Chairman’s Message: Let MAP Offset YOUR Labor Demands this Season

thd photoIt feels like spring has finally arrived in New England, which means a seasonal “bump” in construction projects.  This year, the bump promises to be bigger than usual.  After being among the sectors hardest hit by the Great Recession, studies are now showing that construction is among the nation’s fastest-growing industries.

With new work comes the need for more workers.  ABC’s Merit Apprenticeship Program (MAP) provides a way for you to solve your labor problems at the same time as you help the open shop compete on a level playing field.

MAP provides companies with an opportunity to augment their hiring process and find qualified candidates from the program’s nine labor pools located across the Commonwealth and in southern New Hampshire. MAP can free human resource personnel or owners from much of the bureaucratic maze of paperwork, thus allowing them to focus on other important responsibilities.

MAP also provides member companies with the opportunity to bid on virtually any public sector prevailing wage job – be it federal, state, local or out-of-state – because the program is registered with the Department of Workforce Development’s Division of Apprentice Standards.

And MAP, like its member companies, is gearing up for the increase in labor demand.  Each spring we bring in new candidates such as vocational school graduates and veterans to replenish our regional labor pools.  We also send “to the minors,” those candidates who have not responded to job requests or are not reachable due to changes in phone or email addresses.

If you are part of a construction firm’s management team, I urge you to talk to member companies and see how you as an individual contractor can be part of the largest registered merit group program in Massachusetts without losing control of your company or your labor force.

Don’t worry if you are trying to build up a backlog of work before you request new employee candidates; MAP candidates are available all year round.  MAP can also help to keep you in compliance if you’re working on jobs in which it’s importantto hire minorities, women or residents of a specific city.

If you want more information on MAP, how to join or how to access our labor pools, please go to our website: www.meritapprentice.org, call ABC MA at 781-273-0123 or email our director of workforce development standards and compliance John Rich john@abcma.org.

Regulators at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Have Reissued a Proposed Rule on Ambush Elections

Last month the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reissued the so-called ambush election rule that would curtail the ability of non-union employers and employees to oppose union organizing drives.

A nearly identical rule was issued in 2011 but struck down the following year because a federal judge ruled that the NLRB didn’t have a quorum.  Only two of the board’s five seats were filled at the time.  Now back at full strength, the NLRB approved the rule on a 3-2 vote.

In addition to reducing the period of a standard union election process from 42 days to as little as 10 days, the rule would:

  • Require employers to file a formal Statement of Position within seven days or forfeit the right to pursue any issues.
  • Force targeted no-union employers to turn over employee information such as home addresses, e-mail addresses, home phone numbers and cell phone numbers to the union to facilitate contact.
  • Eliminate the required 25-day waiting period prior to the holding of an election.
  • Allow workers at a given site to cast ballots even if their eligibility is contested, deferring any legal action until after the election.
  • Eliminate an employer’s automatic right to a post-election NLRB review of contested issues.

In effect, where a union would have months and even years to build support at a given work site before approaching the NLRB to supervise an election, an employer would have at most a few weeks to offer any responses. This rule change would especially hurt small businesses, which typically do not employ a labor issues counsel.

ABC’s MAP Can Help Offset Labor Demands for the Upcoming Construction Season

Though it seems like spring will never arrive this year, it inevitably does and that means the seasonal “bump” in construction projects is just around the corner.  With new work comes the need for more workers, and that’s where the Merit Apprenticeship Program (MAP) can help.

MAP, like its member companies, is gearing up for the increase in labor demand.  Each spring we bring in new candidates such as vocational school graduates and veterans to replenish our regional labor pools.  We also send “to the minors,” those candidates who have not responded to job requests or are not reachable due to changes in phone or email addresses.

Don’t worry if you are trying to build up a backlog of work before you request new employee candidates; MAP candidates are available all year round.  MAP can also help to keep you in compliance if you’re working on jobs in which it’s important to hire minorities, women or residents of a specific city.

