Political Action

Political Action

LEGISLATIVE NEWS

Minnesota

End of Session Report: March 22, 22024

Passed: Misclassification of employees prohibited - For far too long, employers have found ways to require someone to work as an independent contractor. This shifts the responsibility of payroll taxes and workers compensation insurance unfairly onto the individual.

The playing field has been leveled for honest contractors who are not cheating the system and properly treating their workers as employees. Dishonest employers will be held accountable when they undercut honest contractors by cheating workers out of benefits they are owed.

This legislation creates a partnership between state agencies to improve collaboration and communication for investigations surrounding misclassification. It implements an expansive 14 test measurement to determine if an employee is an independent contractor and significantly increases the penalties for misclassifying employees.

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CARPENTERs In action

The Carpenters mobilize to help all workers gain jobs that are fair, safe and respected. We continue to expose developers and contractors who exploit workers, cheat our communities, and drag down the standard of living for all of us.

Our Union supports elected officials who support workers — and opposes those who undermine what we stand for. How candidates vote on our issues is more important than what party they belong to. If recent years have shown us anything, it is that bipartisan support is the only way to get things done.

At the State Legislature and at work, we continue to defend and support prevailing wages, strong apprenticeship training, and opportunity for all workers. In Congress, we back officials who understand and will work to improve the lives of working families. We support their efforts to raise the minimum wage, end the abuses of corporate giveaways, and restore workers’ rights on the job.

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Carpenter Economics

Union carpenters receive highest quality training with livable wages and benefits from day one. Our carpenters are able to work on the biggest, most complex projects and still return home safe. Union Carpenters enjoy a middle class way of life and a secure retirement while building our states right the first time.

It is important that when you go to the polls or have conversations with your elected leaders, that you bring Carpenter Economics with you. Elections will determine infrastructure packages, bonding bills, policies, wages, benefits and ultimately job security. It is important that Carpenter Economics is always at the forefront because your vote matters.

Prevailing Wage Laws

For nearly 100 years, the federal Davis-Bacon Act has helped to ensure that local contractors can compete on a level playing field for federally funded projects. The law was cosponsored by two Republican senators (James Davis - PA and Robert Bacon - NY) based on concerns about contractors from low-wage markets undercutting contractors from their respective states.

Prevailing wage laws set the wage and benefit floor based on local survey data of the going rate for particular crafts. This ensures that work on government-financed projects does not undercut area standards. It levels the playing field for local workers and local contractors.

Publicly funded projects generally award bids to contractors who have the lowest-cost bid to do the work by the government's standards. Without prevailing wage requirements, a simple way to cut bid costs is by cutting worker pay and benefits, creating a race-to-the-bottom which can encourage practices like wage theft and other payroll fraud.

To learn more, read the NorthStar Policy Action's Prevailing Wage Policies: Preventing Workplace Abuses Before They Happen.

Prevailing Wage Fact Sheet from NSPA

TAX FRAUD

North Central Regional Council of Carpenters’ members and signatory contractors set the standard for the construction industry in the Upper Midwest; setting a high-bar for training, productivity, on-the-job safety, safe working conditions, apprenticeships, and wages and benefits.

We have worked hard to build these standards and will work even hard to defend what we have built. There are always developers and contractors who are willing to cheat the system, taking advantage of workers, paying crews as little as possible or not paying them at all, and even bending or breaking the law through the shadow economy.

Billions of dollars in tax revenue and a failure to pay promised wages, mandatory payroll taxes and workers compensation insurance puts a large burden on carpenters as well as federal, state and local governments.

Tax fraud not only costs taxpayers billions, payroll fraud hurts honest businesses and exploits workers. Honest contractors are losing business opportunities. Hard working carpenters are losing work. Holding dishonest contractors accountable creates a level, competitive playing field for those who build our community and bolster our local economy. STAND UP TO TAX FRAUD.

LEARN MORE

Read the latest Carpenter Economics publication

Become a Political Action Leader

  • Engage others in politics to help create jobs; 
  • Protect and increase labor area standards;
  • Stop labor exploitation and level the business playing field for our signatory contractors; 
  • and more.
Political Action Leaders:
  • Engage other members in political discussion;
  • Lobby elected officials at all levels of government;
  • Testify before city councils or at state capitols on our issues;  
  • Represent our union as an elected official or board appointee; and
  • Get out the vote for candidates who support our Carpenter Union Values.
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