The Iron Workers (IW) 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 the IW 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 IW strength in Washington; without them IW's union and apprenticeships would be defenseless.
The IW's collective work on IRAPs showed strength as a union and the supremacy of IW apprenticeship programs. The Iron Workers 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 ironworkers stay focused on the issues important to ironworkers, amazing results can be seen.
The IW won this battle, but the threat is not over. Anti-union interest groups like the Associated Builders and Contractors are expected to try to overturn the construction exemption. Non-construction parts of the ironworking trade, like shop fabrication, are not protected. The IW must continue to educate ironworker brothers and sisters, along with stakeholders and elected officials, on the threat that IRAPs impose the Iron Workers and IW apprenticeship programs.
Most importantly, ironworkers must remember in this coming election which elected officials stood with the Iron Workers and which politicians were part of the problem. Register to vote now and hold them accountable!