For more information on MAP, how to join or how to access our labor pools please go to our website: www.meritapprentice.orgor call ABC MA at 781-273-0123 or email john@abcma.org

Chairman’s Message: Membership a Tradition Unlike Any Other

thd photoThe theme of last year’s ABC MA membership drive was “Membership… A Tradition Unlike any Other.”  As we approach this year’s drive on April 30th and May 1st, that tradition has grown even stronger.

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts chapter earned a best practice award from ABC national for last year’s membership drive, which netted 26 new members in two days. The drive was an important part of the yearlong efforts by our membership team of Ken Ledwak and Dave Murphy that pushed chapter membership above 400 for the first time since 2007.  In 2013, Massachusetts was one of the nation’s fastest-growing ABC chapters.

It was a truly an outstanding recruitment effort with great results, but we cannot rest on our laurels; we need to build on last year’s success.  And that means getting our best recruiters, our current members, to participate.

It is easier then you can imagine.   You don’t need to give up a whole day to take part in the drive; just one two-hour shift on either day.  We will break up into teams and each will have a captain.  Rather than cold calling people you may not know, we ask you to reach out to prospects you know and believe could benefit from ABC membership.

Like last year, we will offer prizes to the individuals and teams who recruit the most new members.  We will also hold a kick-off party the night before the drive on April 29th.

In my December message, I wrote about why membership is so critical for our organization.  From being able to walk into meetings with legislators accompanied by someone who is an employer in the Senator’s or Representative’s district to having the capacity to provide members with legal, lobbying, public relations and programming resources, it all relies on membership.  It is the members that provide ABC with the both the financial resources and the number of potential voters that allows ABC to be effective inside the state house.

Our membership team, has been recognized for excellence in recruitment by ABC national and membership is on the rise.  Please help us build on success by taking part in this year’s drive.

For more information, please contact ABC Membership Director Ken Ledwak at (781) 273-0123 or ken@abcma.org

 

 

Member Spotlight: Metro Walls Working on New Residence Hall at St. Anselm College

Metro Walls_StAnselm Project February 2014Metro Walls has started its work on developing the new residence hall at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H. The 43,000 square foot residence hall is scheduled to be completed this summer and open to students for the fall 2014 semester.

Metro Walls is responsible for the construction of the exterior wall framing and the hanging and taping of all the drywall in the three-story residence which will house approximately 150 beds in single, double and triple rooms.

 ”Even though the snow kept falling we were able to complete the exterior shell on time, without delay, and the exterior framing and sheathing is now complete. This will be beautiful building when it’s done,” said Metro Walls President, Mike Dion

According to St Anselm College, the new residence hall will be an innovative living learning community that extends the college’s efforts to integrate academic and residential life.The residence hall is designed by Lavallee Brensinger Architects in Manchester, N.H.

About Metro Walls

Metro Walls is a full service commercial framing and drywall company based in Manchester, N.H. They specialize in detail, commitment to their customers and safety on and off the jobsite. Their work spans across New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Legislative Alert: ABC Members Action Required on the Expansion of the BCEC

bcecHouse Bill 3695, which would expand the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC), has received a favorable recommendation from the state legislature’s Committee on State Administration and will next go to the floor of the House of Representatives.  The problem is that the bill includes a project labor agreement (PLA) that would require everyone who works on the project to go through union hiring halls.

Thanks to ABC’s hard work, it has become very rare for the legislature to approve PLAs in recent years, but this bill is particularly difficult because the original 1997 legislation to build the BCEC included a PLA.  Please contact your state representative and let him or her know that it’s not fair to essentially exclude 80 percent of the Commonwealth’s construction workforce from working on this massive project.  Let them know that as long as there is a PLA on this job, open shop firms will NOT be able to use their own employees as they normally do – instead they would have to go to the union for workers. This would be like telling the Red Sox that they have to go the Yankees for all of their players.

If you need further information or who your state representative is please contact Chuck Borstel at chuck@abcma.org , thank you.

 

ABC MA Membership Drive Recognized as Best Practice by ABC National

Best-Practice-ChampionThe success of the Massachusetts’ chapter’s 2013 membership drive has been recognized with a best practice award by ABC national.The approach taken by ABC MA’s membership team of Ken Ledwak and Dave Murphy will be made available for other chapters to adopt.

