The DROPCLOTH Covers Everything


Volume 62, Number 3
Summer, 2007

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September 12, 2007  •  Maggiano's Little Italy, Chicago

Chicago Bears Logo


All FCAC and PDCA Contractor Members and Associates are invited to attend the 9/12/07 General Membership Meeting at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Chicago.

Our Guest Speaker will be Dan Hampton, who played for the 1985 Super Bowl XX Champion Chicago Bears, and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

A first-round draft pick for the Bears in 1979 from the University of Arkansas, he was clearly an outstanding, versatile defensive lineman. He played 12 seasons with the Bears, six times earning All-Pro honors.

Nicknamed “Danimal” for a ferocious style of play, Hampton endured 10 knee surgeries and numerous other serious injuries to gain recognition as one of the game’s most dedicated players.

It’s for the 1985 season, though, that Dan and the Bears’ defense is best remembered. That year, Chicago allowed just 198 points and shut out both opponents in the NFC playoffs. The Bears went on to destroy New England 46-10 in Super Bowl XX, allowing just 123 total yards and sacking Patriot quarterbacks seven times.

Although 1985 may have been a high point in his career, Hampton continued to play at a high level until finally retiring in 1990, becoming just the second Bear to play in three different decades. These days, you can catch him talking football every week on WGN Radio's “Three Bears” show.


Dan Hampton
Paint Spots Miscellany Paintbrush Image

With the news reporting daily on the current war in Iraq, sometimes the politics involved overshadows the real price that has always been paid by our citizens in military service:

  • It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
  • It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
  • It is the VETERAN, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
  • It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
  • It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
  • It is the VETERAN, most certainly not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.

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You just know you’re out of step when your definitions for common terms become obsolete. For example, do you still regard “memory” as something you lose with age? Is an “application” still used to seek employment? Now how about “programs?” Are they TV shows? Does a “cursor” use profanity? Do you think a “keyboard” is a piano...a “web” is a spider’s home…a “virus” is the flu…a “CD” is a bank account…a “hard drive” is a long trip on the road…and that a “mouse pad” is where a mouse lives?

Now, if you had a “3.5-inch floppy” …well, never mind.

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Here’s a collection of acerbic wit and wicked put-downs issued by some of the greatest wordsmiths in history:

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”

- Winston Churchill

“History repeats itself. That’s one of the things wrong with history.”

- Clarence Darrow

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.”

- Abraham Lincoln

“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.”

- Groucho Marx

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”

- Mark Twain

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A Polish painter noticed his driver’s license had expired, so he went to the DMV to get it renewed. Wouldn’t you know, they said he had to start all over and apply for a new driver’s license. First came the eyesight test, so the clerk

displayed a card with the letters, “C Z W I X N O S T A C Z.” “Can you read this?” he asked. “Read it?” the painter replied…. “I know that guy!”

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Elsewhere in this Dropcloth issue we have published information on the forthcoming STP-I and STP-II Seminars planned to be held on October 2-5, 2007, at the JATC Apprentice Training Facility in Berkeley. This will be our premier Contractor educational event of the year, and all FCAC Contractors and Signatory Contractors are most welcome to attend. The LMCI has invested heavily in developing these seminars in recent years, and they have proven quite beneficial both here and in other cities across the land. Please note the dates and plan to send your supervisory personnel. They won’t be disappointed!

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Stress Management is all about dealing with burdens in life without letting them get to you:

  • Accept that some days you're the pigeon, other days you're the statue.
  • Keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  • Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
  • If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  • If you lend someone $20 and never see him again, it's worth it.
  • Your purpose in life may be serving as a warning to others.
  • Never buy a car you can't push.
  • Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
  • Remember, the second mouse gets the cheese.
  • When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
  • Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
  • A truly happy person enjoys the scenery on a detour.

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The U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit has ruled that an arbitration board's decision (i.e., that a contractor who created an “alter ego corporation” to obtain work without using members of the local Union with which it had a Collective Bargaining Agreement) was not preempted by the National Labor Relations Act.

The Court affirmed a Federal District Court's decision which upheld the arbitration award in favor of Iron Workers Local Union 25. It held that the Union's grievance seeking lost wages and benefits against Dobson Industrial for breaching its CBA by the ruse of creating and managing an alter ego company called IMM, Inc. was a matter of contract interpretation and that the issues had been properly resolved through arbitration.



