The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, August 07, 2015

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

UA, Roofers unions forge affiliation pact

Citing strong ties and common interests in water conservation, General President William P. Hite of the United Association of Union Plumbers, Pipefitters, Sprinklerfitters, Welders and HVAC Technicians (UA) and International President Kinsey M. Robinson of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers (Roofers Union) announced July 30 that their unions have executed a historic affiliation agreement.

Under the agreement, the Roofers Union will affiliate with the UA. The agreement maintains the two unions' autonomy and structure while providing for close cooperation between the two organizations in relation to training, organizing and other areas.

The Roofers Union's 22,000 members will join the more than 410,000 members affiliated with the UA throughout North America, Australia, and Ireland.

According to Hite and Robinson, the agreement was motivated in large part by a shared passion for water conservation and a desire to offer client-owners environmentally responsible building solutions that will improve their bottom line.

"Water scarcity is a serious and growing problem in the United States, particularly in the western and southwestern parts of the country," said Hite. "We are developing cutting-edge techniques to outfit U.S. buildings with systems that capture and reuse a lot of the water that is currently wasted. The top-notch skills that the men and women of the Roofers Union bring to the table are critical to the success of this initiative. Working together, we're going to create jobs and take on water scarcity by delivering the most water efficient buildings our country has ever seen."

Said Robinson: "This affiliation brings two respected trade member organizations together for the development of state-of-the-art training programs, and subsequently, the installation of an integrated roof and water capture system. The agreement also encourages the UA and Roofers to jointly develop safety programs and market our story to contractors, owners and the greater community."

The agreement was expected to be formally approved on Aug. 1, 2015 and will take effect on Nov. 1, 2015.

Road workers can keep working

Congressional lawmakers barely beat a July 31 deadline, and completed another short-term measure to keep federal highway funds flowing, and jobs moving. The extension lasts through late October.

With only a day to spare, the Senate, by a 91-4 vote, passed a three-month $8-billion surface transportation extension. The House had approved the stopgap the previous day.

If the $8 billion extension hadn't been enacted by July 31, highway construction workers would have been put on the bench and contractors would have been unpaid. Congress is working on a six-year plan for road funding - but they have been working on a longer term plan for years.