Labor and Industry Stand United in Support of Job Creation

MADISON – The State’s largest business organization Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and the International Union of Operating Engineers – Local 139 (IUOE 139) are taking a joint stand along with a growing list of labor and industry organizations in favor of Senate Bill 349 (SB 349), the Regulatory Certainty Act, which ensures a consistent regulatory environment across many sectors of Wisconsin’s economy. Specifically SB 349 responds to a State Supreme Court verdict, preserving regulation of nonmetallic mining through zoning, reaffirming the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as the state’s environmental regulator, and creating a framework for businesses to reimburse local jurisdictions for damage they cause to roads.

Joining WMC and IUOE 139 in a growing list of supporters are several other business and labor organizations including:

  • Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association
  • Aggregate Producers of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin State Council of Carpenters
  • Wisconsin Cast Metals Association
  • Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council
  • Iron Workers District Council of North Central States
  • Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association
  • Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association
  • Waupaca Foundry

The supporters of SB 349, the Regulatory Certainty Act issued the following statements following a joint labor/industry press conference held in the Capitol October 24th:


Terry McGowan – President/Business Manager, Operating Engineers Local 139

“I cannot overstate the importance of the nonmetallic mining industry to Local 139 families. We support this legislation because statewide governance of this industry is needed to be sure our members keep their jobs.

“Operating Engineers have been extracting the state’s natural resources in a safe and environmentally responsible manner for more than 100 years. With the downturn of the construction industry in recent years, growth in sand mining in Wisconsin literally has provided a lifeline to hundreds of our members who otherwise would be out of work. These men and women, in turn, have played a role in sustaining the state’s economy through the family supporting wages they earn.”


Eric Bott – Director of Energy and Environmental Policy, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

“The state’s largest business organization is proud to stand with labor in support of job creation. Wisconsin can have both robust environmental standards and job creation so long as businesses have the regulatory certainty they need to operate. SB 349 provides that certainty while maintaining rigorous oversight through the DNR.”


Mark Reihl – Executive Director, Wisconsin State Council of Carpenters

“Non-metallic mining in Wisconsin has provided good paying jobs for Carpenters and Millwright members of our union. The Carpenters Union supports this legislation because we don’t want a patchwork of local government regulations to stifle the very industries that have helped put our members back to work over the last five years.”


Bob Bingen – President, Aggregate Producers of Wisconsin

“This bill improves our state’s regulatory climate by clearly stating which unit of government is responsible for which aspect of nonmetallic mining. Doing nothing leaves us with an overlapping and uncertain set of rules. Inefficient government, at any level, is not good for taxpayers or regulated businesses in our state.”


John Schmitt – President/Business Manager, Laborers District Council   

“Every day in the real world, labor and business work together to create jobs and put people to work – regulatory certainty helps produce more construction jobs.”


Steve Lewallen – Executive Director, WI Cast Metals Association

“Wisconsin metalcasting is a $3 billion industry that relies on a steady supply of high quality Wisconsin sand to operate. The Regulatory Certainty Act helps to guarantee the availability of that sand and more broadly provides manufacturers with the certainty they need by clearly defining the proper authority for a given regulation.”


Colin Millard – President, Iron Workers District Council of North Central States    

“One set of rules and regulations is common sense, and gives clear guidelines to companies wanting to invest in Wisconsin. That’s why business and labor are coming together to support this bill and the Wisconsin jobs that come with it.”


Rich Budinger – President, Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association

“The members of WISA abide by a strict Code of Conduct that requires high operating standards, exemplary safety practices and a strong environmental commitment, including acceptance into the DNR Green Tier program. Our member companies are required to adhere to the tough regulatory standards that exist already and demonstrate that they are strong corporate citizens in their respective communities. In addition, our member companies support the transparency and fairness that would be created with enactment of SB 349. By operating responsibly and maintaining a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, WISA members can continue to employ more than 500 full time workers at a dozen different facilities throughout Wisconsin. We support approval of this proposal.”


For Further Information Contact:

WMC  Eric Bott, (608) 258-3400
IUOE 139 – Dave Backmann, (262)-446-6330

###