunch (with other carpenters) and express his opinion, he has a right do that," Nelson said. "But I don't know if it's fair or right to support another union (Local 1 distributes the slashed 57 stickers) against our own local."
Since its inception in 2008, Local 57 has spurred contempt from the IBEW and other area labor groups.
Nelson says the carpenters chartered the unit in response to Local 1 work site rules he contends hamper development by artificially inflating labor costs in the St. Louis region.
IBEW officials counter that the carpenters formed the electrical branch to seize control of the construction trade to steal jobs from the oldest electrical local in the nation.
A recession that has sidelined between 30 and 40 percent of the construction labor force has helped to exacerbate the tension between the carpenters and other building trades.
The hostilities peaked in June when more than 1,000 laborers, representing every trade but the carpenters, descended on Forest Park for a profanity-laden protest aimed at Local 57 and, mostly, Nelson.
Still a "union man," Price has no intention of ending his 20-year association with the carpenters council.
By the same token, nor does he intend to back off his contention that Local 57 is at once divisive and retaliatory.
"I've flat out told them that I don't have a vote in this dog-and-pony show," Price said. "But I do have a voice. And they'll never shut it up."
Copyright 2014 stltoday.com. All rights reserved. 


Judge: Union Can’t Stifle Carpenter























A Dongola man is at the center of a union dispute that has been building for more than two years.
Andrew Kevin Price, a carpenter and elected delegate with the Carpenters' District Council of Greater St. Louis and vicinity was granted a preliminary injunction Oct. 8 by Judge Michael J Reagan of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The injunction prevents the council from silencing Price for speaking out against the union's formation of a carpenters' electrical division.
At the center of the case is the Carpenters' District Council's effort to put Price before its internal tribunal and whether doing so would infringe on his right of free speech.
Price challenged the decision by the council to form the electrical division, Local 57, because it eroded labor unity. Local 57 was formed in 2008 and since its inception has created a tense relationship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Price's attorney, Chris Grant, said his client expressed his dissent by placing a sticker opposing Local 57 in his personal vehicle. When a Carpenters' District Council representative saw the sticker at a Carbondale job site this summer, Price was ordered to re-move the sticker, Grant said.
Price refused to remove the sticker and was informed by the council representative that he would stand trial on union charges and have to answer questions of dissent before an internal "trial committee," Grant said.
Messages left by the Southern Illinoisan Friday with the Carpenters' District Council were not returned.
In its ruling granting a preliminary injunction, the court noted that Price is a loyal union member and believes the council should spend the union's money assisting carpenters rather than electricians and that Price believes Local 57 was formed to raid other unions, which could be detrimental to the future and long-term goals of the Carpenters' union.
Reagan wrote that Price "has not joined a rival union and is not encouraging others to do so. Nor is Price championing a rival union against his own union. His expression of anti-Local 57 views occurred squarely within the context of his desire to reform his own union's policies from within, not to undermine his union by helping a rival organization."
Grant said the case will continue but the hope of his client is that union reform can arise from within.
"Mr. Price isn't doing this just for himself," Grant said. "He hopes that it shows that other members can speak out and voice their opinion without the fear of reprisals."
stephen.rickerl@thesouthern.com
618-351-5823

 

 

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