Jay Weaver Photo

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

Blue Bullet Both the Senate and the House have launched immigration legislation (S.1348 Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, S.AMDT.1150 - a bipartisan amendment introduced as a substitute for S.1348, and H.R.1645 Security through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy [STRIVE] Act of 2007) which, essentially:
  • Establishes stronger border security.
  • Sets up penalties for employers who violate their provisions.
  • Enables about 12 million illegal aliens to remain in the country and eventually become legalized citizens.
  • Creates a “guest worker” program for future workers (200,000 guest workers/year).
  • Sets up an employer electronic verification system.

Various factions have formed which do not favor portions of these bills. Several Members of Congress see the bills as simply granting “amnesty” to the illegal aliens currently working in the U.S., unless they are required to adhere to a “touchback provision” (i.e., return to their home countries and re-enter through a port of entry). The business community wants to ensure that any employer electronic verification system is easy to operate, not costly to implement, and includes a “safe harbor” provision when used. And the labor community is opposed to any temporary guest worker program because it feels the legislation provides insufficient protection for U.S. and immigrant workers.

The FCA will withhold any firm position until the provisions of these bills stabilize, particularly in the following three areas:

1) Legalization of Illegal Workers Program (referred to as a “Z” Visa): The FCA commends Congress for trying to resolve the status of the 12M illegal workers already in the U.S. The current proposals have these temporary workers completing the following steps in order to obtain the “Z” status: (1) coming forward within 18 months of the bill's enactment; (2) pleading guilty to breaking the law & being placed on probation; (3) paying an extensive fine & processing fee; (4) undergoing a criminal background check; (5) providing proof that they are currently employed; and (6) becoming proficient in English. To avoid the “amnesty” perception and to ensure these immigrants are here legally, the FCA wants to see the “touchback provision” included in the final version and the specifics on how it will be enforced.

2) Temporary/Guest Worker Program (referred to as a “Y” Visa). We agree with our labor partner's opposition to this provision as currently written on the grounds that this category of worker would not be adequately protected from unscrupulous contractor abuse and exploitation and that an uneven playing field would be created in the private sector because of the method of wage calculations being proposed. In addition, if such a category of worker is created, we disagree with the two-year work periods, separated by one-year intervals outside of the U.S. away from the job. Because of the investments that an employer must make to recruit and train these temporary workers, the turmoil that would be created by such frequent and lengthy changes in work crews would negatively impact a contractor's operations.

3) Employee Electronic Verification System: To enhance border security, the bill requires employers to electronically verify the employment status of all new hires within 6 months of the bill's enactment. Within 3 years of enactment, all employees would need to be verified. Finally, federal contractors may be required to verify employees immediately. It is our view that such a program must be fairly enforced, easy to use, not costly to implement, and accurate and reliable, with a “safe harbor” provision (i.e., no penalties assessed to employers who use it yet later find that some employees are identified as illegal workers).

Blue Bullet Employers who classify workers as independent contractors rather than as employees cost federal/state governments billions of dollars in tax revenue each year, while depriving workers of legal benefits including unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, and fair wages and hours. The Government Accountability Office estimates the government lost $4.7B in income taxes last year alone because of employers incorrectly classifying employees. Some of them intentionally misclassify employees to avoid taxes, insurance costs, and statutory protections for employees in an effort to cut costs and gain an advantage over their competitors during the contract bidding process.

In 2008, the IRS intends to make worker classification cases involving whether workers are employees or independent contractors a major focus. It is our opinion that legislation in this arena would be an appropriate alternative to the ill-conceived 3% withholding tax on payments to contractors for goods/services provided to federal, state, and local governments.


Larry Redlin Lawrence Norbert Redlin passed away at age 90 on March 11, 2007, following complications following heart surgery. Larry was a very well respected Past President of Chicago PDCA, remembered for his great sense of humor, sharp mind, and love of jazz and big band music. Larry worked in retirement (1996 to 2006) as a Golf Ranger at The Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, near his retirement home. He specialized in golf jokes...real groaners.

Larry trained through the R.O.T.C. program at the University of Georgia, where he also joined the Chi-Psi Fraternity, and entered the service when the war broke out. He served as an Executive Officer and commanded the USS Pennsylvania, an LCI (Landing Craft Infantry) during his World War II service.

