A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Reshaping the Construction Industry

According to an alert from Engineering News Record (subscription required for the full story), the strike of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, AFL-CIO and the Chicago-area Laborer’s District Council reported in last month’s BLS (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) workforce numbers was settled after 9 hours of negotiations.  The negotiations were precipitated by the Illinois Department of Transportation threatening to shut down some major expansion projects, even the Illinois Tollway project which, according to some sources, is against their own rules.  The strike began on May 31 when the union contracts ran out. The pickets impacted over 300 projects around the region.Both sides claimed victory.  The negotiations created a revised contract that is good for 3 years.  As I said earlier, I find it amazing that in this economy, they were striking when the unemployment rate is at 9.5% and even higher in parts of the Mid West.  
August 17, 2010
“It is no secret that the design and construction industry is one of the most inefficient on the planet. … In a $1 trillion industry, that amounts to $300 billion or more of...
August 16, 2010
According to Employment Law Watch, “The Illinois Wage Theft Enforcement Act, S.B. 3568 (the "Act"), signed into law July 30, 2010, increases both civil and criminal penalties for...
August 14, 2010
Green design, also know as sustainable design, is an advancing practice in the industry, thanks in part to the developers of the Condé Nast Building at Four Times Square in...
August 12, 2010
Okay, here we go.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the latest unemployment figures for July for our industry last week.  The US unemployment rate stands at...
August 12, 2010
Bank of America is heavily immersed in the future workforce issues through its community support activities.  They have established a community support program that is good...
August 11, 2010
In light of the video that we shared with you last week where several folks with a video camera walked onto a jobsite and started questioning workers about their immigration status, we began thinking about jobsite security.  The video crew weren’t US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or labor representatives, although they might have been union reps.  We wondered why no one challenged them until about halfway thru the YouTube video.The question we asked ourselves is how can you prevent random people from wandering onto your site, so we talked to a couple of folks in the industry and looked on the Internet.  There are several issues that jobsite security includes.First, there is the issue of materials and equipment theft.  If thieves are brazen enough to strip copper out of compressors, they are brazen enough to steal most anything that you leave loose on the site.  
August 10, 2010
There are a number of you who are always on the lookout for sites that can give you in-depth information on Congress, the bills on the floor, the summaries of particular bills like the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act (HR 5107, S 3254), sponsors, co-sponsors, full texts of the bills and the current status of the particular bill that you might want to track.One of the best sites for you to visit would be the Library of Congress’ Thomas website. 
August 09, 2010
Construction Citizen has been following this issue for the last few months and most of our efforts have been to track the progress of the laws being introduced in the various states to make misclassification a criminal offense.  We have also mentioned that Congress has the opportunity to pass federal legislation under the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act introduced as HR 5107 in the House and S 3254 in the Senate.For those of you who are using the 1099 independent contractor approach for your contingent workforce, we have found some guidelines that might help you in your efforts especially in this economy. 
August 09, 2010
Construction Citizen received a video from a fan yesterday.  It shows some guys in hard hats walking onto a Whiting -Turner Construction site in Abington, Pa. and asking the laborers for their papers in an effort to determine whether they were legal.  They were not ICE or Department of Labor.  They began by telling everyone that they were not in any trouble, but that they were just trying to understand whether they are “undocumented” workers.  What they were told is an example of what Construction Citizen has been telling you about wage theft and worker misclassification.  It is also a classic example of how a general contractor can, in good faith, hire a sub contractor and the sub, in turn, hires “undocumenteds” or contracts with a labor broker to do the work.
August 06, 2010