SSMRC, Southern District staff help relaunch Arkansas Labor Caucus
SSMRC and UBC Southern District staff are helping to relaunch the Arkansas Labor Caucus. At a July 13 meeting, members of several labor unions met to elect officers, approve bylaws, and make a plan for recruiting members.
Staff help new DOL investigators ensure contractors pay prevailing wages
SSMRC and Central South Carpenters staff met with new U.S. Labor Department investigators in Oklahoma July 13 to explain millwright and carpenter jurisdictions (the types of work each craft performs) so the investigators can better ensure prevailing wages and benefits are paid to workers on federal projects.
SSMRC, CSCRC staff talk union issues with Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate
SSMRC and Central South Carpenters staff met with Oklahoma gubernatorial candidate Joy Hofmeister July 18 to discuss issues, including worker misclassification, that affect union members and the law-abiding contractors who employ them.
$1 Billion in Airport Funding to Benefit Union Millwrights and Contractors
In the next year, $1 billion in airport-terminal-improvement projects will begin at 85 airports across the country. Funding for the projects comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and represents the first year of a five-year program to invest $5 billion in terminals.
Updates proposed for Davis-Bacon prevailing-wage law
For the first time in 40 years, the U.S. Labor Department is proposing comprehensive updates to the Davis-Bacon Act. The changes would speed up prevailing wage updates, improve efficiency, and ensure prevailing-wage rates keep up with actual wages.
Full pension benefits saved for millions of union workers, retirees
Pensions are now secure for millions of union workers workers and retirees who were at risk of losing their benefits, the U.S. Labor Department announced July 6.
Union members receive much better pay, benefits, Congressional report shows
The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee has released a study showing that, compared to their non-union peers, union members earn 10.2% higher wages and are 18.3% more likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance.
Labor Department holding forums on worker misclassification
Employers and employees are invited to U.S. Labor Department online forums about worker misclassification. Employees who are misclassified as independent contractors are deprived of employer-provided health, retirement, and other benefits as well as Social-Security and Family-and-Medical-Leave-Act benefits.
Oklahoma cuts unemployment benefits period by 10 weeks
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law May 20 that reduces the time Oklahomans can receive unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 16 weeks beginning in January of next year.
SSMRC political director: Take into account new voting laws and make a plan to vote
Primaries are happening across the South; make a plan to get out to vote. Voting laws across some of the Southern states have changed. Here’s what you need to know.
Governors attack order requiring labor agreements on large federal projects
Governors of nine states in the SSMRC’s 11-state jurisdiction have signed a letter opposing an executive order issued in February that requires project labor agreements on large, federally funded construction projects.
SSMRC, UBC fighting tax fraud because it harms workers, law-abiding contractors, communities, taxpayers
Regional councils and locals that make up the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, our parent organization, participated in more than 200 events and initiatives across the United States and Canada during construction-industry Tax Fraud Days of Action, April 11-16, 2022.
Senator’s plan would raise taxes on 40% of Americans, end Social Security, Medicare
A proposal by a Republican U.S. senator from Florida would increase income taxes for the lowest-earning 40% of Americans and allow all federal legislation to "sunset" within five years, meaning programs including Social Security, Medicare, and more would end unless Congress reauthorized them.
Oklahoma, Louisiana consider cutting duration of unemployment benefits
Several state legislatures, including those in Oklahoma and Louisiana, are considering cuts to their unemployment-benefit programs that would reduce the number of weeks people can receive aid, lower weekly benefit amounts, or make work-search requirements tougher.
Georgia lawmakers approve program that would reward contractors for employing apprentices
Georgia contractors will soon be able to "sponsor" apprentices in U.S. Labor Department-registered apprenticeship programs for high-demand careers and receive a "contract completion award" of up to $10,000 for each apprentice who remains in their employment through program completion.
Federal task force releases recommendations for promoting worker organizing
The White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment has released a report with nearly 70 recommendations that promote worker organizing and collective bargaining.
NLRB attorney speeding to protect workers, unions
The National Labor Relations Board's new head lawyer has been working quickly to beef up legal protections for workers and unions and to increase penalties for violations of the National Labor Relations Act.
SSMRC members, staff attend Get Out To Vote Conference
Six members and staff of the SSMRC gained valuable information and tools to share by attending the 2022 Get Out To Vote Conference, held by our parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, at its International Training Center in Las Vegas.
Council staff participate in labor roundtable with vice president, DOL secretary
Two SSMRC staff members were among a small group of union leaders who met with the U.S. vice president and labor secretary in Durham, North Carolina, on March 2, sharing concerns about unfair competition from law-breaking contractors and about the need for government policies that support contractors who hire skilled workers and provide good wages and benefits.
