WASHINGTON — More than 175 members of Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) and allied organizations convened April 27-29 at the Newseum in Washington, District of Columbia, to push for phase 2 of multiemployer pension reform, government tax incentives for energy-efficient commercial and industrial facilities, direct federal construction project procurement policy reforms, and sustaining valuable prevailing wage and project labor agreement project delivery options for federal construction programs.

MCAA and Quality Construction Alliance (QCA) program participants also engaged in more than 140 lobbying visits to House and Senate members. The conference pension panel discussion was moderated by former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, a consultant for MCAA and the UA on the pension reform measure, and included Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tennessee, chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee; Randy De Frehn, executive director of the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans; and Presto Rutledge, staff member, Senate Finance Committee.

Other conference panels covered legislative proposals to advance energy-efficiency gains through tax incentives for energy retrofits to commercial and industrial facilities, highway and infrastructure measures, direct federal procurement reforms — including a ban on reverse auctions and individual surety reforms to help improve the federal contracting environment for small businesses — and workforce and economic policy issues.

At lunch, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, addressed the group on a number of issues, including the pension reform measure that passed last year and phase 2 pending this year in Congress. Labor Department Wage and Hour Administrator David Weil addressed the group on federal prevailing wage policy, efforts to stem worker misclassification as independent contractors, and the MCAA/QCA support for administrative reforms to make the Obama administration’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order for direct federal prime contractors and subcontractors more equitable and workable.

On April 29, Rep. Donald Norcross, D-New Jersey, and North American Building Trades Unions secretary/treasurer Brent Booker addressed the group in advance of the congressional hearing on phase 2 of the multiemployer pension reform. Visit www.qualityconstructionalliance.org/position-papers for the conference position papers.

Publication date: 6/1/2015 

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