On July 18, ABC submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s temporary rule on H-2B visas, authorizing 35,000 supplemental temporary work visas for hiring through Sept. 30.
The rule added a new requirement for employers utilizing H-2B visas to contact AFL-CIO if the occupation is traditionally or customarily unionized, including construction. ABC’s comments, while supportive of the overall H-2B visa program and its usage in filling critical gaps in the construction workforce, opposed this requirement.
The temporary rule’s new requirement adds unnecessary redundancy to the H-2B visa process, potentially slowing down the hiring process at a time when the construction industry needs to hire 650,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022 to meet its labor demands. Additionally, ABC’s comments contest the DOL’s labeling of construction as a “traditionally or customarily unionized occupation or industry” when 87% of construction workers have chosen not to join a union.
Employers can petition for these additional H-2B visas until Sept. 15.
ABC will continue to monitor this issue and provide updates through Newsline.