We’re working to level the playing field for law-abiding contractors
The political arms of the Southern States Millwrights and our parent organization, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, are working to stop illegal labor practices that give unscrupulous contractors and facility owners an unfair advantage when competing against law-abiding companies. These illegal labor practices include worker misclassification, tax fraud, workers’ compensation fraud, and more. One issue […]
Georgia bill would help protect workers from misclassification, loss of benefits
A bill in the Georgia House of Representatives would change the definition of "employment" to include "services performed by an individual for wages" unless the individual is free from control or direction over the performance of such services.
Re-vote begins at Alabama Amazon warehouse
Workers at a Bessemer, Alabama, Amazon warehouse are voting for a second time in less than a year on whether to join a union. If they vote in favor this time, the Bessemer facility will be the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the United States.
President signs executive order requiring labor agreements on large federal construction projects
President Joe Biden signed an executive order Feb. 4 requiring project labor agreements on federal construction projects that cost more than $35 million. Project labor agreements are collective bargaining agreements between building trade unions and contractors that determine wages, employment conditions, and dispute-resolution processes.
Southeast Carpenters help pass law clamping down on contractor non-payment of workers’ compensation premiums
A law enacted in Tennessee last year with the help of the Southeast Carpenters Regional Council will make it tougher for unethical contractors to get away with not paying workers' compensation insurance premiums.
OLMS rescinds Trump administration rule that unjustly burdened unions
The Office of Labor-Management Standards has rescinded a Trump-administration rule that imposed unjustified and burdensome paperwork requirements on labor unions.
NBC Nightly News: Unpaid construction workers go hungry while others profit
Focusing on a case that began in Iowa with the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters giving aid to six construction workers who were starving, NBC Nightly News broadcast a special segment on wage theft in the construction industry.
Council EST and political director discuss labor issues with Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams
In a meeting with Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on Jan. 31, SSMRC leaders discussed labor issues including visa-program abuses, project labor agreements, and tax and workers' compensation fraud by unscrupulous contractors.
See county-level information on projects the American Rescue Plan Act is funding
A provision of the American Rescue Plan Act allocated $65.1 billion to every county in the United States. According to the National Association of Counties, this funding is providing "direct, flexible aid."
U.S. Congress considering legislation that would reduce costs for working families, invest in union apprenticeships and rural communities
Efforts continue in the U.S. Congress to pass Build Back Better legislation that would assist working families with child- and elder-care costs, reduce health-care costs, housing, and education costs, and invest in union apprenticeships, rural communities, and union-built clean-energy projects including wind-turbine installation.
Study reveals so-called ‘right-to-work’ states have worse economic, health, social, civic outcomes
During an eight-year period of national economic expansion following the recession of 2008, the 27 U.S. states with so-called “right-to-work” laws experienced slower economic growth, lower wages, higher consumer debt, worse health outcomes, and lower levels of civic participation than states without those laws, according to a study released last year.
Study shows 39% of construction families need public assistance, costing tax payers $28 billion per year
A report the University of California Berkeley Labor Center released in January reveals that 39% of construction worker families nationwide are forced to enroll in one or more safety-net programs to make ends meet.
Council staff meet with Alabama politicians, industry leaders
Three SSMRC representatives discussed the benefits of our workforce with Alabama political and industry leaders during the Manufacture Alabama Annual Legislative Reception and Dinner held in Montgomery on Jan. 11.
What the proposed Tennessee Right-to-Work Amendment would mean for working families and who would really benefit
In November of this year, members who live in Tennessee will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed amendment – Amendment No. 1 – that would add a falsely named “right-to-work” clause to the state constitution.
U.S. Senate debates voting-rights legislation
The U.S. Senate is debating two bills that would establish rules regarding voting and elections. Supporters say the legislation – the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act – would make it easier for hard-working American citizens to vote while strengthening election security and limiting corporate influence on elections.
U.S. Supreme Court blocks OSHA vaccine mandate
On Jan. 13, the Supreme Court of the United States blocked a mandate from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that would have required all employers with 100 or more employees to require those employees to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or to be tested weekly and wear masks at work.
Labor Department launches Apprenticeship Ambassador Program
The video above announcing the Apprenticeship Ambassador Program features UBC member Jovan Johnson and Barbara Hampton, president and CEO of SSMRC partnering contractor Siemens USA.
U.S. Labor Department proposes ending Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program
The Labor Department is seeking comment on a proposed rule that would eliminate the Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program started under the Trump administration so the department can direct its resources toward Registered Apprenticeships (union apprenticeship programs are "registered apprenticeships").