A union is a group of workers who band together for mutual benefit. A union may link people with similar job duties, like the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, or connect workers in different fields who have something important in common, like the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Union members are united by their desire to earn fair wages and benefits in a safe work environment. By standing together, union members can secure fair wage packages that include medical benefits for themselves and their families, and benefits that help secure dignity and a decent standard of living when they retire. Unions do not discriminate. Opportunities for membership, education, skills training and job advancement are open to all members without regard to sex, sexual orientation, race, creed or color.
The United Brotherhood of Carpenters is a democratic organization. Members elect their leaders, and each member has a say in how the UBC is operated and governed. With those rights comes responsibility: every member is responsible for voicing an opinion and attending meetings so each can make informed choices about UBC leadership and activities. Unions strive to improve the standards of the industry with which they are connected. The United Brotherhood of Carpenters improves safety, quality and productivity in the construction industry through high-quality training programs for apprentices and journeypersons, and through specialty training programs developed in partnership with government, manufacturers and industry organizations.
Carpenters are some of the first workers on a jobsite, and some of the last to leave. They assist in site preparation; build concrete forms and decks; frame walls and roofs; hang interior and exterior walls; install windows, doors, acoustical ceilings, cabinetry, countertops and trim; and install locks, hardware and specialty furniture.
Carpenters work on almost any construction site imaginable, including new construction and remodeling, such as single-family homes; condominium and apartment projects; office towers, corporate and industrial buildings; new and remodeled hospitals, malls, stores and offices; and public projects such as stadiums, arenas, roads, bridges, schools and university buildings.
Carpenters need more than just good math and geometry skills; they have to be tough and flexible, able to work indoors or out, in the summer heat and humidity or in the bitter cold and snow of winter.
Carpenters work in five general areas:
Wood Framing, including residential framing layout, residential wall framing, stairs, roof framing, roof trusses and floor trusses
Interior Systems, including wood-and metal-framed wall partitions, framed soffits, metal jamb installation, suspended ceilings and soffits, clean rooms, demountable partitions, and raised floors
Concrete Form Work, including footings, column pads, column forms, wall forms, slab and deck forms, beam and girder forms, deck and edge forms for bridges, and stair forms
Exterior Finish, including siding, wood and vinyl soffits, asphalt shingles, doors, and window units
Interior Finish, including basic cabinet installation, countertops, shelving, paneling, trim, door hanging, and commercial hardware (door closers, panic devices, latch and lock sets, including low-voltage applications)
Carpenters must also learn other vital skills, including First Aid and OSHA safety; scaffolding; blueprint reading; using a transit, level and laser; operating equipment such as fork lifts and aerial lifts; and setting up conventions and other interior displays.
On February 22, 2011, Carpenters Local Union 322, was formed of Regional Council members formerly in Twin Cities Local Unions 87, 851, and 1644. Local 322 currently has over 5,500 members. We are affiliated with the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters. To learn more, visit their website at www.northcountrycarpenter.org.