VESTAL, NY (WSKG) – Trade unions in the Southern Tier are crying foul over a plans to change training standards for apprenticeships.
Proposed rules would allow industry-run training programs. The Trump Administration hopes these changes will help fill a gap in skilled labor.
Union leaders and members met in Binghamton on Monday to voice opposition. They were joined by New York 22nd District Congressman Anthony Brindisi.
Mike Dundon, with Laborers Local 785, said industry programs wouldn’t have the same standards as those by unions.
“Industry-regulated apprenticeship programs, or IRAPS, will have minimal government oversight meaning construction sites can be flooded with untrained, unskilled, lower-paid, possibly even paid only minimum-wage construction workers,” Dundon said.
Dan Crocker, Business Manager of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 112, thinks any industry recognized apprenticeship program needs to be permanent excluded from construction industry. “If not, all that I’ve spoken about here today, along with the quality of construction and the safety and security of the construction workforce will be undermined and placed in jeopardy.”
Public comment on the proposed changes ends August 26th.