OUR ISSUES

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters encourages its more than half a million members to be active participants in the political process through voting and volunteering. The union pursues “Carpenter Politics,” an inclusive and nonpartisan effort to support candidates and legislative issues in both the United States and Canada that advocate for UBC member interests and carpenter values through workers’ rights, infrastructure investments, and fair trade.

Want to see where Representatives in your area stand on Carpenter issues? 

STOP CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TAX FRAUD

Considered the “dirty little secret” of the construction industry, tax fraud drains tax revenues and hurts honest employers every year. The UBC is working to make construction markets fair and honest again by helping officials fight this scourge.

Unscrupulous employers gain an unfair bidding advantage of up to 30 percent by knowingly misclassifying workers as independent contractors, paying in cash off the books, and running other scams—often simultaneously. They skirt the requirements to pay workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, basic payroll taxes, wages, and overtime.

Union workers’ productivity makes contractors’ bids competitive, but only on a level playing field. That’s why the UBC is committed to providing legislators and agency leaders with the research, resources, and professional assistance needed to identify and crack down on construction industry tax fraud. To date, officials in nearly three dozen states have improved laws and enforcement, annually recapturing tens of millions in previously lost revenue. In some cases, workers’ compensation rates have dropped as well.

Fraud is not a union-only issue. Tax fraud affects the entire construction industry, shrinks public budgets, and even increases health care costs. The UBC is dedicated to shutting down this destructive criminal activity, regaining lost tax revenue and protecting taxpayers, honest employers and their employees.

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STOP RIGHT TO WORK LEGISLATION

Right-to-work is the misleading legislation that gave the upper hand to corporations when negotiating labor contracts, effectively lowering the earning potential of skilled carpenters and union members.  Backers of these laws claim that this legislation protects workers against being forced to join a union. This is not true.  Federal law already makes it illegal to force someone to join a union.

RIGHT- TO WORK DOESN'T

INCREASE WAGES

WAGES

$5,971

in RTW states

RIGHT- TO WORK DOESN'T

MAKE JOBS SAFER

WORKPLACE FATALITIES

54.4%

in RTW states

RIGHT- TO WORK DOESN'T

CREATE JOBS

UNEMPLOYMENT

RATES

7/10

7 of the 10 highest unemployment rates in the country are in states with these misleading laws. (4

The real purpose of Right to Work laws is to tilt the balance toward big corporations and further rig the system at the expense of working families. These laws make it harder for working people to form unions and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.
PROTECT PREVAILING WAGES:
PRESERVE THE DAVIS-BACON ACT 

In 1931, Davis-Bacon prevailing wage act was passed by Congress. According to the Department of Labor, “The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, apply to contractors and subcontractors performing on federally funded or assisted contracts in excess of $2,000 for the construction, alteration, or repair (including painting and decorating) of public buildings or public works.” According to the Davis-Bacon Act, contractors must pay the prevailing wage—a combination of the basic hourly rate a and any fringe benefits—as listed in the Davis-Bacon wage determination based on the type of contract and the area in which the contract is being executed.

What does it do?

 

  • Encourages fair market competition by ensuring that law-abiding contractors, union and nonunion alike, can bid competitively for work

  • Increases worker productivity by encouraging investment in training

  • Protects communities and workers from allowing out of area contractors to underbid local wage levels or the  “prevailing wage* 

  • Helps build a healthy middle class

 

Protections for Carpenters
 
  • Requires contractors to submit certified payrolls – a valuable tool in the fight against misclassification

  • Requires contractors to pay wages and benefits on a weekly basis

  • Requires contractors pay overtime as the law dictates

What happens if we lose it? 
 
  • Our wages will decrease in a race to the bottom
  • We'll quickly lose market share
 
Every public dollar spent on construction should go back into the economy through fair wages paid to local workers and businesses’ payments of the required federal, state and local taxes.​

Corporate interests and their advocates claim that Davis-Bacon increases taxpayer costs, but numerous studies have shown it does not. Employers who oppose prevailing wage do so because they want to cut workers’ paychecks and pocket the pay-cuts as profits.

 

 

*Paid for the UBC Eastern District*

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