207-688-8195 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine

PLC Member Weekly Update March 4, 2022

In this Issue:

LD 1724 Hearing Next TuesdayYOUR ACTION NEEDED!

Inflation Survey – Results Available!

Acadia Dividend Reminder – Keep the focus on Safety!

Annual Meeting 2022 – May 13, Save the Date!

MLOP Now Recruiting – Classes Start in June!

Cost Calculators – Members Only!

Forestry for Loggers Video – Recording now available!

PLC Store – Many items for sale

Safety Resources – Registration open for Spring Safety Training!

Trucking – Roadcheck 2022 May 17-19

Classified listings – Check them out!

Member Discounts – Many to choose from

Logging News – Latest headlines

LD 1724 Hearing: YOUR ACTION NEEDED!

PLC Members, we need your help next Tuesday, March 8, 2022, to testify in loud opposition and help us kill a bill before the Legislature that is one of the worst pieces of legislation regarding the Maine logging industry in a long time.

LD 1724, An Act to Create a Logging Dispute Resolution Board and to Require Proof of Ownership Documents to be Available within 14 Days of Request is up for a public hearing in the Labor and Housing Committee on Tuesday, March 8th at 10 am. Senator Troy Jackson has sponsored this bill in attempt to further his attempt to bring organized labor unions to the Maine woods.

The PLC is adamantly opposed to the creation of a logging dispute resolution board in state government, and we will need any and all PLC members to testify in opposition and take a stand against this anti-business legislation.

What does this bill do and why is it so problematic?

The bill will create an open-ended logging dispute resolution board within the executive branch (Dept. of Labor) of state government. It is not clear if the board will hear disputes of landowners, mills, contractors, subcontractors, or the employees of contractors. As written, the resolution board could hear disputes from anyone in the industry, including the employees of your businessIs this where you want your business activities discussed and shared with others? This bill is riddled with anti-trust and anti-competitive issues that are counterintuitive to a free market. 

As designed, the resolution Board has three members, one from the Maine Forest Products Council, one from the AFL-CIO (labor union) and one from the State Board of Arbitration. No one on this Board represents the logging industry and your interests and in fact, it could be your boss on the board.

Resolution boards in the state of Maine (Maine Labor Relations Board, Maine Workers Comp. Board, Unemployment Commission, and the Maine Human Rights Commission) exist to hear disputes from employees. Why would the logging industry want yet another board to deal with the problems of its employees or to make your contractual relationships with landowners, mills, or other contractors public knowledge?

Other board and commissions that do regulate industries (Maine Blueberry Commission, Maine Potato Board, Harness Racing Commission) oversee and regulate businesses, similar to the Maine Forest Service, but are not set up to hear their individual business disputes. Businesses do not have access to any type of resolution board in state government as their current means of recourse is the judicial court system, which is where it should remain.

Additionally, there is already a dispute resolution system set up in the Maine Dept. of Ag., Conservation and Forestry, with the Maine Agricultural and Bargaining Board to hear disputes in this industry. The Maine Agricultural and Bargaining Board Act of 1973 was created so that agricultural businesses, including loggers, can form cooperatives. A cooperative, which is a group of similar businesses that join together for negotiation and sales purposes, can use the Maine Ag. Bargaining Board and settle disputes between Cooperatives and the businesses that they work with.

The bottom line is that LD 1724 is riddled with duplication, is completely conflicted and should not move forward.

Additional background regarding why LD 1724 should not become law:

LD 1724 is riddled with errors and is so poorly written that it will only create more problems than it will solve.

 In section 4, which creates the Labor Dispute Resolution Board (the “Board”), the proposed statutory language is extraordinarily broad and vague, leaving whatever Board may be established with little to no guidance, and unfettered decision-making authority. The bill does not comport with similar laws establishing independent boards such as the Maine Labor Relations Board.

∙ LD 1724 provides that the purpose of the board is to “hear disputes related to the logging industry . . . and other topics as determined appropriate by the board.” Id. This language contains no limitation on the scope of the Board’s authority nor any definitions of who the disputes can come from (employees or businesses).

∙ LD 1724 provides that the Board has “all the powers as are necessary to carry out its functions.” Not only is there no limitation on the scope of its authority, there is also no limitation on its powers.

∙ LD 1724 provides that the Board is established as an “independent board within the Department of Labor” and pursuant to 5 M.R.S.A. § 12004-B, which relates to “Arbitration, Mediation, Valuation and Board Appeals.” In describing Arbitration, Mediation, Valuation and Board Appeals, § 12004-B generally provides that the “primary powers of these boards include the holding of hearings; the adoption of rules; the determination, modification or assessment of fees, taxes and penalties; arbitration, conciliation and mediation; the establishment of standards and procedures; and the adjudication of disputes.” Id. Neither § 12004-B or LD 1724 imposes any limits on these powers.

