The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, October 18, 2013

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

Union fix for health care law? Maybe

Part of the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act went into effect on Oct. 1.

Several building trades union general presidents have expressed opposition to the law, because it will increase costs for union health care plans and give nonunion contractors a competitive advantage because smaller nonunion companies won’t have to pay for workers’ health care insurance. The president of the Roofers called for ‘repeal or complete reform” of the health care act.

Officially, the Obama Administration has said multi-employer union plans are not eligible for a tax exemption that would help level the playing field.

Perhaps expecting that there are ongoing negotiations to give unions a break, Congressonal Republicans are trying to make sure that union plans aren’t given any help.

A Sept. 18 letter signed by three GOP members of the House Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee said “we remain concerned” that union Taft-Harley plans “will be given preferential treatment not available to other Americans.”

An article in the Construction Labor Report says the Obama Administration may be “considering other avenues to accomodate Taft-Hartley plans.” It said an article that’s causing a stir within the GOP briefly appeared on the Office of Managment and Budget website, with a title that used the term “Exclusion from Definition of Employee Welfare Benefit Plan.” Stay tuned.

Welcome aboard, former BAC Local 9

Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 1 and Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 9 merged on Oct. 1, becoming the new Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 2 of Michigan.

Now part of a single statewide local union, the former members of Local 9 are receiving The Building Tradesman for the first time with this edition. Welcome! The paper has been serving Michigan’s building trades union workers since 1952, and serves up news, features and commentary related to labor unions and working people. Our paper is now sent to about 43,000 members from 47 local unions around Michigan.