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ABC believes that employees and employers should have the right to determine wages and working conditions, through either individual or collective bargaining, as they choose, within the boundaries of the law. The employer must have concern for the general welfare of the employee and there must be fair compensation for work performed. By the same token, we believe that the employee has an obligation for satisfactory performance of assigned work.

ABC supports sound legislation in the areas of labor relations, immigration, safety and other areas of employment. Legislation that embraces fair play for both employer and employee is essential to the preservation of our free enterprise system. The law should protect the right of employees to work regardless of race, color, creed, age, sex, national origin, membership or non-membership in a labor organization or other protected class.



ABC Opposes ‘Radical’ Ambush Elections Rule in NLRB Hearings

On April 10 and 11, ABC General Counsel Maury Baskin testified in front of the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C., on the board’s proposed “ambush” election rule.  In his testimony, Baskin asked the NLRB to withdraw the proposed rule, which would shorten the amount of time from when a union files a representation petition and an election takes place to as few as 10 days.

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Opposition to Ambush Election Proposal Grows

ABC and more than 1,200 members filed comments requesting the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) withdraw its controversial“ambush” election proposed rule. In addition, the ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace filed comments against the proposed rule with support from more than 140 local organizations, including over 40 ABC chapters.

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Lawmakers Introduce Bills to Counter Ambush Election Rule

The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate March 27 introduced three bills to reverse key elements of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) contentious “ambush election” rule. The NLRB’s proposed rule dramatically shortens the amount of time between when a union files a representation petition and when an election takes place to as few as 10 days in addition to requiring employers to submit their employees’ personal contact information to union organizers.

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National Labor Relations Board

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is tasked with interpreting and enforcing the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The Board which normally consists of five members was meant to serve as a neutral arbiter of federal labor law. However, the NLRB largely has abandoned this role in an effort to unabashedly promote union organizing without regard to its impact on employers, employees and economic growth. The Board has issued controversial rulemakings,expanded its enforcement authority and issued dozens of precedent-reversing legal decisions impacting American workplaces all under questionable authority.

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Overview
As the economy recovers, companies likely will face a shortage of qualified workers—both craft professionals and legal laborers. Legal immigrants currently do and have for a long time played a vital role in our construction workforce. Unfortunately, current immigration laws disproportionately affect construction companies due to their fluctuating work needs.

Any successful reform measure must work to ensure the enforcement of our laws, the security of our borders and the prosperity of our economy. Immigration reform will fail without a legal channel allowing willing and essential foreign workers the opportunity to work legally in this country.

E-Verify is system that electronically verifies the employment eligibility of newly hired employees.

E-Verify is a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees the program.

E-Verify allows participating employers to electronically compare employee information taken from the Form I-9 (the paper-based employee eligibility verification form used for all new hires) against more than 425 million records in SSA's database and more than 60 million records in DHS immigration databases.

ABC and its members are strong opponents of the employment of unauthorized workers and has been a vocal advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. ABC also supports the E-Verify program as it was enacted by Congress in 1996 and subsequently reauthorized, i.e., a voluntary program expressly limited to the verification of social security numbers of new employees.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has targeted the H-2B program, on January 19, 2011 DOL issue a rule sought to artificially increase the wages rates for H-2B workers well above rational economic levels. Congress recognized that the rule was a threat to jobs and small businesses and prevented it from being implemented.

On March 18, 2011, DOL issued a rule that would make the program even more costly and complicated. A Florida Federal court issued a temporary injunction against this rule. In addition, both the Senate Committee on Appropriations and the House Committee on Appropriations approved legislation during the 112th Congress that would have blocked the rule from being implemented, but Congress adjourned without passing that appropriations bill.

ABC Priority Issue Brief

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) supports the reform of U.S. Immigration Policy to facilitate a sustainable workforce for the American economy while ensuring our national security and prosperity. Once the economy is restored, the construction industry will face an ever growing problem of shortages, both of craft-professionals and legal laborers who have difficulty becoming citizens or obtaining the necessary work permits.

The overall process to obtain legal eligibility in the U.S. is slow and cumbersome. ABC supports a more streamlined expedited process to make the pathway to citizenship more efficient

ABC Priority Issue Brief

Previous H-2B Wage Calculations Nixed in Light of Interim Rule, DHS to Issue I-9 Proposal

The DOL announced in its July 3 regulatory agenda that it will be indefinitely suspending previous wage calculation methods for H-2B temporary worker visas – which have been blocked both in federal courts and on Capitol Hill – and moving forward with its “emergency” interim final rule issued in April in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security. The interim final rule became effective April 24, when it was issued.

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Senate Passes Immigration Bill With ABC-Opposed Construction Worker Visa Cap

The U.S. Senate voted 68-32 to pass the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) on June 27 with language that places a limit on the number of guest worker visas available to the construction industry.

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ABC Notes Flaws in H-2B Wage Rule

ABC submitted comments June 9 opposing an interim final rule on how wages for temporary, non-agricultural H-2B workers should be calculated. The “emergency” interim final rule, issued April 24 by the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Labor (DOL), was effective immediately. 

