IUPAT Labor/Management Statement on IRAPs

IUPAT Labor/Management Statement on IRAPs

Below is a Joint Statement from IUPAT General President, Ken Rigmaiden and Labor-Management Partnership (LMP) Co-Chair, Paul Tsourous

“Our labor-management union apprenticeships that you depend on for developing well-trained, certified workers, are in danger. As a contractor association, we have to use our collective voices to make sure our apprenticeship programs survive.” – Paul Tsourous, Jupiter Painting  

IRAPs are an ABC-backed scheme to benefit non-union companies who want to cut corners on costs and wages paid to apprentices, place a low premium on quality and have as little accountability as possible. We see the direct effect of this when our competitive edge is undermined by wage theft and sub-standard work. Can you imagine if that runs rampant in construction industry apprenticeships?

Simply put, the Trump administration could seriously threaten our successful unionized apprenticeships if the construction industry is included in a proposed regulation on the Industry Recognized Apprentice Program, or IRAPs. IRAPs, are being vigorously promoted by the ABC because non-union companies want more of the apprenticeship action, would have less oversight; little to no accountability; lower quality, standards and wages. By contrast, as you know, our apprenticeship programs always have set the standard for high quality, strong oversight, fair accountability and good wages.

The U.S. Department of Labor has published a Federal Register notice that, for now, excludes the construction industry, BUT intentional language, like “initially”, left the door open to include the construction industry at any time. We cannot let this happen.

We need to shut this down now!

What can you do? Submit a comment to the Labor Department by Aug. 26. By clicking http://bit.ly/SubmitIRAPcomment

In just a few words, you can tell the government that labor-management designed union apprenticeships provide us with the best-trained apprentices for our projects and as a construction industry contractor, you don’t want any part of IRAPs.

“It is imperative that we make every collaborate effort to get out front on this and tell the administration to back off and leave the construction industry out of IRAPs. Our union apprenticeship programs are not broken, so there’s nothing to fix. The deadline to submit public comments is Aug. 26. We need to flood the zone to let the government knows exactly how we feel.” – Ken Rigmaiden, General President, IUPAT

In partnership,

Kenneth E. Rigmaiden

IUPAT General President / Labor-Management Partnership Co-Chair

Paul Tsourous

President, Jupiter Painting / Labor-Management Partnership Co-Chair