Construction Industry Advocacy That Protects Ohio Workers
Through its advocacy efforts, ACT Ohio helps educate lawmakers and works with legislators on both sides of the aisle to promote legislation that works for Ohio workers. Collaborating with representatives and the state and federal level, ACT Ohio brings the concerns of the Building Trades to elected officials to ensure those concerns are heard.
ACT Ohio promotes policies, advocates for construction-industry regulations and supports programs that benefit the state’s citizens, businesses and tax-payers. Among the policies, regulations and programs that ACT Ohio asks legislators to carefully and thoughtfully consider when forming policies, bills and laws are the following:
Prevailing Wage laws require contractors who work on certain public projects to pay construction workers the region’s standards for hourly wages, benefits, and overtime, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor and Ohio Department of Commerce. Prevailing Wage helps skilled craftsmen and women working with dignity and off of public assistance programs. For more information, click here.
A study completed by researchers at Bowling Green University, Kent State University, Colorado State University found that our Building Trades affiliates spends over $48 million on apprenticeship and safety training annually. Studies consistently prove that highly skilled, Building Trades construction workers are safer. ACT Ohio supports safety training and legislation that helps ensure the safety of our 94,000 members. For more information, click here.
1099/Independent Contractor Abuse
Very few workers in the construction industry meet the strict standard set forth in federal law to allow them to be classified as independent contractors. Yet the practice of wrongfully classifying workers as independent contractors is rampant in the construction industry. A 2009 study by the Ohio Attorney General concluded that Ohio may have missed out on up to $100 million annually in taxes by employers wrongfully classifying workers as independent contractors. ACT Ohio is committed to working with local, state, and federal officials to curb this practice in the construction industry.
ACT Ohio routinely partners with local governments, private investors, and community groups to support of industrial development across the state. Often these projects are in need of state and federal air permits issued by the EPA. ACT Ohio staff and leadership have testified at numerous field hearings in support of air permits for new industrial projects. We continue to look for opportunities to support projects that create jobs and maintain a balance between economic development and environmental integrity.
Ohio’s competitive bid laws ensure a transparent and fair bidding environment for contractors and protects taxpayers. ACT Ohio works with its members to ensure that local, state, and federal projects comply with competitive bid laws to ensure that a fair bidding process and protect taxpayers from abuse.
At more than 80 state-of-the-art training facilities across the state, Building Trades apprentices are acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to work efficiently and produce high quality craftsmanship in every area of the construction field. ACT Ohio affiliates invest nearly $50 million each year to ensure that their organized construction workforce is the safest and most qualified in the industry – at no cost to taxpayers. For more information, click here.
A responsible contracting policy ensures public authorities get the best value for their money. By including responsible contracting policies in bid specifications, project owners clearly state that quality criteria – in addition to the lowest price –will be considered as part of the selection process. Responsible contracting policies are a set of enforceable qualifications found within construction bid specifications. Contractors who cannot meet these criteria will not be considered for the contract, creating a level playing field for all bidders. For more information, click here.
So-Called “Right to Work”
“Right to Work” is a grossly misleading title. On its surface, a so-called “Right to Work” law prohibits worker security agreements between labor unions and their employers. In reality, the law strips workers of protections afforded by unions. These laws allow workers to reap all the benefits of a union contract for free; eroding the ability of labor organizations to effectively represent their members. ACT Ohio vehemently opposes all so-called “Right to Work” legislation. For more information, click here.
Capital Improvement Spending
ACT Ohio supports a robust state capital budget. Investing in the state’s infrastructure is key for continued economic development. According to a recent study, the Building Trades boosts Ohio’s economy by $1.4 billion annually and Building Trades projects contribute $45 million in state and local tax revenue each year.
Project Labor Agreements
ACT Ohio advocates for the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) on both public sector and private sector construction projects. These agreements are industry-custom tools that have been utilized for decades to ensure project owners receive the best quality work product at the lowest possible price. By ensuring efficiency, value, and high quality workmanship, while simultaneously providing good paying jobs for local workers, PLAs establish and promote investment in the community. For more information, click here.
Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation
Even on its very best day, construction is a dangerous profession. While the skilled craftspeople of Ohio’s Building Trades are the best and most thoroughly trained, accidents do still happen. That’s why ACT Ohio advocates for fair workers’compensation and unemployment policies to help journeymen and women recover and get back to work. Members of the Building Trades are subject to unemployment through no fault of their own – inclement weather, economic downturns, or a slow down in available projects. ACT Ohio wants to ensure that skilled craftspeople can live with dignity during these times, and are able to care for their families.
ACT Ohio advocates for strong licensing within the construction industry. These laws and administrative rules ensure that contractors that only contractors that have met industry standards are permitted to work on vital building system. We are proud to work with the Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board (OCLIB) to crack down on unlicensed contractors within the construction industry.