Languages

You are here

News

IKORCC & JATC Add 222 New Journeymen to the Workforce

  • lnix
  • 28 February 2018

5200 hours of on the job training, 640 classroom hours, 4 years of dedication and sacrifice - that’s the kind of experience you get when you hire a union journeyman. Carpenters, Ohio Carpenter JourneymanSaturday night, 222 fully trained journeymen and women graduated from the JATC & IKORCC apprenticeship program in Columbus, Ohio.

The graduates are a vital addition to a workforce desperate for skilled tradesmen. Graduates were trained as carpenters, millwrights or floor coverers.

Building America with Skilled Trades

In a speech to graduates, Patrick Reardon, Executive Administrator of Apprenticeship for the Ohio Office of Workforce Development, said IKORCC carpenters are building our future.

“When we think of an elite carpentry workforce here in the United States – it’s everyone graduating in this room,” he said. “Everyone here is building America and we are relying on you to continue to catapult us to the future.”

16 Veterans Graduate through Helmets to Hardhats

16 of the graduates honorably served in our nation’s military and took part in the IKORCC’s Helmets to Hardhats program. Helmets to Hardhats puts vets on a fast track to union apprenticeship and a rewarding career in carpentry after their military service.

State Training Director Vince Wright said, “Thousands of veterans come home to Ohio each year and need new jobs and careers to get started in. I’m proud to say out of our 2,200 apprentices, we have 216 Helmets to Hardhats apprentices.”

Colonel Mark J. Cappone, Assistant Director of Ohio Veterans Affairs, said, “Tonight is a great way to remember the contributions that our vets make to the workforce, to remind us that those who have served have grit, determination, perseverance and they know how to be on a team.”

Colonel Cappone presented a sealed recognition of the apprenticeship program on behalf of Ohio Governor John Kasich at the event. Governor Kasich commended the graduates for their hard work.

Continuous Training Sets Union Carpenters Apart 

IKORCC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mark McGriff also commended the graduates, while offering advice for the future. “When writing the story of your life, make sure no one else is holding the pen,” he said.

“There are so many opportunities in this organization, you have to take advantage of every single one of them,” McGriff added. McGriff and other staff members encouraged new journeymen to keep up with continuous training and serve as role models for apprentices.

A New Generation of Journeymen

New graduate Jacob Weiser, from the Northwest JATC and Local 351, plans to do both. Staff chose Weiser to speak at graduation after recognizing his dedication. “I’ve learned the importance of this apprenticeship and why the training is necessary to push our union and our trade forward,” Weiser said.

Weiser added, “I’m going to keep learning and keep trying to find better ways to get things done. I’m going to give my contractor what he’s paying for – a solid eight hours of carpentry, from a well-trained union journeymen carpenter.”

Congratulations to all graduates! 

Indianapolis Carpenter Manuel Banegas Nails the Win

  • lnix
  • 26 February 2018

Hanging drywall sounds easy, but can you do it faster and more accurately than dozens of your peers across Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio? Local 301’s Manuel Banegas did just that.

Banegas and dozens of other participants competed to see how they measured up in the Drywall Drag Race Olympics. Banegas will represent the IKORCC in the United Brotherhood of Carpenter's Midwestern District Interior Systems Competition on April 21st. Competition starts at 9:00 a.m. at the IKORCC headquarters in Greenwood, IN. Congratulations Manuel and thanks to all our participants! 

Akron Carpenters Donate Fire Alarms to Save Lives

  • lnix
  • 26 February 2018

Sound the alarm – members from Local 285 are doing their part to save lives in Akron, Ohio. In the past five years, every fatal house fire in Akron occurred in a home without a functioning fire alarm. To combat this problem members from Local 285, with support from the IKORCC, donated 70 smoke detectors to the Akron Fire Department for residents with financial limitations. This represents the first of what will now be an annual effort on the part of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America to provide smoke detectors to those in need. 

Kentucky Carpenters Keep the Peace at Grayson Cemetery

  • admin
  • 10 January 2018

Funerals are supposed to be a time for reflection and finding peace, however, in The Northeast Kentucky Veteran's Cemetery pigeons were making that difficult for veteran’s families.

During funeral services, pigeons would fly in the cupola and make a lot of noise, an unwelcome occurrence during services. When their efforts didn’t work, cemetery staff turned to our carpenters for a speedy solution. Carpenters from Local 472 donated materials and worked with apprentices from Local 1650 to construct a frame to enclose the cupola and keep the pigeons away. The solution worked and the cemetery staff is now back to the business of honoring our nation’s vets. Great work Local 472 and 1650!

Kentucky Carpenter Jobs

 

Rossford Carpenters Help Boy Scouts with Soapbox Derby Cars

  • admin
  • 06 January 2018

Get your engines ready! The Erie Shores Boy Scouts raced into the Rossford Training Center for some much-needed help constructing their soapbox derby cars. Over 250 scouts made first cuts to their derby cars thanks to some expert help by carpenters from Local 351 in Ohio. The boys and their families learned basic carpentry skills and had a lot of fun in the process. The scouts plan to race their cars during the Northwest Pinewood Derby on March 24th in Toledo. 