Larry and his brother founded Redlin, Inc. an industrial painting and contracting firm in Chicago, which brought about his long and productive involvement with Chicago PDCA. He is survived by his wife, Lorraine, of 60 years; their children Richard Redlin, Rosemary Redlin, Christine Redlin, Lawrence Redlin; and grandchildren, Lawrence Redlin Jr. and Jennifer Redlin. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lauri Redlin. Lorraine has since relocated to Los Angeles to live near her children.

Note New Website Address:

FCAC Web Site Home Page Earlier this year, with the inception of FCAC (the Finishing Contractors Association of Chicago) the Board of Directors decided it would be appropriate to change the domain name of our website to reflect this new identity. Hence, the web address for the FCA of Chicago, Chicago PDCA, and the Painting & Decorating Contractors Industry Advancement & Promotional Fund was changed to

Currently, and for a few more months, both addresses will take visitors to our website. But later this year, when the domain registration for the old address expires, only the new address will work. So please take a few minutes right now to update the address on your computer so it reflects the new url: on your internet browser's “Favorite” or “Bookmark” list . . . .


Group Photo

Veteran Chicago PDCA Associate Members Jim Arrivo and Al Deatherage were honored for their many years of distinguished service at this year's Golf Outing. As each prepares for his next phase of life, total retirement is unlikely.

Jim & Al followed different career paths, but have been friends since youth. “I've known Al since I was nine years old,” Jim recalls. “We grew up in the same neighborhood just a couple blocks apart, and Al worked in my Dad's store, delivering groceries.” The friendship has now endured 54 years.

Jim is a Chicago native. He attended Mendel Catholic High School on the South Side, then studied chemistry in college. He was hired by Sherwin-Williams in 1962, and first worked in the lab, then in the stores, where a job in sales blossomed into a lifelong career. Taking time out to sell insurance for five years, Jim returned to the industry in 1970 with Martin Senour. By 1981, he had joined Pratt & Lambert, where he worked until 2002 in sales and as a Regional Director. From 2002 to the present, he served with Coronado Paints & ICI. Jim plans to spend more time with his wife, Lori, at their Green Lake, Wisconsin, home but will stay active with his personal business interests.

Al also grew up on the South Side, in the Roseland District, where he attended Pullman High School. In 1955, he went to work for his Uncle, Karl Fries, installing parquet flooring until 1960. There, he became fast friends with the late Larry Johnson, who went on to an estimating job at The Levy Company in 1959. Former Associates President Bill Wright, now retired and living in Florida, was another compadre. Al first worked for Sherwin-Williams from 1960 to 1964, then began a period of alternating between selling paint and working on the contractor side in sales and estimating. From the mid-1960's through the early 1980's, he gained experience with Soutsos Decorating, Bloom-Lohre Painting, Berkes Decorating, and Steve Rogers Decorating…along with two stints at Glidden selling paint. Returning to the Sherwin-Williams fold in 1983, Al worked there through retirement this year in June. Al isn't totally retiring either, as he once again plans to do sales and estimating work a couple days a week for contractors. But he and his wife, Dee, will definitely be visiting Las Vegas more frequently.

For Union Painting Contractors:

Fall “STP” Seminars

On October 2-5, 2007, the IAF will offer two new “STP” Seminars at the JATC Apprentice Training Center in Berkeley. LMCI, the Labor-Management Cooperation Initiative, developed the curriculum.

STP-I is a three-day course that will be held on October 2-4, 2007, at the school. STP-II is a single-day session that will be held on Friday, following the STP-I training. STP-II is advanced training for persons who have already completed STP-I. All graduates of STP-I from PDC14 and PDC30 are eligible and welcome to attend Chicago's STP-II Seminar.

Program Objectives:

  • Defining the role of a Supervisor.
  • Refining Communication Skills.
  • Stressing Teambuilding Concepts.
  • Enhancing Productivity Concepts.
  • Understanding Cost Realities in the Construction Business.

