Senator Murphy Tours SMART Local 40 with PILMA in Connecticut

On Thursday, September 25, 2014, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut toured the state-of-the-art training facility at Sheet Metal Workers Local 40 outside Hartford, CT. SMART Local 40 #1

The event was hosted by the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Local 40, We Work for Health Connecticut and the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor -Management Association (PILMA).

To learn more about the facility tour, click here.

We Work for Health Pennsylvania Vendor Summit

We Work for Health Pennsylvania Vendor Summit

May 16, 2014

GlaxoSmithKline’s WWFH Pennsylvania Vendor Summit at GSK’s union-built Navy Yard facility in Philadelphia brought together Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) and about 75 business leaders, policy makers and non-profit leaders to discuss the sector’s economic impact and opportunities for growth. The event included a panel discussion featuring former AFL-CIO Pennsylvania President Billy George.

Click here to learn more about the event or view the video below.

PILMA Donates $125,000 to Helmets to Hardhats Program

PILMA Donates $125,000 to Helmets to Hardhats Program

November 15, 2013

The Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA) presented Helmets to Hardhats with a check for $125,000 comprised of donations from pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, and Pfizer during PILMA’s annual meeting on November 15.

Iron Workers President and PILMA Chairman Walter Wise was joined by Building and Construction Trades President Sean McGarvey, as well as representatives from the pharmaceutical industry and labor, to receive the contribution.

“In these tough economic times it is more important than ever that we support our returning troops,” Wise said. “Helmets to Hardhats has a proven track record of placing veterans in good-paying jobs and easing their transition back to civilian life. We are proud to support this program, and we are thankful for the support of the pharmaceutical industry. We look forward to continuing to find ways to grow Helmets to Hardhats in the future.”

Helmets to Hardhats was formed in 2003 to connect retired and transitioning military members with quality career and training opportunities in the building and construction trades industry. Since 2007, when Helmets to Hardhats began tracking placement data, the program has successfully placed almost 6,000 military veterans into careers in the building and construction trades. The program is sponsored by the 15 unions of the building and construction trades along with construction industry employer associations.

Contributions to Helmets to Hardhats support the program’s marketing and outreach efforts, helping veterans around the world discover this opportunity. The actual cost of training participants is covered by the participating unions and their labor-management training funds.

“This program is a win-win for everyone involved,” Johnson & Johnson Vice President for Government Affairs and PILMA Vice-Chairman Don Bohn said. “The pharmaceutical industry is committed to employing a highly-trained and disciplined workforce to construct the complex facilities that help lead us to innovation, and programs like Helmets to Hardhats supply these workers. Hiring veterans who have this training ensures that we are getting the best-qualified workers for the job.”

PILMA is a partnership between companies that form the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the unions of the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department. It is PILMA’s mission to help support a strong domestic pharmaceutical industry that provides innovative, affordable medicines to the American people.

“Servicemen and women possess the training and skills to succeed in the building and construction trades, and we are honored to provide an opportunity to help these men and women find success,” President McGarvey said. “This is yet another example of the Building Trades’ commitment, across the U.S. economy, to collaborating with key industries in a way that creates jobs domestically and increases our ability to compete globally.”

Proposed Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Rebates Result in Diminished Multiemployer Plan Benefits

Proposed Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Rebates Result in Diminished Multiemployer Plan Benefits

June 18, 2013

Ironworkers General President and Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA) Chairman Walter Wise released the following statement today following the publication of PILMA’s new study Medicaid Drug Rebates in Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy: An Economic Analysis of the Proposed Policy and its Implications for Multiemployer Plans:

“The study released today demonstrates that new government rebates imposed on the Medicare Part D prescription drug program would result in a cost-shifting from government to private payers. This shift would potentially increase health insurance costs and threaten the jobs and health of Americans who draw health coverage from Taft-Hartley multi-employer plans.

The study’s examination of how cost-shifting would be absorbed in the prescription drug market produces empirical evidence that new rebates would severely impact multi-employer plans.

Politicians and officials advocating for new rebates to Medicare Part D plans have been working under the false assumption that the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) and non-LIS prescription drug markets function independently. However, PILMA’s study finds that these two markets are inextricably linked. As a result, imposing new rebates would distort the overall prescription drug market and shift costs onto private payers.

This shift would have a devastating effect on multi-employer plans, which may be forced to raise premiums, restrict access to medications, adopt increased cost-sharing measures, or even reduce wages to offset potential cost-shifting.

New rebates to Medicare Part D have already been shown to negatively impact jobs as well. The Battelle Technology Partnership released a report in 2009 that found that any policy change that would reduce industry revenue of the magnitude, such as the proposed Medicare Part D rebates, could eliminate between 130,000 and 260,000 jobs from the biopharmaceutical industry, with many potential cuts affecting unionized construction workers.

Combined with the severe strain additional rebates would put on multi-employer plans, changes to Part D would deal a double blow to the incomes and wellness of our nation’s skilled workers in the building crafts.

In October 2010, the member unions and companies of PILMA warned that potential new rebates to the Medicare Part D prescription drug program would result in cost-shifting. It was clear then, as it is now, that rebates would have a drastic negative impact on Taft-Hartley multi-employer plans and the Americans who rely on these plans for jobs, affordable access to medicines, and chronic disease prevention and treatment. PILMA passed a resolution calling on the President and Congress to protect Medicare Part D and the jobs and benefits it provides.

Earlier this year, I sent letters to the U.S. Senate Budget and Aging Committees, as well as to leaders in both the House and Senate, urging Congress to reject new rebates.

Today that call is reiterated. The biopharmaceutical industry and the workers who rely on the benefits provided by multi-employer plans make significant contributions to our lives every day. Imposing new rebates to Medicare Part D would have a detrimental effect on the world’s best trained workers and their ability to produce the high quality work that drives our economy and benefits the public health.”

To read the full study and executive summary, please click here.

Changes in Medicare Part D are not an “Easy Fix” to Complex Budget Challenges

Changes in Medicare Part D are not an “Easy Fix” to Complex Budget Challenges

March 7, 2013

PILMA Chairman Walter Wise sent the following letter to Senate Budget Chairwoman Patty Murray urging protection of Medicare Part D benefits.

Urges Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray to Protect Medicare Part D Benefits

Click here to read the full letter.

Helmets to Hardhats Apprenticeship Program Helps Vets Work After Service

Helmets to Hardhats Apprenticeship Program Helps Vets Work After Service

March 9, 2013

The nonprofit Helmets to Hardhats program is an avenue to help connect National Guard, reserve and transitional active duty members to career opportunities in the construction industry. The union’s three-year program allows apprentices to earn money while they learn and with the majority of their time on the work site, they receive on-the-job training.

Click here to learn more about the program in NWI Times.