Dear Brothers and Sisters:
We need your assistance in responding to the serious challenge to UA registered apprenticeship programs as explained below.
A new proposal by the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) could undermine the training and labor standards that are required of federal and state approved registered apprenticeship programs. On June 25, the DOL proposed a new system that will allow private groups free reign to invent watered-down standards and certify sub-standard quasi-apprenticeship programs. These programs do not follow the registered apprenticeship model of the construction industry. They have named these programs Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs).
Recently, both the ABC and the AGC have come out against any rule that prohibits IRAPs in the construction industry. They and their supporters have argued for decades that the requirements of the registered apprenticeship system are too burdensome and costly. They will undoubtedly seize on this opportunity to argue that IRAPs should be allowed in the construction industry, and apprentices enrolled in IRAPs should be afforded the same treatment as registered apprentices under Davis-Bacon, as well as other federal, state and local government laws that reward investments in registered apprenticeship programs. We anticipate that their efforts in this regard will be coordinated and sustained.
What You Need to Do – NOW
The deadline for filing these comments is Friday, August 26, 2019. The UA has developed a web-based tool to expedite the submission of as many letters as possible by offering various talking points and customization options that will generate and automatically submit comments directly to the DOL. The links to the websites are below; please take a moment to fill out the questions and submit to help save our coveted, registered Apprenticeship Training Programs!
Thank you in advance for your efforts to defend the registered apprenticeship training model and the training programs that have shaped the UA and will continue to do so for generations.