On Feb. 7, the Biden administration’s White House Task Force On Worker Organizing And Empowerment issued its report on how to boost union membership in the federal government and public and private sectors.
The new report offers nearly 70 recommendations to promote pro-union policies and practices in the federal government, including the use of project labor agreements, federally registered and union apprenticeship programs and review of Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements.
Immediately following the issuance of the report, ABC issued a statement:
“Today’s report from the White House task force is of great concern, especially for Americans who expect the government to create and support policies ensuring fair and open competition on taxpayer-funded federal and federally assisted construction projects,” said Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs. “The report’s recommendations to expand the use of anti-competitive and costly project labor agreements will increase infrastructure project costs by 12% to 20%, reduce competition from the best quality public works contractors and exacerbate the construction industry’s skilled labor shortage by discriminating against the nearly 9 out of 10 members of the construction workforce who choose to be union-free.”
As the U.S. Department of Labor announced the release of the report, the agency indicated it would work across agencies to implement the task force’s recommendations, including the following:
- Ensuring workers know their organizing and bargaining rights.
- Protecting workers who face illegal retaliation when they organize and stand up for workplace rights.
- Establishing a resource center on unions and collective bargaining.
- Shedding light on employers’ use of anti-union consultants.
- Collecting and reporting more information on unions and their role in the U.S. economy.
- Advancing equity across underserved communities by supporting worker organizing and collective bargaining.
The task force was initiated in response to President Biden’s April 26 Executive Order on Worker Organizing and Empowerment.
ABC will continue to urge members of Congress and the Biden administration to promote inclusive, win-win policies that will increase accountability and competition while reducing waste and favoritism in the procurement of public works projects. ABC wants everyone in the construction industry to have the opportunity to rebuild our nation's crumbling infrastructure. It will take the entire construction workforce to realize the full potential of the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
To learn more about the White House union report, register for this Feb. 10 webinar, “Learn What the New Biden PLA Executive Order Means for ABC Federal Contractors.” Listen to Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, local and state affairs, discuss this report and President Biden’s executive order mandating PLAs on federal projects valued at $35 million or more on an episode of the podcast LaborUnionNews.com.