The DROPCLOTH Covers Everything


Volume 62, Number 4
Fall, 2007

Go to Home Page Display Calendar of Meetings and Events View the Photo Gallery Go to Dropcloth Newsletter Menu Display Monitor Newsletter
New! Register for an Event Display PDCA History Display FCA History Display PDCA Directory
Display PDCA Contract Display Chicago PDCA Bylaws Display Forms to Download Go to Industry Links Page Guide to Hiring a Contractor


FCAC, the Finishing Contractors Association of Chicago, held a General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, October 30th, at the Rosewood Restaurant in Rosemont to discuss a proposed new Contract extension with Painters District Council #14 of the IUPAT. The pact culminates over five months of negotiations between FCAC and PDC #14.

All 95 current FCAC Contractor members were sent a detailed "Summary of Changes to the CBA" document two weeks prior to the meeting to inform them of all the

significant changes in the Contract language, along with their Special Meeting notice.

FCAC Contractor Members who attended the meeting spent three hours discussing details of the proposed Contract. All in attendance had a chance to speak their mind and many worthwhile thoughts and ideas were brought to the floor. The CBA was voted on and passed. Now the PDC14 membership must vote to ratify the Contract, which is expected to happen in early December.

Paint Spots Miscellany Paintbrush Image

Friend Tom Broderick, Executive Director of the Construction Safety Council, advises that the 18th Annual Construction Safety & Health Expo will be held on February 12-14, 2008, at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. Hot sessions at the conference will include Fall Protection, Electrical Hazards, Silica Hazards, Ergonomics, Environmental Hazards, and Workers' Compensation. Detailed information is available at the CCSC web site:

Text Divider Line

Time to re-register with the National Do Not Call Registry. This effort to put yourself out of the reach of the fax merchants and telemarketers will be repaid with time saved in the long run. Go to to register all of your phone, fax and cell phone numbers for the next five years. If you don't want to go on-line, you can call 888-382-1222 from the line you wish to protect. Either way, come 2012, you'll have to go through the same process again to get another five-year break.

Text Divider Line

The huffing and puffing is all over, and Illinois has a new law on the books which will go into effect January 1st. Senate Bill 500 was signed into law by Governor Blagojevich last Summer. Better known as the Smoke Free Illinois Act, the new law makes Illinois the 22nd state to enact an indoor smoking ban. The Act prohibits any smoking in all public places and in any place of employment. Moreover, it also bans smoking outdoors within 15 feet of any entrance, exit or window of a public place or place of employment. The bottom line is…no smoking in or near any bar, restaurant, workplace, meeting room, bowling alley, casino, stadium, taxicab, shopping mall, or other enclosed area. Just about the only places left for smokers will be their own homes and cars. Smokers will be able to continue lighting up legally in private residences, autos, outdoors, private nursing homes, home offices not open to the pubic, retail tobacco shops, and certain hotel rooms. For employers, the new state smoking ban requires those in charge of the workplace to post "No Smoking" signs or the international symbol inside and at every entrance of the public place or place of employment. Yes, all ashtrays must be removed from areas where smoking is prohibited.

What will be the penalty if you get caught violating the law by the Smoke Cops? Smokers will face costs ranging from $100.00 to $250.00. Businesses will pay between $100.00 and $250.00 for a first violation, then $250.00 for a second violation within a year.

Text Divider Line

This may be a good time to quit anyway, if you're a smoker. Aside from the health risks, a pack of cigarettes now costs $5.23.

Text Divider Line

In Illinois, 24 percent of adults and 29 percent of the youth currently smoke.

Text Divider Line

MSN Money readers recently ranked the worst customer service companies in America. You might not find it too amazing that banks, cellular services, and cable TV outfits most heavily populated their "Bottom 10" ranking of companies doing the poorest job of satisfying customer problems. Culprits (remember, this is a #10-to-#1 ranking, making #1 the worst) identified were: (10) Direct TV, (9) Wells Fargo, (8) Verizon, (7) Wal-Mart, (6) Citibank, (5) AT&T, (4) Time Warner Cable, (3) Comcast, (2) Bank of America, and (1) -- drum roll, please -- Sprint.

