Wisconsin LECET
2801 Coho Street, Suite 202 Madison, WI 53713 (608) 274-5757
Michael R. Ryan, Chair - Wisconsin Laborers District Council
Jerry Diemer, Director
In-office Visits with Contractors Promoted the Prevailing Wage Survey Effort

The State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) reports a huge increase in the number of Annual Prevailing Wage Rate Surveys that were completed on the Prevail 1.1 Windows program developed by Wisconsin LECET in cooperation with Operating Engineers Local 139 and the Teamsters.

In 1997, just over 80 contractors reported wages and hours on disk even though the Prevail program was new and was not mailed out until late in the process. This year, more than twice as many contractors reported on disk.

In addition to office visits, Wisconsin LECET also carried out an extensive educational effort over the telephone.

In all, more than 120 signatory contractors had contact with Wisconsin LECET, the Wisconsin Laborers District Council and local laborers unions about the prevailing wage rate survey.

Wisconsin LECET also communicated extensively with contractor associations like the Associated General Contractors of America, Wisconsin Chapter, Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association and the Wisconsin Underground Contractors Association.

One of the reasons for the large increase in the number of contractors reporting electronically was an outreach program by Wisconsin LECET.

Over the period of a couple of months during the summer, Wisconsin LECET, the Wisconsin Laborers District Council and local laborers unions targeted specific contractors for office visits.

Face to face meetings took place with more than 40 signatories. The Prevail 1.1 program was installed in many offices and staff people were educated about the importance of the survey.

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From left to right: Jamie DeBruin, Accounting Manager and Bruce Gabrielse, both from InterCon Construction, discuss the Prevailing Wage Rate Survey with Tom Fisher, Assistant Business Manager, Wisconsin Laborers District Council.





Tom Fisher, (Standing in back) and Tom Grunseth, (seated in foreground), Business Manager of Laborers Local 317 in Eau Claire and the newest member of the Wisconsin LECET Board of Trustees, discuss prevailing wage reporting with staff from A-1 Excavating in Bloomer, WI




Standing, from left to right, Tom Fisher, Tim Ballwahn, Business Agent from Laborers Local 140 in LaCrosse and Dean McHugh of McHugh Excavating & Plumbing in Onalaska watch the Prevail 1.1 Windows program in action.

Trenchless Technology Training Now Available

Trenchless Technology is a broad term used to describe any form of underground work that requires minimal trenching. Examples include directional drilling, boring, microtunneling and pipebursting.

One of the most prevalent Trenchless Technologies is sewer and water pipe rehabilitation. This work can typically require several steps, including: inspecting, cleaning and relining existing pipe; cutting new laterals to restore service; and manhole repairs and sealing. In order to determine the conditions of underground piping, many municipalities are now conducting remote operated camera inspections. These inspections allow engineers and planners to determine the rehabilitation method needed to preserve the integrity of the entire pipe system, whether it is a trenchless or traditional open-cut method.

There is an enormous demand for a skilled workforce in the Trenchless industry and the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) is taking steps to meet that demand. Construction Craft Laborers are responsible for laying new sewer and water pipe. In fact, laborers and their signatory employers laid much of the pipe currently under America's streets. Construction Craft Laborers are now being trained in Trenchless Technology applications so that they can repair those same pipes years and, even decades, later.

The Laborers-AGC Education and Training Fund and the Construction Laborers Education and Training Fund of Minnesota and North Dakota have teamed up to provide unique, hands-on training in techniques of trenchless pipe rehabilitation.

The one week, 40 hour course, Trenchless Pipe Rehabilitation and Remote Camera Operation, provides hands-on training with pipe rehabilitation and camera equipment at the Construction Laborers Training Center in Lino Lakes, Minnesota.

Trainees learn the basics of trenchless pipe rehabilitation as well as the operation and maintenance of remotely operated cameras used for inspection and service. Course topics include methods of rehabilitation for existing utility piping systems without excavation, methods of pipe relining, manhole rehabilitation, remote camera operation and maintenance and remote service cutter operation.

The training combines the latest remote-operated equipment technology with the most knowledgeable instructors in North America. The course includes classroom lecture, discussion, demonstration and hands-on modules.

Trenchless Technology Training is available to any member of LIUNA in good standing and employed by a signatory contractor. The Laborers-AGC covers the cost of training, room and board and up to $300 per trainee for transportation.

For more information on how to get Trenchless Technology training for your workers, please call Al Friedl, Training Director, Wisconsin Laborers Training Center at:

(800) 275-6939


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Message From The Director

by Gerald J. Diemer
Director, Wisconsin LECET

Recent conversations with contractors have revealed a number of concerns about the quality and availability of reliable workers. One concern, in particular, was worker lost-time accidents and the negative impact of alcohol and drug abuse on safe jobsites.

Earlier this year, I attended a session conducted by the Laborers Health & Safety Fund of North America on drug and alcohol testing programs.

Because research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that construction workers are at increased risk for drug abuse and have high rates of illicit drug use, many employers are using workplace drug and alcohol testing more frequently.

Construction sites are busy, congested and dangerous. Safety is more and more becoming a top priority. Contractors are declaring their jobsites to be "drug-free" and expect workers to be "fit for duty" as a job requirement. The proliferation of drug and alcohol testing programs has been a result.