∙ LD 1724 provides that the Board’s purpose is to hear disputes but doesn’t give it the authority to decide how disputes should be settled.  Further, it provides that the Board will assess “costs of arbitration” against the losing party. However, nothing in the bill requires that arbitration is a preferred or required method of dispute resolution.

∙ LD 1724 also provides that the Board “may be represented by legal counsel.” State agencies are represented by the Maine Attorney General and may not retain outside counsel without the Attorney General’s express approval.

In the end, this is nothing that the logging businesses of this state requested, nor do they want and it is vital that you send a message to Senator Jackson and the members of the Labor and Housing Committee that they should stay out of your business.

How do you testify?

Please testify in opposition to this bill on Tuesday, March 8th at 10 via Zoom. You can do it from the comfort of your equipment, your pickup or your office on your smartphone, tablet or computer.

To register to testify, please email Jessica Clark at Jessica@maineloggers.com or call her at 207-688-8195 to let her know your name and email and she will take care of registration for you. Once registered, you will receive a Zoom invitation with instructions on how to log in the day of the hearing. You can submit a written statement to Jessica if you would like to or you can simply speak the day of the hearing.

Please help us send a message that LD 1724 is bad for loggers and will not help create markets, it will not help with inflation, and it will not help you hire employees. It will only serve to further divide an already fractured industry.

Member Price Inflation Survey Results

Members,

As you know, the PLC surveyed its membership in recent weeks and asked them to compare what they paid for parts, equipment, services, and fuel in January 2022 compared to January 2020. Results of this survey are now available.

As you will see, all surveyed costs increased between 17-30 percent, and the average increase in costs is 24 percent overall. That compares to an average national inflation rate of 8.4 percent over the past two years (7 percent in 2021 and 1.4 percent in 2020). Clearly, while all Americans are facing higher prices, loggers are being hit harder than many.

Thank you to those who participated in this survey. PLEASE NOTE: This information is being made available for your personal use only. It is not to be used as a negotiation tool or shared with others.

SURVEY RESULTS

Acadia Safety Dividend Reminder: Keep the Focus on Safety!

Members who are part of the PLC Safety Group Dividend Program,

2022 has gotten off to a pretty rough start with losses for PLC members.  We know that markets are extremely challenging right now, so please make sure that your companies do everything they can to manage risk and ensure losses don’t have a major impact upon your company and the Dividend program.

As you know, the PLC working in partnership with Acadia Insurance has made great strides in improving safety and reducing losses for our members in recent years and this has paid off with dividends totaling more than $12 million to eligible participants of this safety group since 1999. As we start another year, now is the time to renew the focus on safety!

Remember, the PLC offers many Safety Resources and PLC Safety and Training Coordinator Donald Burr is always available to to help you improve safety in your company and reduce losses. Email him at safety@maineloggers.com or call (207)-356-1541. Stay safe out there!

PLC Annual Meeting 2022: May 13

SAVE THE DATE!

Members and Supporting Members, we are pleased to announce plans to hold the PLC’s Annual Meeting and Log A Load for Maine Kids live auction this year on May 13 at a new location, the Harborside Hotel, Spa, and Marina in Bar Harbor!

Please save the date for this important event and many more details will be released soon along with sponsorship opportunities!

MLOP Program Now Recruiting Students for Summer 2022!

*Two instructors also being sought

The Mechanized Logging Operations Program is now accepting applications for the 2022 Class starting in June of 2022. If you know of anyone who may have an interest in the program they can apply at the link below. You may also encourage them to call, text or email MLOP Coordinator Donald Burr at 207-356-1541 or dburr@nmcc.edu to learn more.

APPLY HERE

*MLOP is also seeking two instructors for the program! One instructor will need delimber experience and the other feller buncher experience. Contact Donald Burr at 207-356-1541 or dburr@nmcc.edu to learn more!

PLC Members Only!

Equipment Cost Calculators Available. See Demo Webinar, if you missed it.

Members,

With expenses rising rapidly in the industry we know you are struggling to get a handle on your costs. This is a great time to utilize the cost calculators created in 2021 for PLC Members.

If you missed the demo last year of these new, easy to use, logging equipment and log trucking cost calculators it is available on the PLC Members Only section of our web site where you will also find both calculators and our Safety Resources page. You may access this private section of the web site with your member login or set up a login HERE.

