BlueGreen Alliance and Environmental Partners Submit Comments Opposing Leeway for Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs in Construction Industry

The BlueGreen Alliance alongside its six environmental partners submitted comments to the Department of Labor (DOL) opposing a proposed rulemaking that would leave the door open to Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) in the construction industry. The group urged the DOL to permanently exempt the use of IRAPs from the industry.

August 26, 2019

The construction industry accounts for roughly half of U.S. apprentices, and has had great success with registered, DOL-approved apprenticeship programs. Such apprenticeship programs, like those lead by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing, Pipefitting and Sprinkler Fitting Industry (UA), International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), and International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC), are subjected to stringent standards and oversight.

“The use of IRAPs in the construction industry would hamper the entire industry and threaten the health and rights of workers. Too many IRAPs are sham apprenticeship programs that cut corners and lower the quality of work produced while giving an unfair advantage to substandard contractors and scamming workers out of fair pay,” said BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director Jason Walsh. “Leaving the door open to the use of IRAPs in the construction industry is unacceptable. These programs must be permanently kept out of the industry.”

The group’s full comments can be accessed here.

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