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H-2B Visa Employers Encouraged to Participate in Survey

As part of the H-2B Workforce Coalition and in conjunction with Immigration Works, ABC is encouraging members that use H-2B visas to participate in a survey on how developments related to the visas are affecting their bottom line.

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Amendment to Visa Program Could Improve Immigration Bill for Construction

ABC May 14 responded to the Senate Judiciary Committee mark-up of a section of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) by supporting an amendment that would allow all industries, including construction, equal access to temporary worker visas.

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Read More About Immigration

Obama’s New Executive Actions Create More Burdens On Federal Contractors

To coincide with Equal Pay Day, President Obama April 8 issued two executive actions dealing with equal pay for women, specifically prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation with fellow employees and requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to submit compensation data to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). 

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Federal Contractors Must Comply with New OFCCP Rules by March 24

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP)  two recently finalized rules go into effect March 24, 2014. The rules drastically alter federal contractors’ existing affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations with respect to veterans and individuals with disabilities.

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New Resources on the Use of Employment Background Checks

On March 10, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) co-published two documents on the use of employment background checks:  Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know andBackground Checks: What Job Applicants and Employees Should Know.  

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Independent Contractors

Independent contractors are an important part of the construction industry due to its fluctuating work demands and are often the answer to a pressing demand for the special skills and know-how required for short-term projects.

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Right to Secret Ballot Election

Currently, the preferred method for determining whether employees want union representation is a secret ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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ABC and Business Community Raise New Concerns with DOL’s Persuader Rule

In a letter to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, ABC Feb. 19 strongly criticized the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) “persuader” reporting rule that would change the long-standing interpretation of “advice” under federal labor law. ABC, along with 53 other employer organizations, reiterated its strong opposition to proposal, while highlighting additional concerns.

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NLRB Again Seeks to Shorten Union Election Timeframes

As expected, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Feb. 5 reissued a proposed rulemaking that will reduce the amount of time between when a union files a representation petition and an election takes place from the current average of 38 days to as few as 10. 

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NLRB Formally Withdraws Ambush Elections Rule, Reissuance Expected

The National Labor Relations Board Jan. 22 formally withdrew its modified ambush elections rule, which would have reduced the amount of time between when a union files a representation petition and an election takes place to as few as 17 days. 

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“Persuader” Reporting Requirements

In June 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed drastic regulatory changes to how it interprets and enforces Section 203 of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), which covers federal reporting and disclosure requirements for entities hired by employers to communicate to employees regarding their right to organize. For decades, both employers and persuaders have been obligated to file public reports with DOL that disclose finances and other information if they engage in such activity.

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Right to Secret Ballot Election

Currently, the preferred method for determining whether employees want union representation is a secret ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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Right to Work

The 1947 Taft-Hartley Act allows state governments to determine whether workers can be forced to join a union, or pay union dues or fees, as a condition of employment.

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Salting Abuse

"Salting" abuse is the intentional placement of trained union professional organizers and agents in a merit shop facility to harass and/or disrupt company operations, apply economic pressure, increase operating and legal costs, and ultimately put the company out of business.

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Lawmakers Grill DOL Secretary Perez Over OSHA Actions

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Thomas Perez faced tough questions from House appropriators on two ABC-opposed Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) actions at an April 2 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee hearing.

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Construction Industry Testimony Critical of OSHA’s Proposed Silica Rule

The ABC-led Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) testified in front of OSHA March 24 on a proposed rule that would drastically lower the permissible exposure limit (PEL) of respirable crystalline silica for the construction industry.

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More than 900 ABC Members Tell OSHA to Withdraw Electronic Recordkeeping Proposal

More than 900 ABC members joined ABC in submitting comments to OSHA requesting it withdraw a proposed rule that would require employers to electronically submit detailed injury and illness records to the agency that would be made available to the public through an online database.

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OSHA Reform

As builders of our nation's communities and infrastructure, ABC members know exceptional jobsite safety and health practices are inherently good for business.

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“Right to Know” and Apprenticeship Regs Remain on DOL’s Agenda for 2014

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) regulatory agenda, released Nov. 27, included updated timeframes for proposed rulemakings related to independent contractors and apprenticeship. 

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ABC on the Importance of CTE in the Construction Industry

ABC Pelican Chapter President Alvin Bargas discussed the importance of career and technical education (CTE) programs to the construction industry in testimony Sept. 20 during a congressional subcommittee hearing.

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House Passes Bipartisan Regulatory Reform Bills

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills in bipartisan votes that will help reform the regulatory process. The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 367) passed 232-183 on Aug. 2 and the Energy Consumers Relief Act (H.R. 1582) passed 232-181 on Aug. 1.

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Workforce Development

The construction industry provides good, well-paying jobs to American workers every year. To qualify for many of these jobs, however, workers need high-quality, flexible skilled training.

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