Local 57 Facts

UBC deserts organized labor!

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Nelson Rhetoric Rings Hollow!

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When Terry Nelson first gathered his group of non-union contractors and branded them with the "57" label he promised IBEW leaders in Illinois that they would not have any problems in their regions. The following is an excerpt from an article titled, "St Louis Carpenters' union plan to start first electrical division in the nation" by Alan J Ortbals printed in the April 2008 Illinois Business Journal (Vol 8 No.7)

Nelson is quick to point out that his problems with the electricians are limited to IBEW Local 1 which covers Eastern Missouri but does not cross over into Illinois as the Carpenters' union does. This problem absolutely stops at the Mississippi River, Nelson said, "We have no qualms with the electricians in Southern Illinois. IBEW Local 309 and IBEW Local 649 in Illinois are classy, upstanding, wonderful people. We have a great relationship; no problems, no way, shape or form. They are the cream of the crop as far as I'm concerned."

Is he true to his word? The non-union contractors that Nelson is hiding under the UBC banner have moved into the jurisdiction of other IBEW Local Unions in Illinois. In a letter recently published in THE CUTTING EDGE, Nelson, in an attempt to convince his General President that his actions in St Louis are justified restates his reasons for the formation of his non-AFL-CIO and non-BCT group of non-union contractors. If this is true then why are his "57" electricians moving into other IBEW territories? What excuse is he using to move into these territories? Jurisdiction?  Will the local media continue to give Nelson unbridled access to a public platform with which to sell his anti-IBEW agenda? These other IBEW territories have now joined the battle since Terry Nelson has broken his promise to them. The pictures below detail what is happening in Illinois as IBEW members of Local 649 have begun picketing the UBC local unions in Illinois. These Illinois UBC unions may disagree with Terry Nelson, but until they move to stop his 57(non-AFL-CIO non-BCT) contractors from entering their territory then they will remain Nelsons victims. Here is a quote from IBEW Local 309 Business Manager Scott Hassall from an article titled, "Building trades push back on Nelson" by Dana Spitzer published in the St Louis/Southern Illinois Labor Tribune (Vol 73 No. 46):

"He (Nelson) told me he didn't have a problem with Local 309 and his contractors wouldn't be bidding on our jobs in Illinois. A year later he's over here competing with our contractors with substandard wages and benefits!"
Scott Hassall Business Manager IBEW Local Union 309 Collinsville, Illinois


The damage Terry Nelson has done to the labor movement not only here in St Louis, but across the country, is profound.  Developers now "fly-over" St Louis not for the reasons he has stated publicly, but due to the battle he and he alone has started. Nelson's actions support the anti-worker elements who seek to devour our market and the standard of living that union leaders have fought so long and hard to achieve. Terry Nelson willingly joins forces with the anti-union organizations of yesterday for his agenda today; he offers his union's insignia freely to his new partners who neither understand its meaning nor embrace its values; surely he will cross any boundary in his anti-union attack without thought or regard for the honor bestowed upon him to serve his union membership.  We hope we have shed some light on the truth behind the misrepresentations that he has spread throughout the St Louis community.  We vow to continue exposing the facts regarding the falsehoods he has propagated for three years in the St Louis media.  We have been given the green light to move forward with this public information campaign from the great men and women who lead us.  For almost three years, they have been tirelessly negotiating behind the scenes. It was their honor, duty, and allegiance to the general welfare of the larger labor community that propelled them to these good faith negotiations, and it was their hope that negotiation might prove successful that caused us to delay our full public information campaign.  We will provide you with the facts of the situation, and we will back up our information with documentation of our sources.  Some of the information we provide will be legal in nature, and we hope that you will continue to educate yourself on these issues! We feel that our standard of living will be degraded if Terry Nelson and people like him continue on their current course.

The following photos were provided by Clifford Friend.

IBEW Local Union 649 members informing the public in front of the UBC hall in Illinois

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Last Updated on Sunday, 14 July 2019 17:36  


"We firmly believe that the energies of the Building and Construction Trades unions should first be directed to organizing the craft workers in the markets they used to represent, before they divert their members hard-earned dues in efforts reach out to workers they lack the knowledge to represent and the skills or resources to train."

Statement of United Brotherhood of Carpenters General President Douglas J. McCarron in response to AFL-CIO Resolution 70 - Hey Dougie, practice what you preach!