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Specialty Construction Industry 2008 Legislative Conference

March 5 2008
Legislative Affairs

In ongoing efforts to adapt to the rapidly changing political landscape in Washington, and in anticipation of more rapid changes developing in the future, The International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craft workers (ICE), The Mechanical Contractors Association of America  (MCAA), and The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC) are proud to be holding our legislative program in conjunction with the joint labor/management health and welfare, pension, and apprenticeship and training program trustees who attend the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans (IFEBP) Annual Legislative Update.

By joining programs with the trustees who develop the basic workforce development infrastructure under our union-signatory jointly administered program, ICE, MCAA and TAUC are laying a solid foundation of support for a great many of our management public policy initiatives on Capitol Hill and with the regulatory agencies in Washington DC.  Our greatest distinction from the open-shop sector of the industry is the union-signatory employers’ longstanding investment in the jointly administered health and welfare, pension, and workforce apprenticeship and journey worker upgrade training programs.

So this year, we will join with the IFEBP program on the first day of the conference (May 19th), focusing on health care reform proposals – beginning to anticipate changes that will affect all our plans nationwide when reforms eventually are enacted.  ICE, MCAA and TAUC are readying to play a key role in protecting our jointly administered systems from harm when Congress eventually acts on this most important issue – it’s not too early to start getting ready.  After that, the conference will have a broad scope review of labor and employment laws changes that will fill out the remaining days of the 110th Congress and then pick up momentum in the early days of the 111th Congress after the general election in the Fall. 

With the coming changes in the political dynamic on Capitol Hill, union-signatory employers have to get ready to capitalize on policy changes that fully address the big issues facing our industry:

  • Responding to competitive pressures to develop and maintain a skilled workforce; 

  • Overcoming the adverse workforce demographics in the industry

  • Maintaining workforce standards for all employers

  • Addressing immigration reform while maintaining the integrity of lawful employment policies and workforce standards.
    On Monday evening, ICE, MCAA and TAUC will sponsor a reception for their conference attendees and invited lawmaker guests.  Then, on the second day of the conference, after the breakfast speaker, ICE, MCAA and TAUC will have their separate legislative briefing session focusing on our top three issues

  • Repealing the new 3% withholding tax on public contracts

  • Supporting reforms to stem independent contractor/misclassification of employees

  • Enacting Federal contract procurement reforms. 

In the afternoon, arrangements will be made for lobbying meetings with their Congressional offices on the Hill.

Please mark your calendars and join this inaugural conference in conjunction with the IFEBP as we prepare for the likely new legislative and regulatory agenda in Washington in the coming years.

ICE, MCAA, and TAUC members who are trustees on jointly administered benefit funds and who attend the IFEBP program on Monday will receive a certificate of attendance that may entitled them to some reimbursement of expenses from the local benefits funds. 

Participants are encouraged to consult with their fund counsel in advance about whether participation in the IFEBP one-day program would qualify for partial expense reimbursement.

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