Text Divider Line

Bargain of the Month Tip…for those of you who are swamped with a ton of photos on their computer and no real system to organize or find them. Just do a Google search for "Picasa" and download this wonderful free software. It will allow you to find all the pictures on your computer, list them on one screen, organize them, edit them, and add special effects. It's nice, it's easy, and -- best of all -- the price is right!

Text Divider Line

Get your gas station money's worth:

  1. Fill up your car or truck in the morning when the temperature is still cool. All service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground, and the colder the ground, the denser the gasoline. When it gets warmer, gasoline expands, so if you're filling up in the afternoon or in the evening, what should be a gallon is not a gallon.
  2. If a tanker is filling the station's tank at the time you want to buy gas, do not fill up. Most likely, dirt and sludge in the tank is being stirred up when gas is being delivered, and you could transfer that dirt from the bottom of their tank into your car's tank.
  3. Fill up when your gas tank is half-full (or half-empty), because the more gas you have in your tank the less air there is. Gasoline evaporates rapidly, especially when it's warm, so you want to minimize evaporation.
  4. When filling up, do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to the high setting. Pump at the slow setting to minimize vapors created while you are pumping. Otherwise the return path for vapor recovery from gas that already has been metered will suck more gas vapor back into the underground tank, giving you less gas for your money.



Jay Weaver Photo

By Jay Weaver, Vice President, Eastern Region and Canada, Finishing Contractors Association

Blue Bullet Immigration Bills: "If You Can't Buy the Whole Pie at Once, Then Purchase It Piece by Piece" seems to be the plan of attack in the waning months of 2007, before Congress adjourns for the year. Immigration politics could soon return to the Senate with a fight over granting illegal alien students a path to citizenship.

Blue Bullet Senate Bill #774, Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors: The DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal aliens who arrived here before the age of 16, have lived here at least 5 years, have graduated from high school, and have finished at least 2 years of college or military service is a hot topic.

Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) would amend the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to repeal the denial of an unlawful alien's eligibility for higher education benefits based on state residence unless a U.S. national is similarly eligible without regard to such state residence. In addition, Senator Durbin would seek to authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to cancel the removal of, and adjust to conditional permanent resident status, an alien who meets the requirements spelled out under five pre-established criteria. This Action has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Related bills in the House are H.R.1221 and H.R.1275.

Blue Bullet The Education Access for Rightful Non-Citizens Act (EARN Act, HR.1221): This measure would provide for cancellation of removal and adjustment of status for some long-term residents who entered the U.S. as children. This bill has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.

Blue Bullet The American Dream Act (H.R.1275): A law that would amend the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to permit states to determine state residency for higher education purposes and authorize the cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of certain alien students who are long-term U.S. residents and who entered the U.S. as children. This bill has been referred to the Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness.

Blue Bullet H-2A Visa Program: Seeking to streamline the current agriculture guest-worker program, this bill is known as the "Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2007." It would improve agricultural job opportunities, benefits, and security for aliens in the U.S., and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Blue Bullet Independent Contractor Classification: The Government Accountability Office reports that it has estimated at least 10 million workers in the U.S. are classified as independent contractors, with as many as 30 percent of employers misclassifying their workers. S.2044, The Independent Contractor Proper Classification (ICPC) Act of 2007, was introduced to rein in rampant worker misclassification abuses that plague the construction industry. Supported by Senators Barack Obama [D-IL], Richard Durbin [D-IL], Ted Kennedy [D-MA], and Patty Murray [D-WA], the bill (1) amends Section 530 to allow the IRS to require employers to reclassify workers that they have misclassified in the past, (2) eliminates the ban on the IRS issuing regulations or revenue rulings on employee-independent contractor status, and (3) eliminates the old ability of employers to rely on others in the industry who misclassify their employees (the so-called "common law" loophole) as a basis for continuing to misclassify their own. This bill should lead to better tax compliance, fair pay and benefits, proper workers' compensation coverage, and competition on a level playing field for workers and businesses. Status: Referred to the Senate Finance Committee. The FCA supports this legislation, which has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

Blue Bullet Estate Tax Reform: Once again, a bill has been introduced (H.R.2380: Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2007) in an effort to permanently repeal the estate tax after December 31, 2010. Previously introduced H.R.1586: Death Tax Repeal Act of 2007 is related legislation.

