Building Trades, Features, Finance, New York

The New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters

August 26, 2020

By Ben Kimmel

New York, NY – With a finger on the pulse and an understanding of the times ahead, the NYCDCC made sure to take care of its members. Executive Secretary-Treasurer Joseph Geiger sets the example for union leadership. With 20,000 members that remain union strong, Geiger forges ahead by explaining, “The unionized construction industry always remains a vital sign of America.” The concepts of union values are based on unity, solidarity, integrity, responsibility, opportunity, and above all, equality.

Although the pandemic was unavoidable for all trades, the District Council made sure that all workers had access to their benefit. Concessions were made to ease the rising tensions of both the physical pandemic and the emotional backlash that comes with financial concerns.

As it states on the homepage of The Council’s website, “A union family is more than just having brothers and sisters who work next to each other on the job site. Having a union family also means having a network of brothers and sisters across the country and Canada who can depend on each other and reach out in times of need.”

Safety remains the top priority for The Council. Geiger reported, “We strived to ensure our members felt protected during this pandemic, offering supplemental PPE to fill gaps in contractor-provided PPE and providing information on new job site safety protocol and COVID-19 training courses. To guarantee our members’ questions were answered, we held Zoom webinars educating our shop stewards and foreman of the new normal safety standards.”

When asked about the subject of racial tension, inclusion and diversity, Geiger’s statement is a strong one to say the least. “The very foundation of the New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters is to fight for the rights of every worker to be treated equally and to guarantee that every worker in our represented trades has rights in the workplace, a fair wage, a healthy family and hope for the future. As a labor union, we have always fought on the side of justice, and we have won great battles by making our voices heard. That is why the District Council stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters across the City and the country who are peacefully standing up to the racism that is so deeply ingrained in our society.”

As a union member and an essential worker in the trenches, in my opinion, the District Council’s “Roll up your sleeves” mentality is the only one to have.

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Certified Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate.  Ben can be reached at

August 26, 2020

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