|The recent BAC Executive Council meeting afforded a welcome opportunity for IU President James Boland, right, to confer with not one but two of his distinguished predecessors: from left, retired IU Presidents John T. Joyce and John J. Flynn, who attended as guests of the International.|
Expanding opportunities for members and contractors is still our highest priority,” said IU President James Boland as he convened the BAC Executive Council Meeting earlier this year.
Executive Council members, from left, Local 1 MD/VA/DC President Scott Garvin and WV ADC Director Leroy Hunter, Jr. compare notes after a Council presentation.
Kirk Brungard, Assistant to the AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, gave a comprehensive presentation on the use of social media and its importance in engaging union members, reaching out to potential members, and as a forceful, cost-effective issues advocacy tool.Job creation, pension funding issues, and stronger labor-management political cooperation were among the topics discussed by Local/ADC and contractor representatives earlier this year.
Keeping BAC primed to “pounce on every chance to grow and strengthen as the recovery begins in earnest,” said Boland, meant “refocusing on our core functions, with equal parts cooperation, collaboration, and communication…maximize what we’re best at, preserve the resources we do have to survive to fight another day, and band together with our industry and labor allies more effectively.”
That message set the tone for the Council’s deliberations, and for the joint meeting of the Council and the Labor-Management Craft Committees that followed.
Tim Paulson, Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Federation, spoke to Council members on the importance of building strategic relationships both within and outside the labor community. Brother Paulson, a tilesetter by trade, is a member and former Field Representative of Local 3 CA.
|ICE President Fred Kinateder addresses the joint meeting comprised of all Labor-Management Craft Committee and BAC Executive Council members. At that meeting a new ICE-BAC initiative was announced designed to forge stronger ties on issues of specific concern to the masonry-trowel trades industry in the political arena.|
|Guest speaker Marc Poulos, Executive Director of the Indiana-Illinois-Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting and a leading expert on the misclassification of employees as independent contractors, quoted a recent Illinois study that found that almost 18% of employers misclassified their workers, including 6200 construction employers. What was the impact on the state’s unemployment system? A loss of nearly $40 million, according to Poulos.||Also at the plenary session of the joint labor-management meeting, former U.S. Representative Earl Pomeroy outlined a host of ongoing public policy challenges related to pension funding issues “in the wake of the Great Recession.” During his years in Congress, Pomeroy championed defined benefit plans.|
Participants at both meetings heard from pension analysts and policy experts on the pressing challenges of pension funding issues brought on by the steep economic downturn and new legal and regulatory demands. To help address this and a range of issues that directly impact the masonry-trowel trades industry, a new BAC-ICE initiative was announced that will develop a unified labor-management political presence on the national level. “We’ve seen the results when we pool our resources in joint apprenticeship and training, and in promoting our materials and crafts via IMI. We need to do the same on the political front,” said IU President Boland.