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March 15, 2013

 

Statement From Iron Workers General President Walter Wise: ANSI Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Passes New Safety Standards for Reinforcing Steel and Post-Tensioning

I am pleased to announce that the ANSI A10 Accredited Standards Committee for Construction and Demolition Operations recently voted to approve new amendments to the ANSI A10.9 Concrete and Masonry Standard.  The revised standard contains comprehensive safety standards pertaining to reinforcing steel and post-tensioning operations.  The A10 ASC includes a voting membership of 73 labor and management construction organizations and requires a 66 percent vote for new standards to pass.  The recent A10.9 Concrete and Masonry ballot passed with a 98 percent YES vote.

In January of 2012, Steve Rank, Executive Director of Safety and Health, was appointed as Chairman of the A10.9 Concrete and Masonry Subgroup and worked closely with the A10 ASC members to propose new safety standards developed by the industry coalition of reinforcing steel stakeholders.  The new safety standards address site conditions for crane access and material storage, column guying and stability, formwork inspection and stability prior to access, impalement protection, hoisting and rigging of rebar assemblies, post-tensioning operations, fall protection and special training requirements.

The adoption of new ANSI A10.9 Standards will help the International Association and the industry coalition of reinforcing steel stakeholders to pursue new Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards.  The Safety and Health Department will work closely with District Councils and Local Unions to pursue new OSHA Standards in states that currently operate under State Approved OSHA Plans.

I would like to thank the District Councils, Local Unions and the industry coalition of reinforcing steel stakeholders for your efforts to raise the standard of safety performance for our members and contractors in the reinforcing steel industry.

January 11, 2013

General President Walter Wise’s Statement On The Resignation Of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis:

The Iron Workers have been a staunch supporter of Secretary Solis throughout her entire career in public service during which her strong advocacy on behalf of working families and the labor movement has never wavered.  Her passion for worker issues; support of workplace safety and against attacks on collective bargaining rights returned the Department of Labor to its original mandate of protecting workers.

Throughout the depths of the economic crisis, as opposition forces claimed regulations, enforcement and organized labor were no longer relevant in the United States, Secretary Solis stood by working families. “They got it backwards,” she told the delegates at our 42nd Convention in Chicago. Sec. Solis, whose immigrant factory worker parents benefited immensely from the collective bargaining rights we enjoy here in the United States, knows firsthand how unions help both individuals and the economy. Her tireless efforts have proven integral to the preservation and expansion of these rights for working families everywhere.

I would like to thank Secretary Hilda Solis, a steadfast friend and ally of the Iron Workers, and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

January 10, 2013

President Obama has made his commitment to unions clear. Now, he needs your vote.

President Obama has fought to ensure that projects like the Dulles Rail in Washington, DC, benefit from quality union labor by increasing Davis-Bacon enforcement.  Yet, Romney promised to repeal Davis-Bacon "on day one," claiming that the Act "forces the government to pay above-average market wages" to labor unions and contributes to "government waste."

As a Union Ironworker, you have a choice to make this Presidential Election.  When President Obama urged Congress to pass a vital infrastructure bill to put more Americans back to work, Romney's political party said "no."  Now, where is the investment for our future? The answer is simple: Job-creating infrastructure investments have been blocked by Republican filibusters in the Senate.

A special video message from General President Wise: You have a choice to make in this Presidential Election.

Fairness & Equality For All: A Special Endorsement Message From General President Wise.