Update from Andy Buck
It has been a very busy quarter! First and foremost, the General Election is on November 8th. Skip the lines on election day, go to www.myvote.wi.gov to request your ballot today. Congratulations to Wisconsin for being the most expensive governor’s race in the nation. Until we get money out of politics, this will continue to be the case. The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision on Citizens United will continue to flood your TV with political ads. Ron Johnson claims that we have enough jobs in Wisconsin, and favors sending 1,000 union career jobs to the non-union south. Ask yourself - how many more buildings would be built if these postal vehicles were built in our state? Vote your paycheck this year!
August in Washington D.C. is usually known as the slowest month of the year. Well, not in 2022! Democrats just delivered President Biden his biggest legislative victory yet, passing the Inflation Reduction Act. The Inflation Reduction Act will attack inflation head-on, making it easier for American families to make ends meet, make corporations pay their fair share, and take tangible steps to address the climate crisis by providing for government building retrofits, tax credits with applied labor standards and incentives for manufacturing renewable energy. I am particularly pleased that the bill will invest in reconnecting communities divided by highways, which will provide jobs for IUPAT members and make a real difference for the planet and in communities across the country. The Inflation Reduction Act lowers prescription drug costs, health care costs, and energy costs. It’s the most aggressive action on tackling the climate crisis in American history, which will uplift American workers and create good-paying union jobs across the country.
President Biden signed an Executive Order to implement the semiconductor funding in the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. This legislation will lower the costs of goods, create high paying manufacturing jobs around the country, and ensure we make more critical components. The CHIPS and Science Act provides $52.7 billion for American semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workforce development. This includes $39 billion in manufacturing incentives, including $2 billion for the legacy chips used in automobiles and defense systems, $13.2 billion in R&D and workforce development, and $500 million to provide for international information communications technology security and semiconductor supply chain activities. It also provides a 25 percent investment tax credit for capital expenses for manufacturing of semiconductors and related equipment. These incentives will secure domestic supply, create tens of thousands of good-paying, union construction jobs and thousands more high-skilled manufacturing jobs. Furthermore, it will catalyze hundreds of billions more in private investment.
In June, the House introduced bill H.R.8033 - its language allows for a QP1 contractor certification and the use of trained DOL registered apprentices for bridge corrosion projects by the FHA.
The Seasonal Worker Solidarity Act creates a new framework for work visas that prevents discrimination and displacement, elevates labor standards, responds to real labor market needs, ends captive employment, respects family unity, ensures access to justice, and affords migrant workers a path to citizenship.
Special Mention: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded $1.5 billion from the popular Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) competitive grant program for highway, multimodal freight, and rail projects.
For more information on recent political happenings, check out the political action page on the IUPAT DC7 website: http://iupatdc7.com/inside-iupat/political/
Congratulations to all the DC7 members who have milestone anniversaries this month.
Helping Hand and Employee Assistance Programs
IUPAT takes mental health and substance abuse seriously. We are committed to finding help for anyone who needs it.
“Work-related stress can have severe impacts on mental health and without proper support may lead to substance abuse and even suicide,” stated Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jim Frederick. “Workers in construction face many work-related stressors that may increase their risk factors for suicide, such as the uncertainty of seasonal work, demanding schedules and workplace injuries that are sometimes treated with opioids.”
The staff at IUPAT DC7 have taken a training in Mental Health First Aid and are prepared to help members who are in need. All members who have insurance through the Health Funds are covered with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The phone number should be on the back of your insurance card. The EAP is available to employees and family members residing in your household. Call for assistance with:
- Relationship Issues/divorce
- Workplace concerns
- Anxiety & depression
- Alcohol or drug abuse
- Parent/child problems
- Financial pressures
- Legal consultation
- Difficulty with school/peers
- Elder care/child care
- Balancing work & family
- Locating resources
The EAP is a free, confidential benefit. If assistance is needed beyond the scope of the EAP, you will be referred to appropriate resources. Your privacy is protected in accordance with both federal and state laws regarding mental health and medical treatment records.
Additionally, IUPAT DC7 members are offered a life insurance package through the Midwest Coalition of Labor. The benefits include supplemental life insurance up to $300,000, supplmental AD&D insurance up to $300,000, critical illness insurance, and accident insurance. A medical exam is not required, and all supplemental benefits extend to age 70. It is an open enrollment prorgam, with the enrollment period lasting from October 1st to November 30th.
For more information, visit: go.voya.com/MCL2022
If you have questions, contact the MCL Insurance Team at: 888-212-7822
Breakfast with Santa
Mark your calendars for the Breakfast with Santa dates!
Big Bend – Saturday, December 3rd. Breakfast starts at 9:30am-12pm.
Fitchburg – Saturday, December 10th. Breakfast starts at 9:30am-12pm.
RSVP to Tammy Anderson by November 18th: firstname.lastname@example.org
Retiree Club Meetings
Remember, meetings for IUPAT DC7’s Retiree Clubs happen on the third Tuesday of each month, so make sure you’ve marked your calendars if you haven’t already! October’s meeting was hosted on the 18th and has already passed. Next month’s meeting is on November 15th. As usual, lunch will be served at noon, and desserts are greatly appreciated.