We have won a major victory. The final rule of the IRAP regulation is now public and it permanently excludes IRAPs from the construction industry.
This has been the worst threat to our union by a presidential administration in a generation. Ironworkers’ engagement and activism defeated it. Members volunteered their time to write letters to the White House and their money to fund IPAL contributions. Volunteers and IPAL funds are the key to our strength in Washington; without them our apprenticeships and union would be defenseless.
Our collective work on IRAPs showed our strength as a union and the supremacy of our apprenticeship programs. We have friends and allies on both sides of the aisle and local unions’ work to consistently educate them on the threat of IRAPs in construction helped make this win possible. When we stay focused on the issues important to ironworkers, we see amazing results.
We won this battle, but the threat is not over. We expect anti-union interest groups like the Associated Builders and Contractors to try to overturn the construction exemption. Non-construction parts of our trade, like shop fabrication, are not protected. We must continue to educate our brothers and sisters, along with stakeholders and elected officials, on the threat that IRAPs impose to our union and our apprenticeship programs.
Most importantly, we must remember in this coming election which elected officials stood with us and which politicians were part of the problem. Register to vote now and hold them accountable.