 
 

 

'Worker misclassification' seen as growing threat by contractors, unions in the Region

  • admin
  • 11 September 2017

Andrew Steele andrew.steele@nwi.com, 219-933-3241
Sep 3, 2017 Updated Sep 8, 2017

As companies strive to increase profits amid a changing economy and consumer habits, the discussion often centers on challenges posed by the "gig economy" and its impact on work and employment.

Upstart companies like the Uber ride-sharing service tend to be the focus of concern; recent reports of such companies' drivers speaking out against perceived company efforts to trim their pay bear this out.

Online story on NWI Times

But the growing use of short-term contracts in industries such as construction is threatening traditional employment in a way some say has reached a critical phase.

The fight is over what's commonly called "employee misclassification" — or payroll fraud, in the view of unions and contractors. It involves an employer hiring workers as freelancing contractors who should be full-time employees, thereby allowing the employer to avoid paying payroll taxes, and worker's compensation and unemployment insurance premiums, among other costs.

"It's a problem that's been around for many decades," said Dewey Pearman, executive director of the Construction Advancement Foundation of Northwest Indiana. "But it's becoming epidemic."

Officials with the Indiana/Kentucky/Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters visit job sites frequently to talk to carpenters, said Scott Cooley, senior representative at the union's local headquarters. He said he often talks to contract workers who he believes should be formal employees.

"We run into it all the time," Cooley said. "It's just a regular occurrence."

Some workers in question receive a federal 1099 form at the end of the year, but others aren't reported at all, and are just paid cash for their work.

'No magic' in defining employment

Classifying employees properly isn't an exact science. It involves several variables, including the degree of company control over the employee; the financial arrangement, including who provides tools and supplies; whether there are benefits such as a pension and insurance; and whether work performed is a key component of the business' activity.

 

The Internal Revenue Service lists 20 factors to consider, and states in its guidance on the matter that "there is no 'magic' or set number of factors that 'makes' the worker an employee or an independent contractor."

But contractors and the carpenters' union say some building projects are rife with contract workers who clearly are misclassified: their hours and duties are assigned by their employer, their tools and supplies are provided, and their work is a core function of the company — all factors that generally make one an employee, not a contract worker, in the eyes of the law.

Quantifying the problem

A 2010 study commissioned by the Indiana Building & Construction Trades Council and the Indiana, Illinois, Iowa Foundation for Fair Contracting argued that a company's use of these workers gives employers who use the practice a decided, but unfair, competitive advantage.

The report, by economists from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, estimated 72,299 employers, 8,052 of them in construction, had misclassified employees in 2008. It said 15.3 percent of employees were misclassified, totaling 377,742 workers, of whom 24,323 were in construction.

The practice also has implications for governments at all levels, the study found. For the state in 2008, $30.4 million in unemployment insurance taxes were lost, $2 million of that from the construction industry.

Between $134.8 million and $224.6 million of income tax revenue went unpaid, with $10.6 million from the construction industry.

Local income tax losses statewide totaled $91.2 million, $7.2 million of that from the construction industry, according to the study. Also, $26.3 million of worker's compensation premiums were not properly paid, with $4.6 million of that from construction, according to the report.

Ultimately, the University of Missouri report estimated the costs to the state of Indiana, at a high end, of about $406 million annually.

But a precise evaluation of the cost to government is elusive. Several state agencies charged by the state's Pension Management Oversight Commission with doing a study of their own in 2010 disputed the methodology and assumptions of the university study.

They estimated 8 percent of workers, not 15.3 percent, are misclassified, and that the state loses $14 million to $20 million annually in tax revenue, "of which (the Department of Revenue) could be expected to recover a substantial portion."

The report, by the state departments of Workforce Development, Labor and Revenue and the Workers' Compensation Board, also questioned the impact on the workers' compensation and unemployment insurance system.

Finally, the report's writers argue that misclassification often is an innocent misunderstanding of the law. "Heavy-handed penalties will have little impact on these employers," the report concluded.

But contractors and unions dispute these conclusions, saying the effect on their work is clear and stronger enforcement is key. When a state legislative study committee investigated the issue last year, more than 40 contractors wrote letters contending that the misclassification problem has grown to the point that it threatens the viability of construction companies that abide by the rules.

The companies included Northwest Indiana's Berglund, Gough, Larson-Danielson, Precision, Prodigy, Solid Platforms, Specialty, Superior, and Pangere.

Misclassification "gives cheating contractors a 30 percent advantage in bidding, undermining the legitimate contracting community through low-ball bids that do not represent the cost of conducting lawful business," wrote Timothy Larson, president of Larson-Danielson Construction Co.

Enforcement elusive?

The carpenters' union recently had success when it filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board regarding a LaPorte hotel under construction. The complaint alleged that misclassification of workers impeded their ability to act collectively and form, or join, a union.