The Wisconsin Laborers District Council, local Laborers Unions and the signatory contractors were ahead of the curve on this situation when they negotiated a Substance Abuse Testing and Assistance Policy into collective bargaining agreements more than two years ago. The purposes of the policy are:

  • To establish and maintain a safe, healthy working environment for all Employees;
  • To ensure the reputation of the Contractors, their products and services, and their Employees within the community and industry at large;
  • To reduce substance abuse related accidental injuries to persons and property;
  • To reduce substance abuse related absenteeism and tardiness, and to improve productivity;
  • To provide rehabilitation assistance for qualified and eligible Employees who seek help;
  • To protect liability because of injuries or accidents caused by individuals using alcohol or drugs at work;
  • To deter individuals from bringing, possessing or using alcohol or drugs in connection with work;
  • To clearly state the commitment of the Contractors and the Union to a workplace free from the effects of illegal drug use; and
  • To comply with any law or regulation requiring the implementation of alcohol or drug programs.

Thus, more than two years ago, the Laborers and their signatories had the foresight to deal with a safety and productivity issue that many contractors and unions still struggle with today.

UW-Madison Construction Club Activities

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Wisconsin LECET Director Jerry Diemer, (left) chats with Associate Professor Jeffrey Russell (right), Chair of the Construction Engineering & Management Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Diemer and Wisconsin LECET Chairman Mike Ryan have also toured the Engineering Building, including the Structures & Materials Testing Laboratory. Professor Russell will participate in a tour of the Wisconsin Laborers Training Center this fall. UW-Madison Construction Club graduates work for many contractors all over the State of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin LECET Participates in Fond du Lac Job Fair

Tom Klein (right), Business Manager for Laborers Local 1086 in Fond du Lac, greets an attendee at Job Fair '98 sponsored by the Fond du Lac Area Job & Career Center. Laborers Local 1086 was one of more than 50 exhibitors offering information to area job seekers and students from area middle schools, high schools and technical schools. Other unions also were exhibitors as well as a number of local signatory contractors. Tight labor markets and a need to replace retiring laborers make these events ideal for recruiting new workers for signatory contractors and possible future participants in apprenticeship programs.

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Allan Wild Passes Away
Former Business Manager,
WI LECET Trustee Will Be Missed
By Management and Labor Alike

Allan Wild (center), longtime Business Manager of Laborers Local 931 in Appleton and an original WI LECET Trustee, recently passed away. Shown here with Mike Ryan (left) and new Local 931 Business Manager Richard "Tiny" Geneske at his retirement party, Al will always be remembered as one of the good guys. We'll all miss his good will and dedication.

MN/ND/WI Joint Training Conference

Wisconsin LECET staff and Trustees attended the MN/ND/WI Joint Training Conference this summer. Mike Ryan, Wisconsin LECET Chair, (right) welcomes conference attendees while Al Arens (left), Minnesota LECET Trustee and Business Manager of the Laborers District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota served as host for the conference.

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Flagpole Erected in Honor of Dean Jensen

Longtime Training Director Dean Jensen will always be remembered at the training center. From left to right, Mike Ryan, Chair of Wisconsin LECET, Tom Klein, Business Manager, Laborers Local 1086, Dean Jensen and new Training Director Al Friedl pose with a plaque and a flagpole erected by Local 1086 in Jensen's honor.

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WAFC Investigators Get Training

The Wisconsin Alliance for Fair Contracting (WAFC) held a training session this summer for Field Supervisors who visit numerous jobsites in the course of their prevailing wage investigations.

The all-day workshop discussed requirements of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and regulations in the asbestos abatement industry.

The training took place at the Wisconsin Laborers Training Center and was moderated by Al Friedl, the new Training Director. Mike John and Warren Stubb, two instructors at the center also participated in the sessions.

The workshop involved demonstrations of many different types of safety equipment and illustration of dangerous conditions on jobsites that are against OSHA regulations.

The training will allow WAFC Field Supervisors to better assess safety conditions and monitor asbestos abatement projects more closely while visiting jobsites.


Wisconsin LECET Exhibits at Employment and Training Conference

Wisconsin LECET and the Wisconsin Laborers Skill Improvement Fund participated as exhibitors at the Governor's Statewide Employment and Training Conference held this summer at the Paper Valley Hotel & Conference Center in Appleton, Wisconsin.

The three-day conference was attended by about 1200 professionals involved in job search and retention, training, retraining and youth development programming. Attendees were from both the public and private sectors.

Co-sponsors of the conference included the State of Wisconsin Department of Commerce, Department of Workforce Development and Department of Public Instruction. The University of Wisconsin-Stout, the Wisconsin Technical College System and the Wisconsin Association of Job Training Executives also participated.

Wisconsin LECET and the Wisconsin Laborers Skill Improvement Fund distributed 200 videotapes of "Wisconsin's Best Kept Secret" about the Wisconsin Laborers Training Center near Almond, Wisconsin. A copy of that video will now be available in each of the dozen Youth Apprenticeship Offices located around the state.


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Send email to wilecet@solidarity.com


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