Community Based Organizing/in Community, Indiana Activism, Kentucky Activism, News, Ohio Activism /by Hunter Boughman
Our country is experiencing an unprecedented labor movement not seen since the 1940’s & 50’s. Every labor union in the country should be capitalizing on this momentum, but at some point, every union member has to ask themselves…what can I do to help?
Members like you, have and always will be the UBC’s most valuable asset. To reach the UBC goal of 70% market share & the regional council’s goals, we need you engaged.
Throughout our history carpenter to carpenter & community-based organizing have been the most effective tools we have as a union. Many of you are familiar with the IKORCC M.A.C program. The regional council has set up Membership Action Committees and holds meetings in multiple areas in IN, KY & Ohio.
Unlike regular monthly business meetings, this is where you have the opportunity to get involved in our organizing efforts. Activities range from community events, helping our neighbors with small construction projects, but most importantly showing up in force to collectively voice our concerns on carpenter issues.
We are the community, and we will hold elected officials, owners and developers accountable when they let unscrupulous contractors come into our community and steal the work that puts food on our tables. We are putting a schedule of events together for the 2022 M.A.C. agenda & we need you there.
Please contact your local or regional council office for more information & how you can make a difference.
Director of Organizing
Political Update/in Indiana Activism, Kentucky Activism, News, Ohio Activism, Politics /by Hunter Boughman
2021 has been another successful year for Indiana politics. The IKORCC managed to harvest a great relationship with the Indiana Association of Public-School Superintendents (IAPSS) and received an invitation to go on tour with them for all eight of their district meetings. During the tour, we were introduced to public school superintendents in all 92 counties. In addition, we were given the opportunity to talk about our Door Safety Inspection (DSI) Program and Career Connections.
One of our many focuses was on getting more “Responsible Bidder Language” added into front end bid specs with school corporations. During the 2021 year, we were able to obtain an additional two agreements with the Metropolitan School District of Boone Township and Concord Community Schools.
Other events worth mentioning that took place during the 2021 year are several successful meetings with political figures regarding laws being introduced to support ICRA training requirements being put in place if any work is being done in occupied health care facilities or schools that may have students present. Also, the City of Indianapolis has promised to make tax fraud and worker misclassification its number one priority for 2022. This commitment came directly from Mayor Joe Hogsett during a public speech that he gave to the city.
During the Delegates conference, Senator Fady Quadra (left) spoke to the membership and explained his level of respect for the Carpenters Union and other organized labor affiliates. He affirmed that he would carry the Carpenters ICRA legislation in 2022.
Due to line redistricting, a Senate seat for District 46 has come up for grabs. We have successfully sourced a candidate that is a card-carrying member of AFSCME whom we helped get elected to the Indianapolis City County Council, to go after this open seat. The candidate has confirmed they will make it known that this seat will be a union held seat if elected. This seat will be won during the primaries due to it being a largely held partisan district.
2021 was a busy political year in Kentucky. Even with the COVID-19 restrictions we’ve been able to build great relationships with local lawmakers and state legislators. Our goals in Kentucky are to address tax fraud and ensure we are in the best position to secure our work with the influx of new solar projects coming to the area.
With solar, it is our hope to introduce language similar to legislation that exists in other states that would protect our work and put our contractor base in the best position possible to secure solar work. Our solar committee, headed up Jeremy Welch and Wallace Turner, has done a tremendous job working with developers and owners to provide information to the political team. That info is vital in working with our lawmakers to sell our training and the importance of the upcoming work.
Tax fraud is a major problem in Kentucky. 1099 worker misclassification and the cash under the table business model used by non-signatory contractors has put our contractor base at huge disadvantage. Working with our Director of Organizing Kenneth Lyons and our political team, we’ve been taking local and state legislators to job site visits to show them the impact and loss of tax revenue that is currently going on.
Now that the November local elections are over, we will actively continue to educate local elected officials about our issues. We use our training facilities to conduct tours and plan to ramp up job site visits. Do not discount the importance you have in actively participating to successfully reach our goals.
If you are not registered to vote please do so. You can register online at vrsws.sos.ky.gov. Moving into 2022 there will be very important races all across Kentucky.
2021 was a challenge, politically. Our approach in building relationships with lawmakers became more difficult as a result of the COVID-19 mandates throughout Ohio. Thankfully, we found creative ways to continue building relationships with our local and state lawmakers. We use our four self-funded Ohio training centers as our main selling point with politicians. We continue to take elected officials out for jobsite visits to showcase what we do and also highlight the bad jobsites where tax fraud is rampant due to the lack of legislation in Ohio.