These calculators allow you to quickly estimate the hourly cost of operation for any piece of your equipment. The webinar includes a demo of both from the designer and a question and answer session that was held at the end with PLC Members.

DISCLAIMER: These calculators are being made available for your business use as a member benefit. They produce equipment estimates and are not official products of the PLC nor should they be used for negotiation purposes.

Forestry for Loggers Video

Recording of January session available for Members Only

The logging industry in Maine is comprised of many loggers who have become managers because of mechanization and the complexity of their business. The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) and the Maine Forest Service (MFS), Forest Ranger division partnered in January 2022 to offer three online (via Zoom) trainings focused on what the MFS looks for during Timber Harvesting Inspections to help you better manage your business. One of these recordings is now available for those who missed the original sessions. VIEW IT HERE.

PLC Online Store

Looking for great PLC items and apparel? Gifts? First Aid packs, safety items and more? You will find them at the new PLC Online Store on our web site. Ordering is easy.

CHECK IT OUT HERE

Safety Resources

PLC Logger Safety and Fleet Trainings 2022 REGISTER NOW!

The PLC is pleased to offer Logger, Fleet, CPR and Dynamic Driving Safety Training for its members in person for 2022! Please review our Logger and Fleet offerings and register as soon as possible, but no later than March 25, 2022 to ensure there is room for your employees at the chosen location(s). Trainings run from March 31 to May 25, 2022.

You may REGISTER ONLINE HERE, or download, fill out and mail back the paper registration form Safety Registration 2022 – Form.  A hardcopy has also been sent to your office. Via US mail.

This training is free to employees and owners of all PLC Member companies and Maine Master Logger companies! Lunch is provided, and we have added new topics based on feedback received from PLC Members. Don’t miss out, register NOW!

The PLC would also like to thank our sponsors of the 2022 Safety Trainings below. We could not offer these trainings without you!

Did you miss the latest Safety Resources Update? The NEW video below will tell you what you are missing!

*Safety Resources Updates are issued on the first Wednesday of each month. If you are not seeing them in your email let us know! The March update will be issued March 9 due to a scheduling conflict.

New Hump Day Safety Video – Battery Safety!

New Unsafe Zone Safety Video – Tony Madden: Safety Glasses!

*This video pairs well with last month’s new HumpDay video HERE. Share them both with your employees!

Safety Update Page

For more Safety resources and updates visit the PLC Safety Update page by clicking below!

Safety Resources for Members Only

The Safety Resources Page is located in the Members Only section of the PLC webite and contains many additional safety videos, resources, and materials for contractors. To check them out, click the link below and log in to the web site. If you do not have a login yet follow the instructions to create one. If you need help accessing the section contact the PLC office!

Trucking

Screen Shot 2022 02 16 At 2 17 10 Pm

Roadcheck inspection 2022 blitz is May 17-19

You have about 90 days to get ready for the annual inspection blitz aimed at commercial vehicles.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced this year’s International Roadcheck dates ar May 17-19, and will have a focus on wheel ends.

See the source image

FMCSA Launches Training Provider Registry to Ensure Entry-Level Truck and Bus Drivers Complete Training that Meets New Federal Standards

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched its Training Provider Registry as the final step in implementing new entry-level driver training standards for individuals seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or certain endorsements.

Logging Industry News

NERCOFE Workshop April 11-12

PLC Members are encouraged to register for the upcoming New England Region Council on Forest Engineering(NER.COFE) workshop.  PLC Executive Director Dana Doran will be the first speaker. The workshop will be held Monday April 11 and Tuesday April 12, at Jeff’s Catering in Brewer.

AGENDA

REGISTER

Member Discounts

TRUCKING DISCOUNTS THROUGH THE ALC!

PLC Members, because the PLC is a member of the American Loggers Council YOU are entitled to special discounts on truck purchases! Click on the brand names below to learn more!

PETERBILT

WESTERN STAR

INTERNATIONAL

Fabian Oil Discount

 

Traction Heavy Duty Special

 

Wallingford’s Discounts

 

 

Maine Trailer Discounts

 

 

Scandinavian Forestry Equipment

 

PLC Members get a 5% discount on culverts purchased at Treeline and Frank Martin & Sons

 

 

Hale Trailer discounts for PLC Members on new trailer purchases! Call Neal at 207-232-7969 for details!

 

 

Cross Arena Discounts for PLC! 

Classifieds

PLC Classified Section


Check out the equipment and job opportunities our members have listed at the LOGGING ZONE! If you have equipment for sale, are looking to buy, are looking for employees, or

Preferred Supporting Members

Preferred Supporting Members

Enhanced Supporting Members

Enhanced Supporting Members