Blue Bullet H.R.1586: The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2007 (Rep. Mac Thornberry [R-TX]) would repeal the federal estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. This bill has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee with 89 co-sponsors. The FCA supports this legislation.

Blue Bullet H.R.2380: The Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2007 (Rep. Kenny Hulshof [R-MO]) would make the repeal of the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes under the Economic Growth and Tax Reconciliation Act of 2001 permanent. However, with a Democratic majority in both houses, full permanent repeal seems unlikely, though modest reforms are still possible. This bill has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee with 152 co-sponsors. The FCA supports this legislation.

For more information, visit:
   Blue Bullet
         Blue Bullet
               Blue Bullet

September 19, 2007 • Maggiano's Little Italy • Chicago


Dan Hampton

Bears great Dan Hampton, who played for the 1985 Super Bowl XX Champion Chicago Bears, appeared as the Keynote Speaker at FCAC's September 19th General Membership Meeting held at Maggiano's Little Italy in Chicago. Dan's presentation combined motivation, insight, and just the right amount of locker room anecdotes to keep our audience entertained and informed, and he remained long after the dinner to sign autographs and visit. A Pro Football Hall of Famer, Dan was a first-round draft pick for the Bears in 1979 out of the University of Arkansas. An outstanding, versatile defensive lineman, he played 12 seasons with the Bears, six times earning first or second team All-Pro honors. Nicknamed "Danimal" for a ferocious style of play, Hampton endured 10 knee surgeries and numerous other injuries to become recognized as one of the game's most dedicated players. Now enjoying a second career in radio on WGN, he drew a capacity crowd to the September FCAC General Membership Meeting.

Dan Hampton Speaks at Chicago FCA General Membership Meeting

Safety Training Awards Recognition


Grand Prize Winner
Jeff Hester (Hester Decorating), Joe Feldner (McNulty Brothers), Terry Fitzmaurice (PDC14 Secretary-Treasurer), and Ed Bogdan (JATC-DFTC) congratulating Mike.



L.U. 147
L.U. 521
L.U. 147
L.U. 273
L.U. 33
L.U. 273
L.U. 147
L.U. 265
L.U. 194
L.U. 33
L.U. 191
L.U. 33
L.U. 147
L.U. 265
L.U. 191
L.U. 191
L.U. 265

$30,000.00 TRUCK
$ 3,500.00 VACATION
$ 3,500.00 VACATION
42" LG LCD T.V.
42" LG LCD T.V.
42" LG LCD T.V.
42" LG LCD T.V.
$500.00 GIFT CARD
$500.00 GIFT CARD
$500.00 GIFT CARD
$500.00 GIFT CARD
$500.00 GIFT CARD
$100.00 GIFT CARD
$100.00 GIFT CARD
$100.00 GIFT CARD
$100.00 GIFT CARD
$100.00 GIFT CARD


Breakfast Table
L.U. 147 (standing, from left to right): George Hruban, Carlos Villela, Ronulfo Montes, Mike Merda, Tracy Johnson, Jerry Donovan, Richard (Chuck) Devereaux, Josef Valasek, and Michael Kraweic. (Seated, from left to right): Julius Smith, Dennis Roach, Michael Coughlin, Antonio Alvarez, Eugene Kelly, and Joseph Howard.
STAR photos

Thirty-nine painters and tapers completed safety and advanced skills training to qualify for the 2007 STAR (Safety Training Awards Recognition) prize drawings at the Rosewood Restaurant on October 6th. All received a valuable gift package and tool bag. Some won cash gift cards. Others took home large-screen LCD televisions. Two landed vacation trips. One was given the keys to a brand-new Ford pickup truck….

STAR Speakers STAR Speakers
JATC Apprentice Training Coordinator Ed Bogdan, and JATC Committee Chairman Jeff Castles helped conduct the proceedings at the October 6th STAR Awards Breakfast.


