St. Louis Union Construction Workers Too Lazy and Costly, Says Head of Union

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Terry Nelson drops the hammer on his carpenter colleagues.
The head of the St. Louis Carpenters' District Council of Greater St. Louis is making waves for comments he recently made in the press, blaming his members for being unproductive and contributing to ever-growing construction costs in the region.

Speaking to the Illinois Business Journal this month, Terry Nelson, executive secretary-treasurer of the union, said that it costs 28 percent more to build in St. Louis compared to Chicago.

"The guy in Chicago, believe it or not, he worked 7 ½ hours today while the guy in St. Louis only worked 4 ½," Nelson tells IBJ.

"Where did that other 3 ½ hours go?" adds Nelson. "When my carpenters walk on the job, their cost to the contractor is $1.03 a minute. That's their wages, their benefits, the workmen's compensation and yada, yada, yada and all the stuff that goes with that. You just think for a minute, if you've got 10 guys on the job, that's $10 a minute. They all leave 10 minutes early, there went $100 out the door."

Nelson told the paper that the "arrogance and attitude" of union members has led more and more contractors away from hiring organized labor. Today only 11 percent of all construction being performed in the nation is done by the hands of union members, says Nelson.

"The thing that kills unions is our arrogance and our attitude," continues Nelson. "Like we are God's gift to everybody. Like without us the world comes to and end. Whoever believes that BS is nuts. But we buy into that stuff. I haven't bought into it. I'm on the other side of the street. But again, I'm not the most loved guy in a labor meeting; that's just the way it is."

Gee, ya think?

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1 comments
kennethbuie91
kennethbuie91

i think its the narrow minded arrogance of our leadership that is the big problem they are not gods although i don't think they know that, we work in a almost nazi state we are told to steal work and feed off our old and young we have no say no one to go to with problems or complaints they drop out of the a.f.l.c.i.o. so doug mccaron and his menions don't have anyone to tell them hey wait a minute this is not right i read a article about a union carpenter and deligate who had to go to court and sue our union to keep his job for refusing to remove a no 57 sticker from his truck  which i don't agree with either were carpenters not electricians that money and effort should be spent on carpenters not egos and grudges  its apparent that Mccaron thinks that we should become one big union and i don't think they care if it's called acarpenter or painter or laboer union as long as he is in charge and this article that i am responding to is rediculous and shows how out of touch our leadership is i can only imagine were those figures were pulled out of . there is no pride  left in this union and i'm blaming that on our leadership not the workers we have turned into the walmart of unions so big and isolated that its all about the union and nothing about the worker which is what i thought it was formed for to begin with  they are alreadyforming other carpenter unions in new york to protect themselfs from there own union i seen the utube video of Mccoron and his brother at a union meeting trying to decide who was the bigger crook discusting.i looked up terry nelson on the computer and it didn't say united brotherhood of carpenters it said united brotherhood of painters whats up with that now i know why we wear painters pants.another slap in our face what arrogance  i'd put the carpenters in this area up aganst any but things are starting to slip the union meetings are like ghost towns they wonder why we don't care but its hard to when you fill like your union don't give a damn about you sorry about the spelling but i'm just a lazy ole costly carpenter

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