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ABC Slams U.S. DOL’s Withdrawal of Trump-era Independent Contractor Final Rule

May 05, 2021

On May 5, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the withdrawal—effective May 6—of the Trump-era independent contractor final rule. While expected, this action is extremely disappointing. ABC strongly supported the Trump DOL final rule, which would have clarified the department’s interpretation of independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act and promoted certainty for employers, independent contractors and employees.

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From the category archives: GA-PLAs-State & Local

GA-PLAs-State & Local

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Signs PLA Mandate Expansion

In an unfortunate but expected turn of events, Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law New Jersey’s most recent anti-merit shop project labor agreement-favoring legislation, S-3414/A-5378, which requires government-mandated project labor agreements to apply to all public construction contracts over $5 million in the state. ABC and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey spoke out in opposition to the legislation.

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Taxpayer Bailout of Multiemployer Pension Plans and Government-mandated Project Labor Agreements

On March 12, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319) into law, including a controversial provision providing a Congressional Budget Office-estimated $86 billion taxpayer bailout of struggling multiemployer pension plans.

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ABC Advocates for a Fair and Open Competitive Bidding Process on Infrastructure Projects in Senate Hearing

On Feb. 24, ABC submitted a letter for the record to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for its hearing, “Building Back Better: Investing in Transportation While Addressing Climate Change, Improving Equity and Fostering Economic Growth and Innovation,” to urge the committee to consider policies that will increase competition, reduce costly and ineffective regulations and address the construction industry’s skilled worker shortage.

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U.S. DOT Promotes Government-mandated Project Labor Agreements in Infrastructure Grant Program

In a concerning development for the merit shop contracting community and hardworking taxpayers, the U.S. Department of Transportation is encouraging the use of government-mandated project labor agreements on federally assisted construction projects funded through a grant program administered by the DOT’s Build America Bureau.

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ABC Raises Concerns With Biden Administration About Expansion Of Government-mandated PLAs

In a Feb. 4 letter to President Joe Biden, ABC expressed concerns about the “expansion of existing policies that needlessly limit competition and increase costs on taxpayer-funded federal and federally assisted construction projects.”

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Community Workforce Agreement Passed in New Mexico’s Largest County; ABC Advocates Repeal

On Sept. 22, Bernalillo County’s board of commissioners passed an ordinance requiring a community workforce agreement, also known as a project labor agreement, on all construction projects performed for the county that are valued at more than $7 million. The threshold was originally set at $5 million, but was raised to $7 million after a 30-day comment period following the introduction of the ordinance in August.

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Virginia Delays Enactment of Prevailing Wage and PLA Mandate Laws Until May 2021

During its annual reconvene/veto session April 22, the Virginia General Assembly agreed with Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and delayed the effective date of two laws permitting prevailing wage and project labor agreement requirements on taxpayer-funded public works projects.

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ABC Hits the Airwaves to Advocate for Merit Shop Construction

Ben Brubeck, ABC’s vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs, conducted 11 radio and TV interviews during the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 27 in Washington, D.C. Brubeck discussed the outlook for construction spending and infrastructure investment, highlighted the industry’s response to its current skilled labor shortage and promoted the benefits of fair and open competition on taxpayer-funded construction contracts.

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Baltimore City Council Contemplates PLA Mandate

A bill introduced in the Baltimore City Council by Councilmember Shannon Sneed and Council President Brandon Scott would make sweeping changes to the City of Baltimore’s procurement laws. The proposed ordinance, File 20-0488, would impose government mandated project labor agreements on any construction contract valued at $25 million or more. 

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Honolulu City Council Approves Union-only Procurement Policy

On Oct. 9, the Honolulu City Council passed a highly contentious ordinance that will require the city to negotiate a “community workforce agreement” with the Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council, the Hawaii Construction Alliance and their affiliated labor unions for certain public works projects. The city says the ordinance will apply to “critical city projects” in which the city has a particular interest in timely and cost-efficient project completion. The CWA will largely apply to critical road, wastewater, drainage and park improvement projects.

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