Preparing to kick off the project were (from left): Justin Malone, Journeyman Painter, Local 33, Joliet; Dave Figueroa, Apprentice Painter, Local 33, Joliet; Robert Tracy, Tracy Painting & Decorating, Inc.; Jim Alberico, Journeyman Painter, Local 33, Joliet; and Andy Cruz, Journeyman Painter, Local 147, Chicago.

Gym Before Renovation
Above, the dark, dungeon-like gym and stage before painting.

United Cerebral Palsy of Will County received a bright new look in their building thanks to a crew of FCAC Union painters. Located on Reed Street in Joliet, the former Joliet Grade School District 86 building had not been painted in over 30 years. But all that changed the first week of May, when Bob Tracy (Tracy Painting & Decorating) and his crew of painters gave the gymnasium, stage, walks, ceilings, staircases, doors, and windows a much-needed fresh coat of paint.

The ball started rolling in February, 2007, when the IAF (Industry Advancement Fund) Board of Directors voted to support this Charitable Painting Project, donating $5,525.00 to finance the work. The PDCA and FCAC Boards of Directors then assigned this project to Tracy Painting & Decorating, Inc. of Lockport, Illinois.

This worthwhile project was also made possible by the contributions from the following vendors and people:

  • Sherwin Williams donated 82 gallons of paint.
  • ICI Paints donated a portion of the protection (rolls of plastic for covering gym and stage floors, basketball hoops, and ceramic glazed tile) used on this project.
  • Joliet Rental Max contributed a 20% discount on the scaffold rental.
  • Glen Fredricks, Business Agent donated his supervisory skills on Tuesday, May 1st.
  • To keep the project under budget, Bob Tracy donated a painter for an additional half day of work to finish painting a stairwell.

A grateful Samuel Mancuso, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Cerebral Palsy of Will County, stated, "Once again, UCP is blessed to be the beneficiary of the wonderful talents and generosity of union labor. The exceptional quality of their work is evident throughout our buildings, particularly in the recently-completed gymnasium project. The gym is now a bright and inviting multi-purpose room for all our clients to use for a wide range of physical activities, as well as for staging events, parties, school graduations, etc."

Charitable Painting Project Photos
$5000 JATC Donation

PDCA Associates Group Vice President Diane Meyer, of J.C. Licht & Company, presented a $5,000.00 donation check for the Apprentice School STAR Program to JATC Apprentice Training Coordinator Ed Bogdan (left) and PDC14 Secretary-Treasurer Terry Fitzmaurice at the September 19, 2007, FCAC General Membership Meeting held at Maggiano's Little Italy in Chicago.

JATC Graduation

Finishing Industry Forum

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada
November 12-15, 2007

Caesars Palace At this writing, Workshops are under way at the annual LMCI Finishing Industry Forum in Las Vegas. The 2007 program features an exciting agenda & presentations from high profile speakers including Mark Breslin and new workshops, such as Top Workforce Performance, Future of Apprenticeship & Journeyman Training, and Collective Bargaining Agreements. LMCI is a jointly-trusteed fund reflecting the partnership of FCA, the Finishing Contractors Association, and IUPAT, the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades.

2007 Graduation

2007 JATC Graduates

The JATC-DFTC Apprentice Training Programs produced 74 graduates for the Class of 2007, which celebrated completion of all requirements to attain Journeyman status at the October 19, 2007, Graduation Ceremony held at the Rosewood Restaurant in Rosemont. Dan Penski, Director of the Finishing Trades Institute, served as Keynote Speaker.

Associates Christmas Luncheon


Christmas Luncheon

December 7, 2007
Finley's Grill Room

3131 Finley Road • Downers Grove, IL

• 11:30 am Refreshments
• 12:00 pm Free Lunch
Call 630/393-1313 by Tuesday, 12/04/07, to R.S.V.P

Contractors & Associates Are Cordially Invited
to Attend the FCAC Christmas Luncheon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Maggiano's Little Italy • 240 OakbrookCenter
Oak Brook, IL • 630/368-0300

Contractors & Associates Christmas Luncheon
• 11:30 am Reception
• 12:00 pm Family-Style Lunch
• 1:00 pm Membership Meeting

Call FCAC Today at 630/393-1313 For Reservations!