Update from Andy Buck and Government Affairs
I hope everyone is having a good spring, and the fishermen and turkey hunters have been successful! It is truly an honor to represent folks with the best work ethic in the country. Thank you for being the best at your craft each day.
Today, I would like to address some of the questions or comments I have been hearing as of late. First, “Why are we involved in politics?" Whether it is your school, your roads or your work conditions, like it or not, the political process is responsible for making decisions that greatly affect each of these areas. The way I see it, you are either at the table, or on the menu! We believe in workers having a say in their workplace and having a seat at the table. Who knows working conditions better than the workers who are getting their hands dirty? No one!
Secondly, I often hear the question, “Why do unions only support one political party?" We support the people who support us—regardless of political affiliation. And our doors are open to anyone who supports workers' rights. How politicians vote on issues greatly affects workers. If you support prevailing wage, we support you. If you support local hire and registered apprenticeship programs, we support you. If you support people paying their taxes and treating workers fairly, we support you. If you support allowing unscrupulous contractors to cheat taxpayers and workers, we will not support you. If you support out of state contractors and workers over us, we do not support you. If you support low safety standards on worksites, we do not support you. We are involved in politics to make the lives of our members better.
I want to thank local 802-member Jack Herndon for stepping up to run for Janesville City Council. Although the result was not what we wanted, Jack took on the good old boys' club in Janesville. We need more working-class folks to be at the table to make decisions that affect us. I do not believe a banker or real estate agent knows what it is like to bust your hump on a construction site all day. I am pretty sure they do not have our best interest in mind. If you, or someone you know, wants to know more about running for office, please let us know. We have the means to help!
Keep your eye on the PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize) in the news. The PRO Act will get rid of worker misclassification by putting tough penalties on cheating contractors that use this illegal business model to exploit workers, responsible contractors and taxpayers. The PRO Act is the labor law reform we need in this country. In fact, it is the first piece of labor law reform since 1947. It has passed the House and is currently in the Senate. Senator Baldwin from Wisconsin and Senators Peters and Stabenow from Michigan have signed on. Please contact Senator Ron Johnson at (202) 224-5323 and ask him to co-sponsor the PRO Act.
Governor Tony Evers' 2021-2023 biennial budget has included restoring project labor agreements, prevailing wage and getting rid of “right to work for less." The budget also includes recommendations from the worker misclassification task force, such as stiffer penalties for cheating contractors and increased investigators from the DWD. We need to make sure these worker protections stay in the budget.
We cannot move forward without member participation—politics is not a spectator sport. We need an all-hands-on-deck approach to make sure workers have a seat at the table!
“The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside the family relation, should be uniting all working people."
Director of Government Affairs
Office: (262) 910-9073
IUPAT Helping Hand
You may or may not know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month and working in the Building and Construction Trades is a very challenging career, both mentally and physically. Construction workers have the second highest rate of suicide of any industry in the United States. In fact, data shows that construction workers are three times more likely to die by suicide than the rest of the population.
The IUPAT Helping Hand initiative is moving forward every day to bring assistance to members of the IUPAT. The staff of DC7 has gone through a program called Mental Health First Aid which gives us the tools to help if you ever find yourself at a point that you need to talk to someone or feel you may be in crisis. Please know that you can always reach out to anyone that you feel comfortable speaking to, and we will make sure you have the information you need. Please check out the IUPAT Helping Hand portion of our website.
Join us today, May 26th, 2021, for a Facebook Live Town Hall Event for our Helping Hands Initiative at 6PM CST/7PM EST. https://fb.me/e/1jirb4ioE
Kids Building Wisconsin
September 11, 2021, Madison, WI
Kids Building Wisconsin is a fun, free event with a focus on getting kids interested in the numerous exciting careers available in the construction industry. Sprinkled across beautiful McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg, WI will be over a dozen exhibits/stations run by local trades and other event participants with fun interactive exhibits of all kinds. Kids Building Wisconsin 2021 will take place on September 11, 2021 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Registration is now open, and you are strongly encouraged to register early.
Register here: https://www.kidsbuildingwi.org/
IUPAT DC7 is looking for volunteers to help staff our booth! If you're interested in volunteering, call Jenni at (262) 378–8311.
June 2021 Training Classes
See our upcoming Training Classes: http://iupatdc7.com/inside-iupat/calendar/