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Kentucky, Florida Representatives return masonry check-off bill to Capitol Hill

Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY-2) and lead co-sponsor Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) have introduced the Concrete Masonry Products Research, Education, and Promotion Act of 2015 (H.R. 985) into the 114th Congress, its title and language nearly identical to 2013 legislation. The bill would authorize concrete masonry interests to conduct an industry-wide referendum establishing a commodity check-off program; approval would lead to a U.S. Department of Commerce-sanctioned stakeholder board empowered to collect a target amount per concrete masonry unit sold. It contains provisions for the industry to eliminate the program at any time and requires at least half of funds to be reinvested in regions from which they were collected, thereby supporting products most beneficial to a specific geographical area.

 

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Florida block makers begin voluntary contributions to check-off-modeled fund

Independent and major operators representing 60–70 percent of the Sunshine State’s concrete masonry production capacity assembled in early March to sign a commitment, effective this month, to contribute 1 cent per concrete block sold to support the Florida Concrete Masonry Education Council (FCMEC) Inc.

 

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Union-wise driver prevails in NLRB back wages calculation

In one of its final decisions on the 2014 docket, the National Labor Relations Board adopted an administrative law judge’s order that Fairmont Heights, Md.-based Pessoa Construction Co. pay a former dump truck driver $95,000 in back wages. It settles protracted pay period and calculation proceedings triggered by an initial agency decision determining the highway contractor violated the National Labor Relations Act when it terminated William Membrino for “union activities.”

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Business groups challenge union election rule in federal court case

A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeks to prevent the National Labor Relations Board from implementing its final Representation-Case Procedures rule, which critics contend enables “ambush” elections by limiting the actions of employers responding to petitions of organizing-minded union locals. The rule significantly shortens the period between the time the union files a request for an election with the Board and the time the election is held.

 

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New OSHA recordkeeping / reporting requirements

11-GA-OSHA-150Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety & Health David Michaels reminds employers of new incident reporting measures effective this year. A revised Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule requires reporting of all work-related fatalities within eight hours and all in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours of finding about the incident. Previously, employers were required to report all workplace fatalities within 24 hours, and when three or more workers were hospitalized in the same incident.

 

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