CORE 46 Organizers recommend you Vote NO on any contract without:
- Improved anti-discrimination language
- $18 over 3 years
- Apprentice supervision by JW Only
- Paid Parking and Public Transit
- Paid Parental Leave
- Sanctuary Union
- Sick Leave Paid at Layoff
- Seniority Layoff
- Drug Testing Reform
- $5K/Member Benefit Bond
Minority groups deserve to be better protected not just by State laws, but also by contract language. Unless the language is in the contract, union representatives are not responsible for providing their members support on these issues. Get it in the contract, get representation!
Living costs continue to rise, other trades’ wage package continue to out pace our own. If we want to recruit the best workers, we need to have a wage package that matches the costs of living in the jurisdiction and is financially competitive.
We need to take care of our Apprentices and train them with the hope of having a qualified Journey Wire person once they complete the Apprenticeship. Apprentices need a supervisor who is nearby and not a person that can take corrective action against them.
An Apprentice that trains under a JW is being taught how to perform their job and serve as a Mentor to them. They become a trusted pair and can ask questions and talk about personal problems to their JW. A Journey Wire person also teaches about the Union’s policies and encourages solidarity.
When an Apprentice is being trained by their Foreman or General Foreman they are being taught how to perform their duties on a part time basis, GF’s and Foremen have other members and other responsibilities to worry about. They are not typically dedicated to a fully trained Apprentice. They typically train on one aspect of the job and keep them doing the same thing over and over. This steps up production for the job that they are doing, but it hurts the training of the apprentice. They are also not educating them on our Union or solidarity.
This is a competitive wage package issue. We are one of the few trades that does not have this in our contract. To remain competitive it needs to be added.
Parking is going extinct in Seattle as the push for use of public transportation goes into full effect. With these changes the cost to park within the city limits has grown to disproportionate amounts which has affected the blue collar working class that build our city. We expect that in order to fill the work NECA will recognize the need for Paid/ Provided Parking and Reimbursed Public Transit. The simple fact is that as our city continues to grow we must adapt our methods to ensure the viability of the working class and continued success of the building trades.
Both Ironworkers and Carpenters are starting to win these clauses in their contract. We should also prior to it being implemented by the State, which will occur in 2019. If we don’t control the language it may not work well for our industry.
While it’s true that the United States is a nation of immigrants, it’s more accurate to say that the U.S. is a nation of immigrant *workers*. Immigrant workers have been a part of the labor movement in this country since the beginning, organizing and participating in militant job actions.
Before the Civil War, enslaved Africans, who were workers in chains, organized job actions against plantation owners. They also participated in what the writer W.E.B. DuBois once called a “general strike” of slaves by escaping the forced labor of the plantations and joining the Union army after the start of the Civil War.
Some of the first unions in this country were organized by immigrant workers from Europe. Newly arrived German and European Jewish workers were the most prominent fighters in the 8-hour day movement which organized a nationwide general strike on May 1st, 1886. This became the first “May Day”, International Workers Day, now celebrated by workers all over the world.
On May 1st, 2006, over 1 million workers who were mostly immigrants, largely Latino and mostly of Mexican origin, organized the first nationwide May Day general strike in over 100 years. In many cases, their job action shut down entire towns.
Throughout history, the rich and powerful in the U.S. have used racism and nationalism to conquer our labor movement. In 1904, Philip Armour, CEO of Armour Meatpacking, said, “We pursue policies to keep the races and nationalities apart after working hours, and to foment suspicion, rivalry, and even enmity among such groups.”
Immigration policy has always and only ever been designed for what’s good for employers, never for the what’s good for workers. After all, businesses can cross the borders of nearly any country in the world with few restrictions or problems. Regular workers don’t have it so easy. Those policies are then justified with racism and “national pride” to convince the rest of us that it’s o.k. to tolerate our fellow workers being devalued and rounded up.
Former U.S. president Barack Obama became known as the “Deporter-in-Chief”, for deporting 2.5 million workers in his 8 years in office. Deportations are continuing under the Trump administration. When any worker anywhere can be made afraid of retaliation, they can be more easily controlled and used against their fellow workers. It’s an easy way to break down unity.
Last year, a fellow Local 46 member was deported, his family left without a bread winner. There are likely more workers in our union who face this threat. We need to follow the leadership of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) in California, the National Education Association (NEA) in Washington D.C., the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) in New York City, and the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters (PNWRCC) in showing our employers that we fight for all of our members. They have declared themselves sanctuary unions and are bargaining new contract language that strengthens workplace protections for immigrant members.
Many have expressed frustration that the Sick & Safe hours accrued are not put into an account like the health care or vacation funds. Part of the reason for this is that the law requires employers to pay out current wage hours, not wages earned at a previous wage scale. For our trade a clear example is an apprentice who moves up in year would get paid at their current hourly wage, not the wages from the previous school year when they actually accrued the benefit. So, banking wages does not work and banking hours is not possible due to these discrepancies.
Unlike most workers however, many if not most of us are continually switching employers. As one job winds down, we are laid off and re-dispatched to a new employer. When we are released from employment we are relieved of the Sick & Safe hours which we have accrued under the law. This of course leads to workers trying to figure out how can they work the system to ensure that they receive the benefits that they earned before those benefits are taken away. Often this leads to workers taking time for Sick & Safe situations during the last stretch of the job when they are most needed, putting them at odds with the contractor.
To avoid a loss of the benefit and ensure that the jobs are fully staffed to complete the job, the benefit should be paid out when the employee is laid off. This would help keep the workers on the job until the end, and still give them the opportunity to take care of their Sick & Safe situations which the benefit is intended to accommodate. When a worker is able to count on being able to afford to go to the doctor, get check ups, and what ever else they will be in healthier condition for the next job. Allowing this to occur after lay off, helps mitigate the downtime the contractors will occur during the project.
This is a Win Win.
Lay off protections are almost non-existent and minority groups and older workers are struck by this issue because of it. Seniority Layoff could be implemented to help ensure that an individual members status is more less likely to be able to be used in layoff determinations.
This is also called Reverse Layoff. When you are sent to a job and you have been there for a while, you are more knowledgeable than the person who just arrived. If you are the first one there, then you are the last to go. If you are the last one there then you are the first to go. This not only benefits the employer it also benefits the member. It gives the member a sense of security and an opportunity to continue working.
State Laws have changed and what an individual member does in their personal time should not be dictated by employers.
The bond needs to be increased to cover workers if a contractor finds themselves unable to pay benefits. Current requirements would not cover the benefits for even one month. If you have 10 employees that means the current bond covers $1000 per employee. In a 160 hour month multiplied by $21.03 an hour (NEBF, H&W,Pension and 401K) =$3,364.80 for that month for 1 employee. Multiply that by 10 employees and it’s $33,648. The $10k bond won’t even cover one month at 160hrs, and some months are 200 hours. Bond compliance is reviewed quarterly, and by the time that it could be possibly caught the contractor’s fringe benefit monthly deposit wouldn’t cover the benefits owed.
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