New York City Union Carpenters rank and file members staged a rally at union headquarters in Manhattan April 12 protesting corruption within council leadership and proposed changes to wages and mobility rules. Following the “Rally for Solidarity,” New York City District Council of Carpenters Supervisor Frank Spencer countered that the council is reforming itself.

“I fully respect the concerns expressed by our membership,” said Spencer in a prepared statement. “The leadership of the District Council has offered a strong proposal to amend its bylaws that expand democracy within the New York City operation and provide further financial transparency. We are working with the Review Officer and the U.S. Attorney’s office to develop these bylaws and to ensure our membership has the opportunity to provide more into the operations of their union.” “I want to ensure our members that their concerns and opinions are being heard and that pertains to changes going forward in the out of work list as well.”

Spencer was appointed by the U.S. Attorney as an emergency supervisor in August 2009 following a series of federal investigations into the wrongdoings of previous council leaders including fraud, kickbacks, illegal drug use and credit card abuse. Spencer who also serves as International Vice President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters said that over the last year, the council has begun the process of “righting a lot of wrongs.”

“Our goal is to make this council a textbook example of how a labor should function in the 21st Century,” said Scott Widmeyer, a spokesperson for the New York City District Council of Carpenters.