A description of their best practice is currently featured on ABC national’s website at (http://nationalconnections.abc.org).  ABC MA will be recognized in the 2014 ABC Workforce Development Conference program guide and during the Opening Night Awards Celebration.  Earning a best practice award also makes ABC MA eligible to receive a Chapter Award of Excellence.

Massachusetts was one of the fastest-growing ABC chapters in the country in 2013.

Tell OSHA They Can’t Have Your Confidential Business Details!

The comment period for a proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule that would require employers to electronically submit injury and illness records that would be made publicly available through an online database will close on Monday, March 10th.

The rule would require your company to submit confidential business details that would be disclosed to your competitors and those aiming to threaten or disrupt the security and overall operations of your business.

OSHA is also asking employers to submit sensitive personal information about their employees.

If you’re unhappy with the proposed rule, comments may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by mail or facsimile.

OSHA has greatly underestimated the cost this rulemaking will have on businesses. The agency has failed to account for the time spent training employees, the additional time taken by employers to determine if an injury or illness is work-related, and the costs included with implementing an electronic recordkeeping system.

Another way to register your unhappiness is to click the following link, log in and send your message:https://www.votervoice.net/link/target/abc/J42brGNr7.aspx.  Tell OSHA they can’t have your confidential business details and urge them to withdraw this proposal!

ABC’s MAP Makes Presentation to Students at Greater Lawrence Vocational High School

greaterlawrenceeditOn February 25, 2014, Barbara Lagergren, president of the Gould Construction Institute, Ivan Quinchia, Gould board chairman, Marvin Monroy, a graduate of Greater Lawrence Vocational School and John Rich, director of ABC’s Merit Apprenticeship Program (MAP) completed their second presentation to the juniors and seniors at Greater Lawrence Vocational High School.

Focusing on post-secondary education through the Gould and a career pathway into employment through MAP, the students were exposed to opportunities that previous Greater Lawrence graduates never envisioned. Barbara talked about the educational opportunities that lay ahead while Ivan focused on the importance of earning and maintaining employment-related credentials.  John outlined the process for students to become members of MAP and emphasized the employment opportunities for students who are willing to work hard.

Marvin, a Greater Lawrence graduate, had the students riveted with his presentation.  As a plumbing student, Marvin was concerned about his future, his career and how he would make a living.  The construction trades solved his problems.  He works with great people, his work is interesting, he travels, knows there is room for advancement and he makes a very good living in the plumbing/piping trades.

What will the students get out of the presentations?  Gould will deliver a 60-hour construction class that includes OSHA 30 training.  MAP will be back in early May to interview the students who are interested in applying to the program to access employment opportunities.

Member Spotlight: C.White Marine Celebrates 20 Years in Business

pdConstitutionThis month marks 20 years in business for Danvers, MA based general contractor C. White. Marine, Inc. They joined ABC MA in 2000 and have been nothing but an active member ever since.

C. White Marine has completed some of New England’s most challenging marine construction, bridge construction and land pile projects over the past 20 years.

“Our longevity and success is due to our hands-on work ethic. Cathy and I are 100 percent involved in running the business. Every client gets special attention that only an owner can give,” said company president Larry White, who founded C. White Marine with his wife Cathy. Their son Dan has recently joined the team as well, assisting Larry and Cathy in day-to-day construction operations. “We find it rewarding working together as a family-owned business and we look forward to a future of positive growth for C. White. Marine,” said Larry about working with his wife and son.

Today, the company has several marine construction plants and land based equipment with crews that service the New England area, meeting the needs of their clients with the responsive service they have built their reputation on. “Cathy and I owe much of our success to our committed, hard-working employees, many of whom have been with us since the beginning,” said Larry.

C. White Marine has received the ABC S.T.E.P Safety Award for the last eight years for their safety preparedness and performance and adherence to safety standards.The firm regularly supports the community, participating in both the Women Build-Habitat for Humanity in Danvers, MA and the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots program that is held around the holidays each year.

We want to congratulate C. White Marine on reaching this great milestone and wish them nothing but the best of luck on their next 20 years!