EAS Carpenters Helping Elect Pro-Worker Representatives

 

 

The Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters is committed to making sure that our organization supports elected officials and candidates that understand union values and support issues that affect all workers. The process to gain an endorsement includes both council and local leadership as well as our dedicated political staff members. Candidates must understand what issues affect workers in their daily lives, answer questions from our leadership, and take time to tour one of our many training centers. Once leadership on all levels approves the endorsement of a candidate our Council will announce the recommendation of support to our membership.   

 

See who is endorsed on your ballot!!!

 



Right-to-Work 

 

Don’t let the name full you. So-called Right-to-Work laws don’t give anyone the actual right to work. They legally stop unions from collecting dues that pay for representation. Without dues, unions cannot represent their members and protect their collectively bargained rights. The States in our region that have not passed so-called right-to-work legislation see elected officials introduce the bills year after year. The Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters will always be vigilant and not only fight to repeal right-to-work in states that have made the misguided policy law, but also be prepared to fight against any bills looking to spread these attacks on workers

Tax Fraud

 

When it comes to tax fraud everyone is a victim. Tax fraud takes place when unscrupulous contractors use tactics like misclassifying workers as 1099 employees, committing wage theft, utilizing labor brokers, and more to provide them with more profits. When these practices are used vulnerable workers, the taxpayers, honest contractors, union workers, and local government suffer. While these greedy contractors underpay their employees using these tactics they are also not paying their fair share. It provides the contractors with the ability to not pay workers compensation and local taxes that would be paid if they classified their workers as they should be. In turn workers are then not protected if injured on the job, and they minimize local taxes to repair crumbling roads and bridges, funding for our schools, providing well-deserved services to our veterans and fully funding social security and Medicare for our seniors. The laws on the books need to be enforced, fines need to be raised, and all levels of government need to work together to provide the resources necessary to stop these practices.

 

  • Tax Fraud Enforcement: 
    • Our members work to educate and organize the public regarding construction industry tax fraud, but more needs to be done by those in power to enforce the laws on the books already. Elected leaders and government agencies that are tasked with investigating and prosecuting these fraudulent practices in their communities would make a true difference for all affected. Construction workers, taxpayers, local government treasuries and more would all benefit from having our enforcement agencies stand up to tax fraud and the unscrupulous contractors and labor brokers that utilize these greedy practices.

Davis-Bacon Act and Prevailing Wage Laws

 

The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 requires that contractors and subcontractors must pay their employees under the contract no less than the local prevailing wage and fringe benefits for corresponding work on similar projects in the area. The Davis-Bacon Act protects taxpayer investments by ensuring that public projects are built to the highest standards. A prevailing wage keeps local tax dollars working in the community through the hiring of highly trained and skilled local workers. This law and the prevailing wage rates it protects provide good-paying jobs and include investment in training and apprenticeship programs which provide a life-long career path for workers.

 

When the prevailing wage is protected it prevents government spending from driving down local wages, living standards and strengthens the local economy. Supporting the local economy provides more income to be spent at local businesses and investment in the community. Prevailing wage maintains standards for workers from all backgrounds and enables women and minorities to benefit from training and apprenticeship programs that provide real equal pay for equal work.

Project Labor Agreements

 

A Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is an agreement between local unions and a governing body that ensures locals, minorities, and women are employed on a project and fair wage benefits and safety standards are adhered to. When PLA’s are utilized to build projects in a community the community receives the benefit of having the most skilled and best-trained workers for the job and ensuring that hard-working local men and women are protected from unscrupulous contractors who will not maintain local area standards for wages and benefits. Unions can negotiate PLA’s that directly help to create wage standards for all workers in a community. This means that when unions are used in a community there are better wage standards set for union and non-union workers alike. The agreements provide more income for local working families that adds revenue to local treasuries and disposable income to be spent at small businesses.  When a community chooses union they choose to take care of everyone.

 

Responsible Bidder Language

 

Locally taxpayer-funded projects should receive bids from local contractors that will provide the public with the best available work on construction projects like schools, bridges, libraries and more. The lowest bid for these projects is not always the best bid for the community. Adding responsible bidder language to local ordinances provides the community with not just a cheap way to complete work, but instead a tried and true method that takes safety, education, local workers, fair pay and more benefits into consideration. By setting minimum requirements for all contractors bidding on publicly funded projects the taxpayers are protected and ensured that the contractor can prove participation in an apprentice program, are in compliance with the law and can show certificates of insurance, and other pre-qualification surveys.

 

Ordinances promoting responsible bidder languages is an insurance policy to the local tax-payers. It protects them and the local government from unscrupulous contractors that provide low bids that will not save anyone money in the end.

Protecting Union Apprenticeships

 

The cost of higher education has been a major issue facing students and their families in the United States. Luckily union apprenticeships provide the next generation of construction workers the ability to learn a craft in state-of-the-art union apprenticeship programs. The “Earn as You Learn” format of education that is made possible through investments by unions and contractor investment, provides the best education for the skilled craftsman in the construction industry. Included in this education are strict standards in safety requirements and on the job training required to make sure fellow workers and the public are safe.

 

Recently, some politicians, state and federal regulators, and non-union construction groups have sought ways to undermine these strict requirements and create new costly “apprenticeship” programs in the construction industry. Watering down regulations for construction industry apprentice programs and allowing organizations that will not hold their apprentices to higher standards will hurt the construction industry. The next generation of workers will be an important part of the future of our economy. Providing them with the free education and second to none training union apprenticeships offer need to protected and championed.