As a result, we continue to build support from both sides of the aisle – Democrat and Republican. We have been successful in protecting our core issues such as Prevailing Wage, Right to Work, and Unemployment Compensation. We are now using our relationships to introduce language to address tax fraud. Our tax fraud bill will create a Tax Fraud Commission to study the impact that paying cash under the table and worker misclassification abuse is having, not only to us but every taxpayer within Ohio. We are aggressively lobbying on current issues to protect our work within all four refineries in the state.
Our motto has always been to Educate, Agitate, and Organize. These very same principles are used when working with any elected lawmaker. Our Ohio political team covers all corners of the state and we will keep every UBC member informed of legislation that may affect us.
With the 2022 election cycle upcoming we will be very busy working for current lawmakers we support and going through a vetting process for any open seats to ensure that the right lawmakers are elected. If you are not already registered to vote, please do so.
You can register online at ohiosos.gov. Remember that when a recommendation is made to support a candidate they are soundly in support of protecting your work, your career, and your ability to provide for your family.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett Talks Tax Fraud at Indiana Statehouse/0 Comments/in Indiana Activism, News /by Lacey Nix
Lawmakers, contractors, and construction workers in Indianapolis are preparing for Days of Action events to bring attention to the growing problem of tax fraud in the construction industry.
Over 100 Indiana lawmakers, contractors & construction workers will gather at the Indiana Statehouse on Monday, April 15th, 2019 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the north atrium to shine a spotlight on the corrupt practices of illegitimate contractors who steal billions of dollars from our communities – money that should be spent on education, public safety and infrastructure. Tax fraud is just one aspect of the illegal business practices plaguing the industry, along with wage theft, independent contractor misclassification, and workers’ compensation insurance fraud.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett will share his thoughts on tax fraud in Indianapolis and how it hurts the city. Mayor Hogsett addresses the crowd at 12:15 p.m. “It’s tax fraud, because it’s the taxes that you and I pay that are being manipulated,” said Joe Hogsett, Mayor of Indianapolis. “From neighborhood-based programs to major initiatives, to the public/private partnerships that drive our city forward – all of these things are only possible when everyone pays their fair share.”
The Construction Industry Partnership will be joined by the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters, state & local lawmakers and some of the state’s most prominent business owners in the fight to crack down on these destructive and illegal business practices.
The fraud comes when workers are paid off the books by shady subcontractors and labor brokers, who are hired by contractors to underbid law-abiding businesses. Fraud happens on all types of projects, including taxpayer-funded projects—which means we all lose. Rampant cheating in the construction industry makes it difficult to repair roads
Construction industry tax fraud and related crimes and violations are happening every day on large-scale projects, costing Hoosier communities an estimated $405 million dollars statewide in lost federal and state taxes.
Recovering unpaid tax dollars in Indiana could pay for:
- 8,741 state troopers
- 7,937 teachers
- 325 miles of resurfaced highways
- 783 small business loans
The April 15th rally in Indianapolis is part of the nationwide Construction Industry Tax Fraud Days of Action by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America to raise awareness and generate action against tax fraud and related crimes.
About the Construction Industry Partnership:
Representing the carpenters union and over 700 contractors throughout the state of Indiana, the Construction Industry Partnership is dedicated to create a lasting and positive impact on the construction industry. By acting as one unit, the CIP can advocate for change at a political level, demand high standards are enforced and recruit top talent throughout the state.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett Helps Fight Tax Fraud/0 Comments/in Indiana Activism, News /by IKORCC
In March, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett visited the IKORCC to discuss the growing issue of tax fraud and the effects it has on responsible contractors, the city, and taxpayers.
Tax fraud occurs when companies misclassify workers who should be employees in order to avoid paying their fair share of unemployment insurance and federal, state and local taxes. Companies that commit tax fraud are often able to give lower bids on projects since they aren’t paying their share of taxes – a practice which makes it difficult for responsible contractors to compete fairly.
“Everybody ought to have the right to compete fairly,” Mayor Hogsett said while addressing contractors. “I want to be clear – what the city seeks to do is not to pick winners and losers. Our job is to make sure everyone is operating on a level playing field,” Hogsett added.
Mayor Hogsett also acknowledged that the IKORCC has been at the forefront of the battle against tax fraud. “The carpenters have really taken a leadership role in this regard,” he said.
In response to the growing tax fraud problem in the construction industry, Mayor Hogsett says he put together a working group to explore the ordinances in place within the city and the means of enforcing these policies. “The ordinance is a bit vague in the enforcement area,” he said, adding that he hopes to have an enforcement officer in place in the future to cut down on tax fraud.
The IKORCC has seen an increase in the prevalence of tax fraud in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio and hopes to work with Mayor Hogsett and the working group to help curtail the issue.