Unions oppose change in apprenticeship program

The Department of Labor has proposed some changes to apprenticeship rules as part of creating apprenticeship programs that are regulated by industry, but some New York labor unions are speaking out against the proposal. On Aug. 5, Rep. Anthony Brindisi and labor leaders in Binghamton announced their opposition.

Brindisi said he hopes they will be able to block the passage of the plan. He acknowledged the value of apprenticeship programs and their potential to lead to good careers, but he said it was also important to ensure that state organizations, such as state departments of labor, certified the programs. One of the main objections to the proposal is that it could lead to programs that undermine the system that already exists and provide inferior training and oversight.

Brindisi also expressed concern that the new proposal could mean it was easier for programs that were scams to defraud veterans who were using their G.I. bill benefits. Brindisi said these types of programs might take veterans' benefits and provide little in return.

Labor unions can play important roles in protecting workers' rights. An attorney can assist a labor union in negotiating agreements with employers, dealing with arbitration or mediation, or addressing disputes with employers over pay or hours worked as well as other labor law violations. They may also be able to assist in dealing with problems within the labor union itself, including looking into allegations of fraud or corruption. Labor unions may sometimes face allegations of engaging in unfair labor practices, and an attorney might assist in their defense. In some situations, it might be possible to reach a solution without going to court, but an attorney can also help proceed with litigation if necessary.

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