Topics Include:

  1. Defining the Supervisor's Role: Transition into Management.
    • The definition of Supervisor.
    • Recognizing the Supervisor as Manager.
    • Differentiating the attributes of management people from those of craft workers.
    • Understanding the names and definitions of the classical functions of management.
  2. Industry Overview: Cost Realities.
    • Understanding how your job fits into the world of construction.
    • The cost matrix of finishing contractors.
    • Direct versus overhead costs.
    • The cost basis for competing.
  3. Performance Management: Understanding Human Nature, Motivating, and Leading.
    • Understanding the common elements of human motivation.
    • Recognizing these elements in a hierarchy of needs.
    • The concepts of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, motivation and demotivation.
    • Tenets of theory X and theory Y.
    • How to use this information.
  4. Team Building at the Crew Level:
    • Understand personality types.
    • Learn to develop teams.
  1. Verbal Communications: Communicating with the Crew.
    • Define the scope and importance of verbal communication.
    • Discuss the effectiveness of verbal communication.
    • Review techniques for improving verbal communication.
  2. Written Communication: Jobsite Documentation.
    • Reinforcing the importance of written communication.
    • Reviewing key jobsite documents.
  3. Labor Relations: Labor Law and the Supervisor's Role.
    • Briefly review employment laws.
    • Reviewing the Supervisor's role.
    • Reviewing the four ‘T”s - treat, tolerate, transfer, terminate.
    • Review termination procedures.
  4. Safety Fundamentals/Economics:
    • What a safety program is.
    • The Supervisor's role in a safety program.
    • The economic impact of safety.
    • The ability to recognize and correct job hazards.
  5. Tool and Material Management: Managing Tools and Equipment on the Jobsite.
    • Learning to better manage tools and materials.
    • Understanding costs of tools and materials.
  6. The Contract as a Management Tool: Contract Fundamentals.
    • Understanding what a contract is.
    • Understand how the contract impacts the job.
    • Recognize contract requirements.
  7. Production Management: Case Study/Analytical Tools.
    • Recognize value in production studies.
    • Learning how to observe and analyze production.
    • Introducing analytical tools.
    • Consider activity interaction.
  8. Planning and Scheduling: Scheduling Fundamentals.
    • Defining a schedule.
    • Who needs a schedule.
    • The importance of a schedule.
    • Overview of various types of schedules, and the benefits and limitations of each.
    • Understanding the bar chart.
  9. Understanding the Costs: The Estimating Process.
    • The estimating, cost accounting, budgeting, cost reporting, cost control, historical information database system.
    • Costs and their importance…the estimate is a good place to begin.
    • Understand types of estimates.
    • Estimating terminology.
    • Understanding labor cost.
    • Understanding cash flow.



Golf Photos

The 2007 Chicago PDCA/FCA Golf Outing returned to beautiful Bloomingdale Golf Club for fair weather and a great round of golf. A sunny day dawned on June 15th and comfortable morning breezes warmed as the outing progressed. A full complement of 144 golfers signed up for a round of golf and participated in the many contests and games devised by the Associates who met them along the way. New this year was “Speed Golf,” wherein each foursome struggled to beat the clock for lowest elapsed time on Hole No. 1, a par 4.

Honors for Low Gross went to the Midwest foursome of Roy Dennis, Ron Doogan, Trevor Ryor, and John Burnes with a 59. Also recognized was the foursome of Gerry Harms, Rich Volkmer, Mike Conrad, and Larry Thomas (most honest!) with an 84. Closest-to-the-Pin Contest winners included Roy Dennis (Men's) and Tania Giese (Women's) on Hole #6. Ed McKinnie “Hit the Dropcloth” on Hole #8 and won a cash prize as well as the PDCA dropcloth for his efforts. Longest Putt on Hole #9 winners were Jason Steffen (Men's) and Sheri Zeman (Women's). Rob Olszewski (Men's) and Sheri Zeman (Women's) hit the Longest Drive on Hole #18. The Benjamin Moore foresome of Erik Gramer, Rich Schutt, Dave Swanson, and Ed Foreman outran the field with a 1:30:47 in the Speed Golf contest. Festivities concluded with Casey Hoye of J. M. Brennan Co. holding the winning raffle ticket for a $500 Cash Prize.

Congratulations to all…and make a note on your 2008 Calendar to attend next year's event on 6/20/2008!

2007 FCAC/PDCA Golf Outing Photos


-- September 12, 2007 --




• 6:30 PM - DINNER

• 7:30 PM - PROGRAM


OCTOBER 2-3-4-5, 2007