October 2015

IPAL Updates

IPAL Teaches New Course at Annual Instructor Training

A new course on political education was offered this year at the 31st Annual Instructor Training Program at Washtenaw Community College in Michigan. The course was developed to educate political coordinators on how to improve their local union’s political activism and influence. Participants learned ways to increase voter turnout within their local union’s membership; build relationships with candidates, elected officials, and community organizations; and advocate issues important to ironworkers and our families. 

The course “Politics and Civic Participation” for apprenticeship instructors was also offered. Participants in this class learned how to initiate conversations with apprentices on how political action benefits ironworkers and how to keep members engaged in the political process.

November is Coming

As fall and the colder weather comes upon us, it serves as a reminder that Election Day is nearing and it is your civic responsibility to vote.

2015 is no exception. It’s not a presidential election year, nor is it a mid-term election year. But, there are still elections coming this Tuesday, November 3. Yes, you should care about them. Yes, the outcome will affect your job and your family. Yes, you should vote. Even if your city, county, or state does not hold elections this fall, it is important to know where elections will be held and understand how the outcomes affect you. 

Why do these elections matter? In 2012, Indiana and Michigan became so-called Right-to-Work states. In 2015, prevailing wage standards were repealed or scaled back in Indiana, Nevada, West Virginia and Wisconsin. These laws were passed by anti-union majorities that were elected when working voters like us stayed home. When these toxic, anti-working family policies are enacted in one area, it makes it all the more easier for them to be enacted elsewhere. Don’t let these bad policies spread. If there is an election in your area this fall, vote. 

Kentucky

Jack Conway 
✔ Opposes so-called Right-to-Work
✔ Supports prevailing wage requirements
✔ Supports project labor agreements (PLAs)

Matt Bevin
✘ Supports so-called Right-to-Work
✘ Opposes prevailing wage requirements
✘ Opposes project labor agreements (PLAs) 

Jack Conway is running for governor of Kentucky. Jack Conway stood up for working families as Kentucky’s attorney general, and he will continue to stand with us as governor. He has long been a strong advocate for construction workers – as attorney general, Conway filed a lawsuit against Lamar Construction following the collapse of McCracken County High School. The lawsuit resulted in better welding certification standards and Lamar Construction going out of business. We need a champion for fair and safe labor practices in Frankfurt, and Jack Conway is that champion.