After months of lobbying and negotiations, Sheet Metal Workers Local 33 along with other members of the North Central Ohio Buildings Trades and Mayor Chase Ritenauer successfully convinced the Lorain City Council to pass a “responsible contracting” ordinance.
The ordinance passed in July, but not before an effort to stall and possibly kill the legislation was thwarted.
“We appreciate the support of Mayor Ritenauer and the support of all of the council members that voted for this piece of legislation that would protect the city’s interests, the taxpayers’ interests and the construction industry’s interest,” said SMW Local 33 Lobbyist Bobby Ina.
The ordinance sets the following requirements on all construction projects in Lorain that exceed $250,000:
— The Contractor must have a drug testing policy in place for all employees on the job.
— All contractors on the project must be aligned with a state-approved apprenticeship program.
— All workers on the project must be employed by a contractor or sub-contractor, receiving payment via a W-2. Workers hired as “independent contractors” via 1099 payment form are not allowed.
— All workers on the job must be able to receive health care benefits from their construction employer.
— Local hiring and minority goals are established for each project.
— The ordinance also establishes a committee that will monitor the benefits of the ordinance and report back to the City Council if any changes are needed.
Ina credited Mayor Ritenauer for “standing up for hard working families” by opposing efforts by 20-year Councilman Daniel Given, D-at-large, to bury the proposed ordinance in a committee where it could die. Ritenauer was successful in convincing other members of City Council to proceed to a vote, where the ordinance passed.
Mayor Ritenauer has also made the commitment to be an advocate in Lorain County to other municipalities thinking about passing legislation like that one passed in the City of Lorain.