Worker Entry Program
COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON CWI
Why should I pay more to the Union for doing what it is already supposed to do, supply me workers?
While it is jointly trusted by BAC and ICE, CWI is an independent corporation that is doing much more than just sending workers to your jobs. It is handling the complex and expensive procedure involved in selecting and obtaining visas for Canadian workers and coordinating the placement of those workers on your jobs. However, because of its close ties with the Unions and ICE, CWI is not trying to make a profit on this program, it is simply trying to break even while providing an important service to the Unions, the employers, and the unionized construction industry.
In truth, comparing the program to the cost of getting workers from the local union is not the comparison that should be made. A truer comparison would be to compare the cost of using the program to the cost of trying to get H-2B visas on your own. In that comparison, CWI is clearly the least expensive avenue.
Why should I get Canadians from you instead of doing it myself?
By and large, employers have been unsuccessful in obtaining H-2B visas on their own, wasting thousands of dollars and hours. Even when it has worked for employers doing it on their own, it has still been very expensive and time consuming. To be sure that the process is being handled correctly, an employer would have to put an immigration attorney on retainer and have a staff person working with that attorney. CWI has already worked with immigration attorneys to set up a process that is more efficient than a single employer could be on his/her own and CWI already has staff who has been trained by those attorney's on the process and who will be assisted by those attorneys.
It is possible for an employer to do it on his/her own, but not cheaper, quicker, or with more surety than by going through CWI.
Why does it take so long?
To obtain the visas, CWI has to process applications through two different government agencies. To add to traditional governmental inefficiencies, the agencies are undergoing severe budget cuts that limit their ability to do their jobs. Delays with these agencies are unpredictable and, when they occur, unavoidable.
The bulk of the time will be spent on Department of Labor Alien Labor Certification. The DOL has very stringent regulations regarding alien labor certification. It is their job to make sure that jobs go to qualified American workers before they certify alien employment opportunities, and they require that CWI go through extensive effort to prove that there are no qualified Americans available.
It is important to note that delays can also be caused when CWI does not have the information it needs from its clients when it needs them. Therefore it must be stressed that all CWI requests should be given immediate attention by its clients to keep the process running smoothly.
What is the minimum number of workers I can request?
CWI has set no minimum on the number of workers, but the program will certainly be more efficient and cost effective as the number gets larger. Most relevant to you, since most of the costs involved in the application procedure are fixed, the unit cost per worker will decrease significantly as more workers are added.
How long do I have to guarantee work?
One month minimum, but as long as possible. It would not be worthwhile for you, CWI, or the workers to go through this process for projects less than a month in duration, but the longer the project, the more value all of us will get out of our efforts.
How long can I keep the workers?
Until the expiration date of the certification. Most certifications will be for a period of 8 months. If a worker enters the US on the first day, the visa is good for the full 8 months. If he/she enters in the 6th month, the visa is good for two months. However, where it is necessary, CWI will apply for extensions after the original expiration date, which may or may not be granted by the DOL and INS.
What if you send me people who can't do the work?
Of course, you can't be expected to keep workers on your jobs who become liabilities. CWI has and will take as many steps as possible to make sure that we only send qualified workers to your jobs, but a worker who does not perform up to your expectations can be replaced.
What rate do I pay these workers?
The same as other workers in their craft on your jobs.
What am I paying CWI for?
There is a fee schedule included with this packet of information that goes into detail about where your money actually goes, but your money will pay for CWI's expenses that are related to your application. Where it has been possible to directly track costs, you will be paying only for what CWI is spending on your application, but there are other operational and administrative costs that aren't easily tracked, which is why we must also charge a small administrative service fee.
*Estimated based on placing required advertisement in the Washington Post. Will be adjusted for local newspaper.
Clients will be billed for the other costs associated with their agreement with CWI that are not listed here as they come up.
Construction Workers, Inc.
Matthew S. Aquiline
All inside/outside locals are invited to participate in the Job Board. If your local is not listed, contact your Business Manager.