The carpenters' union is looking to pick up work finishing interior walls in New York and the painters' union isn't happy about it.

Carpenters chief Douglas McCarron authorized chartering of New York State drywall finishing local.

Carpenters' General President Douglas J. McCarron authorized the chartering of a New York State local with statewide jurisdiction for drywall finishing, according to a letter from McCarron to John Fuchs, executive secretary-treasurer of the Empire State Regional Council of Carpenters. The letter, dated March 25, says that chartering Local 52 is in the "best interests" of the carpenters union and its members.

Painters perform most of the wall finishing work in the U.S. but they have sometimes fought carpenters over control of that market segment.

Carpenters' union officials in the state regional council in Jericho, N.Y., have already begun talking to contractors about collective bargaining agreements, according to correspondence obtained by ENR.

The carpenters' initiative angered painters' union officials because it followed by only eight days an order from a federal judge in New York City prohibiting what he says is a mob-controlled cement masons' local from performing any wall-finishing work in New York City. Local 530 controlled new construction wall finishing in New York City through intimidation and coercion, say painters' union officials. But a March 17 order by Judge John Gleeson gave new hope to members of painters' union Local 1974 of the Drywall Tapers and Pointers of Greater New York.

Then the carpenters opted to charter the new local. For the last 25 years, painters' Local 1974 "put up with unfair attacks" by Local 530, says William Candelori, a painters' union general vice president. With help from federal prosecutors, who have imprisoned Local 530's founder on racketeering charges, Local 1974 received "relief and hope," says Candelori.

"Now all of a sudden the carpenters came in to play and mess with their livelihoods," he says.

Carpenters officials could not be reached for comment.