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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.



Persuader, Ambush Election Rules Still Priorities on Obama’s Latest Agenda

According to its latest regulatory agenda released May 23, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) plans to finalize its controversial “persuader” final rule by December 2014, which severely narrows long-standing reporting exemptions for employers and third-party experts, and redefines labor relations “advice.”  

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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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National Labor Relations Board

The five-member National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is tasked with interpreting and enforcing the National Labor Relations Act. The agency is supposed to serve as a neutral arbiter of federal labor law, but under the Obama administration it has promoted the narrow policy goals of politically powerful unions.

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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

SBA Adjusts Monetary-Based Small Business Size Standards For Construction

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced an interim final rule June 12 that will adjust monetary-based small business size standards to account for inflation. The rule will go into effect July 14 and the SBA is accepting comments from the public until August 11. 

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Proposal on Federal Contractor Minimum Wage Moves Forward

On June 17, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division issued a proposed rule to implement Executive Order 13658, which would establish a minimum wage for federal contractors. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, the executive order will require the hourly minimum wage paid by contractors to workers performing on covered federal contracts to be $10.10 per hour. Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the executive order allows the minimum wage to be determined annually by the Secretary of Labor. Comments on the proposal are due July 17, 2014.

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ABC Appeals Court’s OFCCP Decision

ABC filed an appeal May 27 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging the U.S. District Court’s March 2014 ruling against ABC. At the District Court level ABC argued that an Aug. 27 rule from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that drastically alters federal contractors’ existing affirmative action and nondiscrimination obligations for individuals with disabilities exceeded the scope of the agency’s statutory authority, and altered longstanding precedent.

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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

All workers, in every industry, deserve the fundamental American right to a federally supervised secret ballot election. This right is guaranteed when voting in political elections; there is no reason it should be surrendered in the workplace.

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Persuader, Ambush Election Rules Still Priorities on Obama’s Latest Agenda

According to its latest regulatory agenda released May 23, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) plans to finalize its controversial “persuader” final rule by December 2014, which severely narrows long-standing reporting exemptions for employers and third-party experts, and redefines labor relations “advice.”  

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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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“Persuader” Reporting Requirements

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) plans to finalize a new rule designed to eviscerate employers’ rights to free speech, freedom of association and legal counsel. Known as the “persuader” rule, this pending change will have a profound chilling effect on labor relations advice for employers, and in turn deprive employees of their right to obtain balanced information about union representation.

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Right to Secret Ballot Election

All workers, in every industry, deserve the fundamental American right to a federally supervised secret ballot election. This right is guaranteed when voting in political elections; there is no reason it should be surrendered in the workplace.

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Right to Work

Right to Work laws guarantee workers can seek employment without fearing they will be required to join (or pay) a union if they are hired.

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Salting Abuse

Salting is not merely an organizing tool—it has become an instrument of economic destruction aimed at nonunion companies.

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Interim Enforcement Policy Issued on Power Generation Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) placed into effect an interim enforcement policy until Oct. 31 which delays enforcement of most new requirements  of the Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution and Electrical Protective Equipment final rule for employers who are complying with the existing General Industry rule.

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OSHA Releases Busy 2014 Agenda

According to OSHA’s latest semiannual regulatory agenda, released May 23, the agency plans to issue a final rule on confined spaces in 2014. The regulatory agenda lists the priorities of the administration and the rulemakings they expect to release this year; however, OSHA is not required to adhere to the timeline.

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ABC Member Testifies on Proposed OSHA Rulemaking

In an informal public hearing May 19, Steve Wiltshire, vice president and director of corporate safety at ABC member company, ECS Corporate Services, LLC, testified on behalf of ABC on the issue of a proposed rulemaking to extend the compliance date for the crane operator certification requirement by three years to Nov. 10, 2017.

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OSHA Reform

Exceptional jobsite safety and health practices are inherently good for business. Unfortunately, the anti-employer agendas of some members of Congress, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) emphasis on aggressive enforcement and burdensome and unnecessary rulemakings, are eroding the potential for successful, collaborative efforts with employers to make workplaces safer.

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DOL’s Latest Regulatory Agenda Highlights Apprenticeship, Affirmative Action, Overtime

In addition to providing updates on numerous OSHA rulemakings and the controversial proposal to narrow the “advice” exemption for persuaders and other labor relations advisors, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released updated timeframes for pending rules addressing apprenticeship, affirmative action and the classification of independent contractors. In addition, the agency laid out for the first time its plan to issue a new proposed rule regarding overtime eligibility.

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ABC Voices Support for Workforce Development Legislation

ABC May 28 sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Education and the Workforce Committee urging passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA represents an important opportunity to improve our workforce development system by increasing local business input in developing job training programs and improving access to federal funding for non-union training programs.

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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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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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