Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Industry Experts Agree: PLA's Benefit Construction Users and the Public

The Building and Construction Trades Council reported that: Experts from the construction industry, academia and local government spoke to the value of Project Labor Agreements at a conference jointly sponsored by the School of Labor & Industrial Relations and the School of Planning Design & Construction at Michigan State University.

The conference, "Understanding PLAs", was designed to bring together leading experts on the subject of PLAs.

There was even an unintended surprise when a panelist for the Associated Builders and Contractors, an industry group that is aggressively opposed to PLAs, shocked both his colleagues on the panel - there to present the ABC’s opposition to PLAs - when he actually praised PLAs as being a “good thing.”

The ABC panelist – an attorney with Foster, Swift, Collins and Smith, PC in Michigan – even singled out for praise a Metropolitan Building Trades Council for their work on a PLA project in Michigan that included both union and non-union contractors.

Other panelists unanimously endorsed the concept of PLAs as being good for on-time and on-budget construction. Steve DiBartolo – a Vice President for Hill International; a professional services and construction management firm that specializes in helping its clients minimize the risks inherent in the construction process – spoke to the cost savings that can be achieved by construction owners through the use of project labor agreements.

He was followed by Doug Maibach, of Barton Mallow (a nationally recognized provider of construction management services) who offered a unique perspective of the value of PLAs. Most “revenue producing” projects (i.e. sports stadiums; casinos; etc.) that require a fast construction phase in order to minimize revenue loss, are almost universally constructed under a PLA. This is due to the fact that PLAs offer greater jobsite efficiencies and cost savings through the employment of a safe, highly skilled, highly trained and highly productive workforce.

Another value that PLAs bring an area is to provide pathways for local, disadvantaged residents to secure career training opportunities through the building trades’ local joint skilled apprenticeship programs.

All in all, the conference offered a ringing endorsement of the overall economic and social value that PLAs provide to construction owners, contractors, government entities, and the community at large.

Employing a knowledgable,trained, productive and safe workforce on a project is the most important component required in making the project progress efficiently.

When the public hears the truth about PLA's they overwhelmingly support using them.

Help spread the word - PLA's make Sense!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reminder - Don't Forget To Apply For Your "TWIC" Card

Just a reminder - on January 21, 2010 a letter was mailed to every construction member urging all to look into applying for what is called a "TWIC" card. "TWIC" stands for "Transportation Worker Identification Credential"

Don't let the name fool you, it is not just related to transportation workers - it will affect the construction workers ability to be cleared for work on large projects throughout the country.

Having this card or not could decide whether you are allowed to work on projects such as Power Generation Plants, Chemical Plants, Federal Projects along rivers and other projects that fall under what is known as the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA. )

Basically, this is a result of increased Homeland Security Regulations and will most likely be required in regard to ANY project near any river.

This is a Federal regulation and it will apply to both inside and outside of our jurisdiction and throughout the entire country.

For information on how to apply for your TWIC card, please contact Ross Olivieri at the Union Hall at (845) 783-3500.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Possible Salting Opportunity At West Point - Apply NOW

We have information that Tradesource - a company that refers electricians and other trades to non union projects is looking for electricians in this area. We know that one of the projects is in West Point for an Out of State Contractor.

We already have members who have been contacted and have been called by Tradesource because they have salted with this employment agency on previous salting assignments. These members have already informed the union hall that they have been called.

We want every member who wants to help the local and is in need of employment to have the ability to gather information on these projects
-especially the West Point project - so we encourage you to call the Tradesource Westchester County office and start the application process.

You can apply either openly union or you can hide your union affiliation. Either way is acceptable to us. So you know, it is not considered "lying" on an application to hide union membership. In fact, it is your right to conceal or reveal it to anyone you choose.

Please take the time and go to the "Join IBEW Local 363" box on our website and READ THROUGH the box labeled "Salting". It is there that you will find the information you need to know about the difference between "salting" and just "working non-union".

If you are hired you will be helping the union by gathering information and following the direction of the local union organizers or agents and you will be making a paycheck at the same time. It is a win-win situation for you as a union member.

Here is the phone and address of Tradesource in Westchester County, NY:

172 E Boston Post Road 1st Floor
Mamaroneck NY 10543
(914) 381-1700

Here is the link to their website:

Please remember that to fail to notify the local union if you have agreed to start the process or accept a job is not salting - it is only working non-union - which is not an acceptable situation.

Please call the union hall with any information or if you get any indication that you could be hired. You can ask for our Organizer John Sager or our Sr. Assistant Business Manager Sam Fratto and they will help you with any concerns or questions.

Thank you all in advance for your help and efforts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ulster Legislators Pass Resolution Supporting $400 Million Dollar Belleayre Project

Thank you again to our IBEW Local 363 members in Ulster County for attending the Ulster County legislators meeting on Tuesday night on such short notice.

Through direct phone calls and information posted on our new website, we notified and asked every member we have living in Ulster County to attend to show our support - along with the other building trades members - of this $400 Million dollar luxury resort to be built in the Shandaken area.

The Ulster Legislators heard our concerns and passed a resolution supporting this project.

Although there are other hurdles for the project to pass over before construction can begin - it sends a message that there is strong support to make this project become a reality.

There will be more meetings in regard to this project in the near future and we will surely be asking our members to come out again.

We need our members to continue their effort to show UNION FRIENDLY DEVELOPERS that when we are asked to come out - we can produce supporters for all legitimate projects in our jurisdiction.

Thank you again and stay tuned to our website for information on future meetings for this project and others in our territory.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ulster Residents and All Other Interested Members: Another Belleayre Resort Meeting

Thank You to our members who came out last week for the informational meeting about the multi-million dollar Belleayre Resort project. We had a pretty good turnout considering the short notice we got from Belleayre Officials.


Please make an effort to attend another meeting on Tuesday March 16, 2010 at the Ulster County Building at 244 Fair St, Kingston (6th Floor) at 7 PM - this time there will be a public speaking session and they need people to stand up and support the project.

If you are from Ulster and can come please speak in favor by just saying that the county and the people in it need the jobs this project will bring.

Too often all the politicians hear are the ENVIRONMENTALISTS. Let's let them hear the WORKING PEOPLE for a change!

Your 363 representatives will be there to speak but we need the voice of the Ulster residents who support the project to be heard too.

It's short notice - but with a great payoff in the end - see you there at 7 PM.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Big Thank You To Our Membership For Your Contract Suggestions

Contract negotiations are in progress and we want to thank all of our members who gave us their input in regard to the new contract. We can summarize the collective concerns of our members from those suggestions down to two very important points: 1) Help us to get more competitive 2) work toward preserving our pensions and health plans.

IBEW Local 363 members can rest assured that the goal of the bargaining committee during these negotiations is the exact same goal as theirs. We will be discussing the local electrical market in depth with our contractors and we will negotiate the best possible agreement that will answer the concerns of our members.

Our Committee, led by our Business Manager John Maraia, has much experience in bargaining contracts and negotiating and we are confident that we can come out of these sessions with a contract that will address our needs in these hard times.