New Member Information
Frequently Asked Questions, Dedicated To Helping You Meet Your Goals
Initiation and Dues
Your initiation and dues must be paid and maintained in a timely manner. Initiation must be paid according to the schedule provided to you when filling out an application or you may be terminated per our labor agreement with the employer. The International Union Constitution states that dues are due on the first (1st) day of the month but are payable anytime during the month. If not paid by the first (1st) day of the third (3rd) month you are subject to suspension without notice. If you are suspended, you have to pay an additional monthly charge plus dues for the months you were late. The dues go to support the local union, district council, international union and all the organizations that they are affiliated with and the programs that are supported by these organizations. All payments need to be sent directly to the Tacoma office.
It is important that you understand the dispatch procedure and how to use it. Take time to read the rules, which are posted in each of the hiring halls. When you are out of work you must notify the union hall, the employer does not do it for you. You must come in and mark your qualifications on the skills card; the person taking the call is not allowed to mark qualifications. It is very important that you are well skilled in the areas of work for which you register on the out of work list, as the union and employer rely on your expertise. When calling in to put your name on the out of work list please leave your full name and current phone number.
Upon completing your initiation, take advantage of the training that is available to you. The Training schools have many courses that will make you a more valuable employee and make it easier for you to become and stay employed. These courses do not cost you anything and provide free room and board. Today's Laborer must be highly skilled and productive to be steadily employed in the current job market. In addition to education, you must have a solid work ethic. The employer expects you to be on time and at work every day you are scheduled to work and if for some honest reason you can't be there, notify them ahead of time or call the school first thing in the morning. You should also have a valid driver's license and reliable transportation. The very best employee is useless to the employer if they are not on the job.
This local union is always interested in organizing the non-union. If you have a friend, relative, or acquaintance that may be currently employed in a non-union setting and would like the security that a union contract brings, have them contact any of our offices. The Laborers are interested in any size groups (1 to 1,000) in any sector of employment (public or private, golf courses, manufacturing plants, janitorial, supply houses, service industries, construction, etc.). All calls or information will be held in strict confidence
There are many other benefits that are available to you through the Laborers' International. Many of which are under the Union Privilege Program, credit card, legal service, travel service, life insurance, health needs, union RATE savings. If you need information on these programs, contact your local office. In addition to those benefits this Local Union also provides a $950.00 death benefit for members with a minimum of one-year continuous service just prior to death. There is also life insurance as part of some of the medical plans for members who have active medical coverage at the time of their death.
Be sure and fill out the enrollment form and mail it in as soon as possible. Before you make an appointment to see a doctor or dentist, call the trust office (800-826-2102) to confirm you have coverage. Once you have the required hours, a copy of the Laborers® Health & Welfare, and Dental booklets will be sent to you from the trust. Some of the other bargaining units like public employment, plant agreements, etc. have separate plans, so take the time to check into the plan that applies to you. Always jot down the date and name of the person you are dealing with in case other questions arise about a claim, then you can ask for the same person. Please notify the local about misinformation or problems with the trust fund.
In order to become vested in the Western Washington Laborers-Employers Pension plan, you must have at least six hundred (600) hours during each year to receive a credited year. You must earn five credited years to become vested. This is just a simplification of the plan, only the plan administrator can give official information. If you wish to get a plan booklet, please contact the trust office at 800-826-2102. The above plan applies mostly to construction, but all the other bargaining units have a pension plan so take time to investigate what could be available to you at retirement. We may not be able to rely on social security when the time comes.
Qualstar Credit Union
For members working in the construction industry, you will have one dollar and five cents ($1.05) deducted from your hourly wage, which is sent to the Qualstar Credit Union. Be sure to register with Qualstar to create an account. There are many options for you to invest in, or you may withdraw the money as soon as it reaches the credit union. There are many services available through Qualstar; loans, credit cards, checking accounts, IRA's etc. all of which are at better rates than a commercial bank. Please contact them for more information at 800-848-0018. The Oualstar Credit Union is available to all members and relatives of the Laborers* Union to participate in, whether you are in the construction industry or not.
It is very important that you save all your check stubs. If for some reason an employer doesn't make health and welfare or pension payments as required, as long as you have your check stubs, it is possible to go after those hours that have not been reported. It may also be possible to get coverage even if the hours are not reported. It is also necessary to have check stubs in order for the union to go after wages that are paid incorrectly. You may also receive from the union a monthly calendar, use it to keep a daily log of your hours, note start and stop time, type of work, etc. In the front are names, addresses, and phone number of places that will be important, in the back is an area to keep track of the names, addresses, and phone number of the employers you have worked for. Keeping this log current on a daily basis will create a document that can be used in court if necessary.
Personal Information Changes
If you move or have a change of address, please notify the Local Union first then the trust office. Failure to do so may create problems and time delays. Notify the trust immediately if you have any changes in the dependents that are listed on your enrollment card. If your phone number changes notify the local union as soon as possible, especially if you are on the out of work list.