The Electrical Worker online
May 2020

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Blocking IRAPs in Oregon

Members of IBEW locals and the building trades across Oregon converged on the state Capitol in February to support a House bill barring public money from being spent on industry-based apprenticeships — a preemptive strike against IRAPs as the federal Department of Labor considered their fate. Robert Camarillo, executive secretary of the Oregon State Building Trades Council, said Oregon is the only state so far that's taken on the issue legislatively. He told lawmakers that IRAPs would be a "race to the bottom," undermining trade union programs that have been the gold standard for decades. Unions "have set the bar for high-quality training, strong oversight, accountability and good family-sustaining, middle-class jobs," he told the House Committee on Business and Labor. "Anything less than our time-tested apprenticeship programs … will not only put workers' lives at risk, but also our families and first responders."