The Department of Labor (DOL) recently released their long awaited proposed rule to expand apprenticeship programs in the U.S. through an Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP). The regulation creates a parallel track of apprenticeship that no longer has to go through the process of registering and maintaining accountability to the Department of Labor's Office of Apprenticeship or a State Apprenticeship Council. The current proposal excludes construction, and does not allow the parallel system to exist in the sector. But we need to make sure the exclusion stays in place in the final version of the rule.
Unscrupulous contractors have been using apprenticeship as a way to evade federal and state prevailing-wage laws for years. They lie about whether an apprentice is actually registered. It's the only way a worker on a public-works project can be paid less than the prevailing wage. If this rule allows IRAPs into construction, there will be a massive hole blown in prevailing-wage laws. We cannot allow this back-door attack on prevailing wages and apprenticeship.
The IUOE invests over $180 million in training each year. IUOE Local Unions sponsor 100 apprenticeship and training programs at 127 training sites. If construction were to be included in industry programs, it would allow greedy, anti union contractors to destroy our apprenticeship programs by lowering our standards, cutting comers, and boosting their profits on the backs of their workers. The anti-union ABC is aggressively lobbying to include construction in the final version of the rule. Unfortunately, the Associated General Contractors adopted the same position: https://www.agc.org/news/2019/06/24/contractors-need-not-apply-administration's-new-apprenticeship-proposal-fails
We need your assistance in mobilizing your members to submit comments to the DOL by August 26, 2019. Urge the DOL to keep the exclusion for construction in the industry-recognized apprenticeship program final rule.
We have created customizable campaign materials you can utilize to communicate with your members, which are available on EmpowerMe. The EmpowerMe communications tool is web based and user-friendly. It is easy to navigate and produces campaign-ready material. The EmpowerMe campaign directs members to a website where they can easily submit comments to the Department of Labor- www.saveiuoeapprenticeships.org. If you need assistance accessing or using the EmpowerMe tool, please contact Seth Morris at either firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 778-2642.
We also strongly encourage you to publicize this campaign through your local union websites and social media accounts. Please use these tools to communicate with your members, including at membership meetings and other local union events. The International will utilize our e-activist network (EARN) to communicate with members for whom we have an email on file.
Comments from current apprentices or recent graduates about what their apprenticeship program has meant for their careers and their families would provide a powerful personal narrative, which the DOL needs to hear, Help us send the IUOE message to the Department of Labor.
Together we can beat back the attacks on our apprenticeship programs by powerful special interests Don't let greedy, anti-union contactors undermine our training standards and our prevailing-wage laws!
Thank you in advance for your assistance.