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Union workers picket contractor

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Articles - July 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Union workers outside the offices of S.D. Deacon protest the hiring of Stephen Nagy of S&S Drywall Assemblies, who has been charged with racketeering, theft and other crimes. // Photo by Teresa Meier
Every weekday morning for months, workers from the regional carpenters union have gathered in front of the Portland offices of S.D. Deacon behind a banner picturing a drywall contractor recently arrested on felony charges, with the statement “Used by S.D. Deacon — Why?”

They are protesting the contractor’s alleged use of low-wage, underground labor. The subcontractor pictured is Stephen Nagy, formerly president of S&S Drywall Assemblies, arrested January 2011 and charged with racketeering, theft and other crimes related to shady business practices. S&S has shut down its Hillsboro office and disconnected its phone line while Nagy awaits trial.

Ben Basom of the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters says the campaign targets the all-too-common practice of general contractors hiring subcontractors that undercut prevailing wage rates by paying cash and avoiding taxes. Basom says the union is sharing information with public agencies to protect the prevailing wage and benefit package of $41 per hour for carpenters.

“The more digging we do into the underground economy, the more we’re uncovering,” says Basom, noting that companies that pay under the table can undercut legitimate subcontractors by 15% to 30%.

S.D. Deacon has been named one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon based on past employee surveys conducted by Oregon Business (contract employees do not participate in the surveys). General Manager Brad Howe says the company’s policy is to “take the lowest responsible bid,” and to double-check bids that come in suspiciously low.

Howe says S.D. Deacon “had no knowledge about what might have been going on behind the scenes” at S&S Drywall. He disputes the union’s characterization of what makes a fair wage. “The standard wage in the union’s mind is their wage,” he says. “We don’t necessarily agree.”

Workers say they will continue to demonstrate in front of S.D. Deacon for “as long as it takes.” Meanwhile, the union has its own house to clean up. Last year the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America stepped in to take over 1,200-member Local 247 in Portland after charging that local officials were mismanaging money. Basom says the union is consolidating nine locals in Oregon and Southwest Washington into one office in Oregon City to make union operations “more efficient and financially sound.”




+2 #1 Carpenters not real UnionDonny1020 2011-07-07 13:19:52
The people protesting are hired day labor who are paid $10 an hour cash by the Carpenters. The Carpenters are careful to not breach the $599 annual limit so they can also avoid employment taxes and employment status. None of the protestors appear on the PNWRCC LM2 forms as required by federal law.

The Carpenters routinely assist "friendly" contractors to avoid prevailing wage laws by allowing the utilization of high percentages of "apprentices" in violation of State regulation.

The Carpenters are run as a business by the McCarron crime family. They recently closed all Locals and tossed all delegates who were elected by the membership out of office and installed hand picked yes men.

The Carpenters are not a Union. They do not belong to the AFL-CIO, the CTW coalition of the Building and Construction Trades Council. The PNWRCC's director, James Mata was charged with extortion and coercion and for which the membership was forced to pay a multi million dollar out of court settlement. The PNWRCC has also been known to call immigration on companies that don't knuckle under resulting in the arrest and detention of many Latino carpenters.

The PNWRCC has also created a structure that allows for Latino workers in the drywall industry to be paid less than other workers. This was a secret contract developed by James Mata without the knowledge the members and secretly agreed to by several employers.

For more information see:
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-1 #2 SD DEACONGuest 2012-09-13 03:41:26
I've worked with SD Deacon, They too are criminals. I know this first hand. Anybody or anything that would recognize SD Deacon as a top 100 company in Oregon to work for is either a liar or a criminal themselves. Too funny!! Had to laugh when I saw this article.
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+1 #3 Not a criminalGuest 2012-10-07 06:09:03
Steve Nagy is no criminal.Steve is simply guilty of being generous to a fault. Steve routinly helped his employees with monetary donations out of his own pocket. Workers often called upon Steve asking for help in one way or another.It was not uncommon for Steve to ruch out in the middle of the night because one of his employees had some kind of an emergency.Steve would often advance a paycheck and would often give thousands of dollars of his own money just to lend a helping hand.Steve was often asked for favors with electricity bills,late mortage payments,hospit al bills ect.He did all he could to be generous with his employees.The accusations against Steve are all fabricated peices of the truth that were glued and taped together to form another version of what actually took place.A version that looks bad in the eyes of the public and that suits the needs of the authorities involved.Yes, Steve should have paid taxes to the IRS in a timely fashion.That does not make him a criminal.
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