February 28, 2005 / Issue 1-05
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AGC Convention
Learn How to Recruit and Manage Hispanic Workers
Meet New Operating Engineers President at AGC Convention
Open Shop Roundtable to Take Place at AGC Convention
View New Online Supervisory Training Program
Discover How Competitive Companies Build Leaders for the Future
Find Out How to Prevent Future Workforce Shortages With Career Academies and Charter Schools
DOL Representatives to Talk About High Growth Training Initiative, Workforce Investment Boards, and One-Stops at AGC Convention
Building Trades
AGC and Basic Trades Discuss Health Care Costs and Other Mutual Concerns
Union Density Continues to Decline
2004 Bargaining Yields Average First-Year Increase of 3.8 Percent
Craft Workers’ Earnings Rose Slightly in 2004
Executive Salaries Up 4.23 Percent
Labor Supply
Estimated 185,000 Craft Workers Needed Over Next Decade
Government Contractors
Newly Revised Affirmative Action Manual Now Available
Laminated “Beck” Posters Now Available
HR Networking
Save the Date for the Next HR Professionals Networking Forum

  AGC and Basic Trades Discuss Health Care Costs and Other Mutual Concerns
AGC met with leaders of the Laborers, Carpenters, Iron Worker, and Operating Engineers on January 25 at AGC’s Capitol Hill office.

Representing AGC at the meeting were President Jim Waltze, Chief Executive Officer Steve Sandherr, Union Contractors Committee Chairman Steve Kimball, Union Contractors Committee Regional Representative Bob Epifano, Executive Leadership Council Representative Bart Carrigan, and Associate General Counsel for Labor and Employment Law Denise Gold.  Representing the trades were Laborers General President Terry O’Sullivan, Carpenters General President Doug McCarron, Iron Workers General President Joe Hunt, and Operating Engineers 11th Vice President Chris Hanley.

Health care cost containment led the agenda of mutual concerns addressed at the meeting.  Participants discussed various ideas for the unionized sector of the industry to manage escalating health care costs.  The group decided to initially focus joint efforts on health care coalitions and established a task force to investigate successful coalitions in the industry.  Health care coalitions are purchasing cooperatives formed by multiple health funds to combine their buying power in order to purchase better health benefits at lower costs than available to the funds individually.

The group also discussed union relationships, including the likelihood of union consolidation and of the Carpenters’ re-affiliation with the AFL-CIO.   The general presidents reported that consolidation in the form of formal union mergers is unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future but that inter-union alliances are likely to become more prevalent.  They further suggested that AFL-CIO President John Sweeney is likely to order the Building and Construction Trades Department to expel the Carpenters for failure to rejoin the federation during the AFL-CIO’s Executive Council Meeting, which takes place March 1-3.  McCarron expressed his belief that such an action would have little consequence on job sites.  Other general presidents in attendance indicated greater concern about possible jurisdictional disputes that might result but expressed their understanding of the importance of the need to avoid work disruptions.

Other issues covered in the meeting include drug testing, the Construction Users Round Table (CURT) Tripartite Initiative, and joint lobbying efforts on infrastructure funding and multiemployer pension issues. [ return to top ]