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Iron Workers and IMPACT Host Incredible Day of Collaboration

Feb 02, 2012

LAS VEGAS - The Iron Workers and IMPACT Tuesday launched into yet another full day, information-sharing session at the 2012 Iron Workers/IMPACT North American Labor-Management Conference in Las Vegas.

Joel Dandrea, executive vice president of the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) presented “The Heavy Lifting,” during which he thanked Iron Workers and IMPACT for a strong partnership and mutual commitment to training for members. Afterward, Steve Rank, executive director of Safety and Health for the Iron Workers Union, took to the stage to discuss the “deadly dozen” common construction site hazards in addition to strategies to prevent Ironworker injuries on the job.

Rick Sullivan, IMPACT director of Education and Training, launched the first of the day’s collaborative sessions with a panel discussion on fabricating jobs. The session focused on improving ironworker shop training in order to compete with the non-union, and in order to stem the rising tide of foreign workers hired to replace domestic labor. Walter Wise, general president of the Iron Workers Union and labor co-chair for IMPACT, added that “we cannot prosper, cannot double market share, and cannot grow our industry if we do not have the shops right there with us.” Wise said that the cooperation of outside local unions and shops are crucial to accomplishing the union’s goals of doubling market share by 2020.

IMPACT welcomed a powerhouse panel to “Real Estate Development—When Is The Commercial Market Coming Back?” hosted by IMPACT Regional Advisory Board V Management Co-Chair Vic Cornellier. Developers stressed relationship-building as the key to landing new projects. “We have to market to the real client: the owner of the property,” said Peter Palandjian, a representative from the Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation in Boston. Cornellier, who is also president and CEO of TSI/Exterior Wall Systems, Fairfax, Va., added succinctly, “The developer is the ultimate customer.”

Steve Lindauer, CEO of the Association of Union Constructors, moderated “The Customer is Always Right,” a panel of 10 of the largest owners in North America, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pfizer and Los Angeles World Airports, among others. Owners lauded ironworkers’ commitment to safety and training and stressed the need to market services more aggressively to large consumers like themselves who benefit from good work in the way of large cost savings and superior quality projects.

Kevin Hilton, executive assistant to the CEO, later moderated the two-part “If I Were a Contractor, This Is What I’d Do…” and “I Wish the Union Would…” The first session included business managers from across North American, while the second part of the session tapped the expertise of IMPACT contractor partners. Business Managers and contractors both agreed that an unwavering commitment to safety and transparency would lead the union to success in the coming years.

Hugely popular breakout sessions on Davis Bacon, temporary reinforcing structures and jurisdiction issues rounded out the day.

About the Iron Workers International: The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers (IABSO&RIW) was founded in 1896 in Pittsburgh, Penn. They now represent more than 125,000 ironworkers throughout the United States and Canada. The IABSO&RIW’s mission is to improve the working conditions of its members while promoting constructive relationships with their employers to increase work opportunities.