Two Rats Don’t Make a Right: Carpenters’ Covet IBEW’s Work

Two brothers, one’s a carpenter, the other is an electrician.

Both work in the same neighborhood and, over time, the carpenter notices that his brother, the electrician, seems to always have a smile on his face.

One day, as the carpenter is working on a house next to where the electrician is working, the carpenter looks out the window and sees the electrician’s wife bringing her husband’s lunch to the jobsite and he covets the electrician’s wife:

A quiet, long-simmering feud between two prominent St. Louis labor organizations erupted openly this month in a torrent of insinuations, veiled threats and acts of vandalism.

Tension between the I nternational Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1 and the Carpenters’ District Council of St. Louis is so intense that the two unions have been summoned to a meeting to air and perhaps resolve their differences.

The meeting, jointly called by the general president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and his counterpart in the Washington headquarters of the IBEW, will be May 3 at a hotel near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

A resolution can’t come quickly enough for Duke Northcutt, one of 200 contractors affiliated with Associated Electrical Contractors Local 57, the start-up chartered 18 months ago by the carpenters union to provide area construction clients with an alternative to the 4,000-member Local 1, the nation’s first and oldest IBEW bargaining unit.

A longtime employee of Reinhold Electric, Northcutt arrived at work on April 7 and discovered the numbers “57” spray-painted, with a slash through the numerals, on the white facade of the electric parts distributorship Reinhold operates on Lemay Ferry Road in Affton.
St. Louis County police later noticed vandals had also tossed rocks through the $20,000 sign that Reinhold erected outside the business two months ago.

A county police spokesman said the department was actively investigating two acts of vandalism against Local 57 contractors.

Now that’s ‘brotherhood!’
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under IBEW, United Brotherhood of Carpenters

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