Macout was originally formed to
combat the medical co-payment for retirees and to halt the damage being done by the UBC
Trusteeship in New York. While primarily recognized as a Retirees Advocacy group MACOUT,
seeks to protect and restore the rights of all members, Active and Retired.
To defeat the co-payment we filed
suit in Federal Court in January, 1999, against the Trustees of the District Council. At
that time most Local leaders were saying there was nothing to be done. As we began to
inform the membership of the abuses of the Trusteeship, and began to make progress, many
of these same leaders, while denying knowledge of our existence, began to claim credit for
the gains we were making. We can understand their need to claim undeserved credit, because
the truth is, most of the salaried Officials of the Union, fearful of their jobs, did
virtually nothing to help or protect the membership.
Much has happened since we formed.
In addition to our original lawsuit, we filed and/or participated in pro-se suits which
sought to guarantee voting rights for Retired members and to block the Trustees from
extending the contract of the disastrous ZENITH, as funds administrators. We have
networked with Union carpenters nationwide, attended rank and file pro- Democracy
conferences, done exhaustive research of our funds, and have made so many trips to
the District Council on behalf the members that we have become, a very familiar, if not
welcome, presence at the funds. We have had our defeats, but have enjoyed major victories
as well. Last July the co-payment was removed from members over 65 and the District
council has announced that effective July 1, 2000 members 55 and over will not have to pay
for medical coverage any longer. Our lawsuit continues, seeking the return to
Retirees of all money they paid for coverage.
On March,13th this year we suffered
a severe setback with the passing of our colleague, Noel McElligott. His death came as a
shock. Only hours before he died, he was on the phone with other Board members, planning
future actions. Noel was a devoted family man and a fierce Unionist. The zeal and
dedication he brought to MACOUT, made him irreplaceable. We mourn his loss.
We applaud the fact the Trusteeship
is over and that our District Council is once again being run by New York members. We wish
the new leadership well, and will support all positive efforts they make on behalf of the
membership. Sadly, however, their early efforts appear less than promising.
Although they have announced the removal of Zenith(after a required, and necessary
transition period) as Funds Administrators, mixed signals coming from various officials,
tend to indicate that Zenith will continue in some capacity. Zenith was a disaster imposed
upon us by President McCarron. They need to be removed completely. Also, Marco
Consultants, financial advisers, also imposed on us by McCarron, have earned us
ridiculously low returns on our investments, during what has been the best investment
market in history. The council has made no announcement of plans to remove MARCO.
Further, they have refused to take
part in the growing Nationwide movement to amend the UBC Constitution to allow for one
member one vote for Union Leaders, including the General President, and General Executive
We hope our leaders are not
confusing what the members need with what McCarron wants!
We continue on, although finances
are a major problem. Members, particularly Retirees, have been a tremendous help. Over one
thousand, members have supported us with contributions. But, legal fees , combined with
printing, and mailing costs, have exceeded $150,000, much of it still owed, and the total
keeps rising. Any member wishing to help can send donations to :
110-64 Queens Blvd. Box 509
Forest Hills, NY 11375 -6347
Any and all help will be greatly
We hold meetings jointly with AARC
every other Saturday, 10 AM at the
4345, 40th Street
(at Queens Blvd.) Sunnyside, NY.
Next meeting is Feb. 24, 2001. Stop
by and say hello.
welcome. We are interested in your ideas and input. We're here, and as long as the members
need us, We Won't Be Going Away!
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