Delegates to the carpenters’ union 39th convention in Las Vegas overwhelmingly re-elected union chief Douglas J. McCarron to a third five-year term on Aug. 25. He easily defeated an opponent who disagreed with McCarron's decision to break free from the AFL-CIO.

McCarron: Disaffiliation pays for organizing.
(Photo by Jim Laurie)

McCarron received 1,669 of the 1,805 votesor 92.5%cast for general president. He was challenged for the top union job by Tom Lewandowski, a member and past office of Local 792 in Rockford, Ill.

Lewandowski and his slate of challengers opposed McCarrons leadership decisions over the past five years, including the reorganization of the carpenters union and its 2001 withdrawal from the AFL-CIO. McCarron believes that current AFL-CIO leadership devotes too much time to politics and not enough time and resources to organizing. He says the dues money the union has saved by disaffiliating from the labor federation has boosted organizing efforts. The AFL-CIO lost its way when it mistook Washington for the workplace, he says. The labor federation and its leaders lost touch with the workers of this country, he adds.

McCarron has also put new emphasis on training programs. The Carpenters International Training Center, deemed state-of-the-art when it opened in 2001, will double its capacity this fall, says McCarron. Training is the heart of what we offer to our members and contractors, he says. The added capacity will allow one place to develop training material at the cutting edge of industry practices and available to every member.

The delegates also reelected all current general executive board members, including Doug Banes as vice president and Andris J. Silins as secretary-treasurer.

I have no doubt that in the next five years, we're going to go out and help the lives of a lot of people and families across America, McCarron told the delegates.