The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, October 02, 2015

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

Revard moves up in Insulators union

One of the two leadership changes at the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers has a Michigan connection.

In August the international union announced that James P. “Bud” McCourt has been elected general president after serving as the union’s general secretary-treasurer for 14 years. In that position he replaces retiring General President James A. Grogan, Jr., who retired after a 59-year career with the International Union.

At the same time, Michigan native Greg Revard was elected to general secretary-treasurer in the International Union, taking over McCourt's No. 2 position.

The new officers were sworn in on Aug. 3. McCourt brings to the office nearly 40 years of experience in the union. Prior to his tenure as secretary-treasurer, McCourt served as vice president of the New York-New England States Conference and Business Manager of Local 6 in Boston.

Revard, the union’s Central States Conference vice president, hails from Saginaw-based Heat and Frost Insulators Local 47. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Revard is a 33-year union member and has previously served as the International’s director of organizing and as business manager of Local 47.

Union pay hikes outpace U.S. overall

You want higher pay? Join a union.

A new AFL-CIO report: Landmark year in collective bargaining will raise wages for millions, revealed that working people who bargained for new contracts in the first half of 2015 saw their wages increase by an average of 4.3 percent, a hike of $1,147 a year for an average wage earner in the U.S. These increases are up from 2.9 percent in the first half of 2014, with substantial wage wins occurring in sectors from nursing and oil to airline pilots and teachers.

The news was less-than-stellar for the entire U.S. workforce. The most recent numbers from Bloomberg BNA show that in the 12 months ending in June, wages and salaries were up 2.1 percent compared with a 2.6 percent year-over-year gain in the first quarter.

Through Aug. 24, Bloomberg reported that unionized construction workers' first-year contract settlements this year were up 2.6 percent, vs. 2.0 percent in 2015.

“This country is having an important debate about raising wages and tackling income inequality,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “This report provides clear evidence that joining a union and bargaining with your employer is the most effective way to give workers the power to raise their own wages. When working people speak with one voice, our economy is stronger, and all workers do better.”