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Members of The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) participated in the Campaign for Quality Construction’s (CQC) National Legislative Conference, May 1-3, 2007, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington D.C.
At the conference, attendees were informed about specific legislative issues affecting the union construction industry, and also had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their congressional representatives to voice their concerns regarding industry issues.
The focus issues at this year’s conference were:
1 — Repealing the ill-conceived 3 percent withholding on public contracts set to burden contract performance beginning in 2011, and turning back all efforts to put it into effect before then;
2 — Pressing for a broad scope of long-overdue Federal Contracting Reforms (banning reverse auctions in construction, raising the bar on responsibility determinations to qualify for public contracts, and tightening up protections against misclassification of employees as independent contractors);
3 — Supporting legislation that extends the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which grants tax benefits to companies for making energy efficient improvements to properties, as well as new and expanded credits for “green building” construction; and
4 — Addressing immigration reform and guest worker proposals to prevent undermining workforce standards in the high-skill sector of the industry.
The 3 percent withholding panel featured commentary by Eric Olafson, Federal Affairs Coordinator for Miami Dade County in Florida, Congressman Wally Herger (R-2nd CA) and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-14th NY).
The presentation on federal contracting reform was provided by Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-11th OH) and Rob Burton, Deputy Administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP).
The Green Building presentation was conducted by Elizabeth Leoty Craddock, Legislative Correspondent for Environmental, Energy and Agricultural Issues from the office of Sen. Landrieu (D-LA).
The immigration issue was addressed by Jack Martin, Director of Special Projects for Federation for American Immigration Reform and by the Keynote speaker, Pat Buchanan.
The six sponsoring employer associations presented a united front on the hot button issues during the conference and attendees visited with their congressmen, key congressional leaders and their policy staff to help Congress realizes the vital role that specialty construction professionals play in establishing and maintaining high workforce standards as well as their monumental contributions to the economic vitality of the American labor market.
As of 5/22/07, H.R. 1023 has 98 Co-Sponsors.
In Attendance — 250 Construction Specialty Contractors from:
Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors? National Association (SMACNA)
National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA)
Finishing Contractors of America (FCA)
The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC)
International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts (ICEBAC)