Union Contractors Meet Operating Engineers’ New President
The newest leader of the building trades, Vincent J. Giblin, was the keynote speaker at the Union Contractors Committee meeting during AGC’s Annual Convention on March 15.
IUOE General President Vince Gilblin
Giblin took office as the general president of the International Union of Operating Engineers just two weeks earlier. He spoke of his priorities for the Operating Engineers and of the challenges that he sees facing the union sector of the construction industry.
Giblin stressed the importance of labor-management cooperation to ensure that his members have work and that union contractors remain competitive. “When we are successful, you are successful; and when you are successful, we are successful,” he said. “It’s self-evident.” He cited efforts aimed at furthering these goals, such as the Cornerstone Initiative, which seeks to improve project execution predictability through a flexible approach stressing effective communications. A pilot program of the initiative is presently underway at a Black & Veatch power plant project in Oregon.
Giblin also identified combating the health care crisis as a top priority for labor and management to tackle together. Giblin, who has unique insight as chairman of the board of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of New Jersey, commented that neither cost relief nor help from the federal government is in the foreseeable future. He suggested that plans must be consolidated on a regional basis as quickly as possible and that the formation of large purchasing coalitions can help drive down per-person costs.
The committee also received a report on a basic trades alliance in Northern California by Thomas T. Holsman, the executive vice president and CEO of AGC of California. Holsman explained that the alliance is based on a written agreement executed by the Operating Engineers, Laborers, and Carpenters outside of their collective bargaining agreements and that it is successfully avoiding jurisdictional disputes without contractor involvement. The alliance has also established an alternative dispute resolution procedure that is effectively being used to resolve workers’ compensation disputes.
Bob Volkman, president of Construction Industry Resources, Inc., gave a report on a program by the Carpenters International Training Fund to improve productivity. The program is now in its initial stage, which involves a survey of contractors regarding productivity on interior systems projects. Volkman, a consultant to the fund, encouraged AGC contractor participation in the survey and distributed copies of the survey form.
For a hard copy of the productivity survey form, contact Denise Gold, AGC’s associate general counsel for labor and employment law, at email@example.com and provide your mailing address.
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