Registration for ICE Virtual Annual Meeting Open

ICE's 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting will be a combination of live Zoom calls, recorded presentations, and on demand viewing.

An opening live Zoom call with Michael Mangum of FMI, Inc. will kick things off on November 16, followed by two days (11/17-18) of recorded presentations on the International Masonry Institute, International Health Fund, International Pension Fund, Rainscreen Association in North America, Construction Labor Research Council, Legislation, Collective Bargaining and Technology, with opportunities to submit questions for the final discussion. On demand viewing of the presentations will be available from 11/19 to 11/23. The final discussion will be held via live Zoom call on 11/23. All sessions will begin at 9:00 a.m. EST and last for approximately 90 minutes.

Click here to register.

IMI Participates in International Code Council Hearings 
IMI participates in the building code development process to safeguard the masonry industry. In September, building code officials gathered in Pittsburgh, PA to debate several code changes that impact our industry. For the last few years, the wood industry has been trying to increase their market by getting the building codes to allow bigger and taller buildings made from wood. At this year’s hearings, wood proponents proposed the following changes:  
  • Reduce the stringency for exterior walls in the Wildland Urban Interface Code (primarily used in the West). The Fire Committee felt the changes were confusing and unjustified and denied the code change with testimony by the masonry industry.
  • Allow combustible fire walls including cross-laminated timber (CLT) in Types III and IV construction (primarily wood frame construction). The Fire Safety Committee found this technically flawed and maintains the use of masonry in these applications.
  • Allow CLT members in exterior walls of Type III construction. The General Committee denied the code change for technical reasons.

Legislative and Advocacy Update
Negotiations continue as Congress and the White House continue to cut their spending bill from $3.5 trillion to roughly $2 trillion to satisfy both moderate and progressive groups. As the scope of Biden’s agenda gets reduced, Democrats are hopeful to finalize a deal before the end of October. These reductions, including removing an increase in the corporate tax rate and reduced support for medical leave, childcare, and Medicaid expansion, all reflect a bet by Democrats that even a scaled-back version of the bill will be attractive enough to get passed now and then later expanded with additional legislation. The President’s final hurdle will be reaching a framework agreement with Sens. Manchin and Sinema before the end of the month. Yet even if a deal in principle is finalized soon, it likely will take weeks to finalize the overall package and determine how to incorporate passage of the pending infrastructure bill which has already passed the Senate.

OSHA is currently working on several issues that the ICE continues to analyze and track closely with its legislative and safety & health coalitions. Recently the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) submitted a letter to OSHA about the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19. The letter generally supports efforts to safeguard worksites by encouraging COVID-19 vaccines, but also requests additional details and specifics about the proposal and the potential impact on worker shortages. On the legislative side, the Construction Employers of America (CEA) will draft and submit their own comments to OSHA as additional details are released. A copy of the CISC letter can be found here.

Also, the White House recently wrapped up review for a Labor Department proposal that would establish the first-ever national rules to protect workers from heat stress on the job. The “prerule” from OSHA will be released soon and then published for public comment. There is no current, uniform set of rules to protect workers from heat hazards, so ICE will work with the CISC and CEA to engage OSHA officials and submit comments to ensure that the proposed heat standard not only protects workers but also makes certain that the standard accurately reflects the working conditions and safety needs within the masonry industry. The OSHA news release is available here

For additional information about our ongoing legislative efforts; please contact Colin Keohan at 202-375-9819 or ckeohan@centerhillsolutions.com.

CMU Checkoff Referendum Voting Underway
If the Checkoff referendum succeeds, producers are expected to contribute roughly $10 million dollars a year towards marketing, research and promotion of CMU products. Voting ends on November 15, so this is your last chance to reach out to CMU producers you work with in your area to encourage them to vote yes. More information.

Davis-Bacon Wage Determination Conformance Request Guide
DOL’s Wage and Hour Division published the Davis-Bacon Wage Determination Conformance Request Guide detailing the information and construction types contained in wage determinations and providing clarification regarding the “limited circumstances in which contractors and contracting agencies may need to request a new class of laborer or mechanic be added to a published wage determination for a specific contract.” The Guide also contains additional information directed to construction contractors and contracting agencies to ensure they comply with the requirements of the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts.

ICE Webinar: COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates and Their Impact on Union Masonry Contractors - ON DEMAND
Contractors get an overview of the trends related to government, owner and general contractor COVID-19 vaccination mandates and their implications for union masonry contractors. Learn how to navigate the challenging collective bargaining, labor relations and staffing landscape mandates will create. Learn how to successfully implement a vaccination policy at your own company, if that is what you decide is best for your business. Presented by John Adams of The John Adams Law Firm. This is a webinar for contractors only and registration is required. Click here register.

IMI's Scott Conwell Honored by TCAA
IMI Director of Industry Development and Technical Services Scott Conwell is the 2021 recipient of the Tile Contractors’ Association of America’s (TCAA’s) Cesery Award. The award, regarded as the highest honor bestowed upon leaders in the ceramic tile and stone industry, celebrates distinguished service to the field. Congratulations Scott. More information.