The complaint resulted in a settlement requiring the contractor to reclassify the employees and to inform them of their rights under federal law. But union officials called that settlement "a slap on the wrist" and, along with the contractors, have urged greater enforcement.

"There are laws on the books right now; the problem is they're not enforced," Cooley, of the tri-state carpenters' council, said.

Efforts on the state level have included a law that took effect in 2010 requiring the Labor, Workforce Development and Revenue departments, along with the Worker's Compensation Board, to share information on possible worker misclassification in the construction business.

The state also maintains an email address to receive tips, wagehour@dol.in.gov.

But further efforts to bolster enforcement have met with resistance, according to the state senator behind a bill proposed in the last session.

"We've got all these different departments, and they're supposed to share this information, but it doesn't always happen," said Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes.

Tallian authored a law that would have created a Payroll Fraud Task Force made up of representatives of the four state agencies. The law would have required hiring an investigator dedicated to investigation and enforcement. The bill had one committee hearing but never received a vote.

"We recognize there's a problem. We just don't know how big the problem is, and we don't know for sure how to fix it," said the Pensions and Labor Committee chairman, Crawfordsville Republican Phil Boots, when he concluded the Feb. 1 committee hearing on it.

Tallian said the state government has downplayed the problem and the state agencies' potential to address it.

"It keeps getting worse," Tallian said. "This bill will be filed again. We're going to keep pushing it."

  •  

CSCRC Relief Fund is Accepting Donations to Help Our Members in Texas

  • admin
  • 30 August 2017

Central South's Local 551 - the largest Local in our Council - sits in the heart of this historic natural disaster still unfolding in Texas.

The CSCRC Relief Fund is activated and is accepting donations so that we can get aid to our brothers and sisters who have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey and the 500-year flood that it caused.

If you can, please consider donating. Make your check out to CSCRC Relief Fund and mail it to: CSCRC Relief Fund, 2850 Massachusetts Avenue, Metairie, LA 70003. For more information, visit their page at http://www.centralsouthcarpenters.org/

Thank you!

Tagged under

Megan Walkowiak Receives Appreciation Award from Carpenters Local 435

  • admin
  • 23 August 2017

The Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC) selected Megan Walkowiak from Carpenters Local 435 to represent the Early Intervention Committee's motto for, “Contractor, Community, Customer”, during the summer conference. She is a 3rd generation carpenter. Her grandfather, Benny Sroka (deceased), was an Honorary 65 year member, and her father, Dave Walkowiak, is a 39 year member. 

Like most young adults graduating high school, Megan had ambitions. She decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business management, with a minor in human resources. After entering the world of nine-to-five, she decided being behind a desk wasn’t for her. Instead, she wanted to pursue a career as a contractor. She approached her father about joining the carpenters union and he insisted she had to go through the apprenticeship program.

While going through her apprenticeship, Megan excelled and started to stand out as a leader. During the third year of her apprenticeship, Megan was chosen to go to the International Training Center (ITC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Upon her return, she immediately applied the skills she learned from her training. Megan began to mentor other women in the trade and started giving back to the community. Megan stated that one of her favorite volunteer projects was reroofing a house for a needy family whose child had cerebral palsy.

Megan was appointed as Chairperson for Locals’ 435 and 373 Sisters in the Brotherhood (S.I.B.) Committee, where she conducts monthly meetings and continually inspires women to excel with their contractors, community, and customers. Recently, Megan was awarded a plaque of appreciation for all the work she has done. The plaque was presented to her at the August 8, 2017, Carpenters Local 435 Union meeting. Her father, along with her UBC sisters from Carpenters Locals 435 and 373, were in attendance to witness her accepting the award. The award was presented to her by the officers of Carpenters Local 435, several IKORCC representatives, and a special appearance by Teresa Moore, the IKORCC S.I.B. chairperson.

It is an honor to have this young lady go from an apprentice, journeyman, to newly a signatory contractor for our organization. The IKORCC looks forward to seeing great things come from her in the future and wishes her the best in her career!

Earn While You Learn

  • admin
  • 10 August 2017

Did you know that the IKORCC Apprenticeship Program pays you to learn and allows you to graduate debt-free with an associate degree from Cuyahoga (Tri-C), Ivy Tech, or Owens community college? With thousands of apprentices and hundreds of thousands of hours of training per year, our three state apprenticeship is leading the way against the competition. Learn more about the IKORCC Apprenticeship Program by contacting your local IKORCC office or by emailing website@ikorcc.com

8 Hour Awareness Classes Going Strong!

  • admin
  • 09 August 2017

IKORCC teaches an 8 hour ICRA classes throughout our region. This is an awareness class for hospital and indusutry firms to demonstrate the best ways to continue preventing infection during hospital construction. Here is Ron Clements teaching an 8hr ICRA class at Goshen Hospital in Goshen, IN for the infection control Dept, plant ops, and I.T dept. 

Pages