The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Potential utility deregulation the latest threat to building trades jobs

LANSING - Over the past few years, the positives have been scarce in the state Legislature for the state's organized construction industry. ..

Wind energy fanning coal plant retirements

JACKSON - Consumers Energy shuttered seven of its oldest coal-burning units as of April 15 after serving Michigan for more than 60 years. ..

Trades help write new history for repurposed Detroit News building

After Flint, they want to weaken plumbing laws?

Editor's note: a public hearing was held March 17 before the Michigan House of Representatives' Committee on Workforce Talent and Development that would loosen rules on worker licensing standards. House Bill 5435 would amend the State Plumbing Act, and would seemingly only affect water heater licensing.

But Cynthia Maher, executive director of the Michigan Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association, testified that the way the bill is written, the language removing licensing for "modification to an existing hot and cold water distribution supply" could easily lead to non-licensed workers installing pipe as it goes into a house. Furthermore, legally, "you could easily re-pipe an entire house" under this proposal, she testified, without a state plumbing license.

Similarly, electricians are upset with companion House Bill 5436, which is ostensibly about loosening standards for installing low-voltage residential work. But the language is so poorly written that it could allow unlicensed electricians, or anyone else, to work on high-voltage systems.

Both bills are still in the committee.


New silica rule already making court appearance

Industry pushback against a new worker-friendly silica rule quickly went into the courts, barely a week after the rule was released by the Obama Administration's Labor Department. ..

Study predicts big-time job losses if TPP is passed

By Mark Gruenberg
PAI Staff Writer

News Briefs

For now, Wisconsin RTW law overturned ..

After failed prevailing wage petition, ABC sues to get their money back

ABC's use of anti-union group blows up in their face ..

Senate OKs bill expanding electrical apprentice ratio

LANSING - The state Legislature made more progress on its path to weakening professional licensing in Michigan, with a March 23 vote of the Senate to raise the ratio of journeymen-to-apprentice ratios on construction sites. ..

Unions cheer as high court ties, 4-4, on key Friedrichs labor case

By Mark Gruenberg
PAI Staff Writer