August Member E-News: Good catch at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant; Member Spotlight on Dustin Bell; Training text reminders; Work updates; Open opportunities; and more
Read about upcoming work in the Eastern Region, which consists of Local 1263, Local 1000, and Local 2411.
2023 has been busy, and SSMRC millwrights will be in high demand within the automotive and power-generation industries across our footprint this fall. Recruitment is a high priority, and we need members to accommodate all of the upcoming projects headed our way.
The Western Region of the SSMRC is preparing for another busy fall season. Work will be plentiful and spread out across the four-state region with multiple petrochemical and power-generation projects starting in September.
Millwrights avert forced shutdown by spotting leaking pipeline during outage at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant
The vigilance of two UBC millwrights working at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, prevented an emergency shutdown of a unit at the plant, which supplies electricity to approximately 1.3 million homes.
Dustin Bell of Atkins, Arkansas, joined Local 216 in 2015 and worked as a foreman for University Plant Services. “My specialty was reciprocating compressors, and I always enjoyed working on them,” he says. In April, Bell began teaching at the Russellville, Arkansas, training center.
Davis-Bacon Act updates mean higher pay, expanded coverage, more worker protections on projects headed our way
The U.S. Labor Department has announced comprehensive updates to the Davis-Bacon Act that will raise pay for many construction workers (including millwrights), help ensure prevailing wages keep pace with actual wages, expand coverage to modern energy projects, beef up enforcement, and protect workers from retaliation.
Two new laws that expand protections for pregnant and nursing workers are now in effect. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations and the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act increases protections for those who need private lactation spaces.
The Carpenters International Training Fund has announced a text-notification option that became available Aug. 1. This functionality allows members to opt-in to receive text notifications for qualifications or certifications due to expire in 90 days, 60 days, and 30 days.
One hundred and forty-five SSMRC members reached leadership milestones in June and July while attending Third-Year Apprentice and 212 Journeymen classes at the UBC International Training Center in Las Vegas.
SSMRC leaders successfully advocated for our members on two fronts recently during meetings with a U.S. senator from Georgia and a Florida district secretary of transportation. “The bipartisan relationships we’ve built here in the South help us get a lot accomplished,” said Rick Halford, political director for the SSMRC.
Register to attend the July 25 Sisters in the Brotherhood meeting focusing on continuing ‘Pathways to Success’!
All women in the SSMRC are invited to attend a Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee meeting that will be held online Tuesday, July 25, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Central time. The theme of the meeting is “Continuing Pathways to Success.”
During the Trump administration, the National Labor Relations Board tried to hurt our unions and members by claiming construction workers and others, like millwrights, who do irregular work are not employees but small businesses, or independent contractors.
Workers in Alabama will have a temporary reprieve from state income taxes on overtime pay in 2024 and part of 2025, thanks to a bill the governor signed into law June 9. The Southern States Millwrights supports this action, and the legislation had unanimous, bipartisan support.
With the weather heating up, it’s important to know your rights regarding working in hot temperatures. Let your supervisor, job steward or business agent know if you have any jobsite health and safety concerns, including those related to extreme heat.
SSMRC Central Region Director Jeff Smith promoted our recruitment and training capabilities April 13 when he met with leaders of the Tennessee Automotive Manufacturers Association and Ford’s BlueOval City project under construction near Memphis. The meeting took place during TAMA’s Spring Conference.
Tax fraud hurts everyone – workers, including our members, and their families, law-abiding contractors, communities, school children, veterans, and all taxpayers. That’s why we unite with the UBC and other regional during Tax Fraud Days of Action every year.
Support labor-friendly nominee to continue Marty Walsh’s pro-union work as head of U.S. Labor Department
Marty Walsh, a former union member, has led the U.S. Labor Department with policies and initiatives for strengthening workers’ rights, unions, and union apprenticeships. The nominee to be his successor is equally qualified and just as committed to defending working people’s rights and holding corporations accountable under the law.
Recruitment is a vital part of growing and strengthening the union, and the SSMRC Sisters in the Brotherhood Committee has made recruitment a top priority for its 2023-2024 goal cycle. Through collaborations with local business agents and training directors, several SIB members have been able to attend conferences and job fairs to reach out to young adults and working men and women.
Construction of a 25,000-square-foot training center in La Vergne, Tennessee, near Nashville, is complete. The next step is installing training equipment, and a grand opening is slated for May. The new building consists of 20,000 square feet of training space and 5,000 square feet of office and administrative areas.