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Merged union branches now part of new Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council

Two giant labor organizations in the Midwest have officially been renamed following their merger.

The combination of the Chicago and St. Louis-Kansas City branches of the Carpenters Union is now known as the Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council.

“Our new name now reflects the vast territory we represent in 325 counties across Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and eastern Iowa,” said Gary Perinar, executive secretary-treasurer of the Mid-America Carpenters. “With new additional resources and the strength of our 50,000 members, we have real opportunity to better serve our contracting partners, the communities where we work and live, and most importantly our Union brothers and sisters.”

The action follows a series of swift moves taken by the organization in recent weeks and creates a force of 50,000 men and women, he said. The merger makes MACRC one of the largest councils within the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and one of the largest regional labor unions in the country.

Late last month, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America General President Douglas McCarron announced that geographical and trade jurisdiction of the former St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council had been assigned to the Chicago Regional Council. The move supplanted Al Bond, the longtime executive secretary-treasurer of the STL-KC Carpenters Regional Council.

In a release, McCarron said the jurisdictional decision was made as a means to increase oversight of operations, reduce costs, maximize available resources, and increase market competitiveness.

The first Carpenters convention was held in Chicago in 1881, and the Midwest has served as the site of many historic moments in the union’s history.

“I look forward to continuing our unwavering mission to improve the lives and working conditions for our members,” Perinar said. “For 140 years, we have provided a voice for the working class and a place for them to broaden their skills and advance in their careers. We will never lose sight of that focus.”

Perinar has emphasized that the restructuring will not impact the terms of the current collective bargaining agreements including the payment of wages and fringe benefit contributions.

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