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13 House Republicans Warn OMB About PLA Mandate Rulemaking

On June 16, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer, Ky., and 12 other House Republicans sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget raising concerns about the implementation of President Biden’s Executive Order 14063, “Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects,” highlighting concerns that the proposal will raise taxpayer costs, cut nonunion workers out of federal projects and force right-to-work states to freeze local workers out of cooperative federal projects. The executive order mandates PLAs on federal construction projects of $35 million or more.

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CDW Requests US Supreme Court Review of Property Destruction Decision

On June 16, the ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace and several other employer organizations filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting review of the Washington Supreme Court’s recent decision in Glacier Northwest, which stated that the National Labor Relations Board preempts state tort suits, allowing unions and their supporters to intentionally destroy an employer’s property while claiming to be engaged in protected concerted activity.

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More than 500 ABC Leaders Gather in Washington for Annual Legislative Week

More than 500 ABC members and chapter staff are in Washington, D.C., for ABC’s 2022 Legislative Week, meeting with leaders on Capitol Hill to advocate for fair and open competition and fight the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, project labor agreement mandates and burdensome regulations. Highlights of the fly-in included keynotes from Rep. Steve Scalise, R- La., House minority whip, and Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., who spoke in favor of free markets and condemned the Biden administration’s regulatory overreach and the PRO Act.

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Biden Administration Pushes Union Labor on Electric Vehicle Charging Station Installation

The Biden administration has pledged to support the installation of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers across the country by 2030 as part of a domestic push to shift away from gas-powered vehicles. On June 9, the Federal Highway Administration announced a proposed rule for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program that requires contractors to use government-registered apprentices and the controversial union-backed Electric Vehicle Industry Training Program.

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ABC Warns OMB That ‘Buy America’ Requirements Could Increase the Cost of Infrastructure

On June 6, ABC responded to the Office of Management and Budget’s request for information on new “Buy America” requirements for construction materials on federally assisted projects. Enacted in November 2021, the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act expanded and made significant changes to Buy America requirements for federally funded infrastructure projects.

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Action Alert: Urge Congress to Support ERTCRA

ABC recently sent an action alert to ABC members to urge their members of Congress to include the Employee Retention Tax Credit Act bill in the federal spending package. ERTCRA would restore the Employee Retention Tax Credit through the end of the 2021.

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ABC Disappointed by DOL’s New Independent Contractor Rulemaking Announcement

On June 3, the U.S. Department of Labor stated that it plans to engage in rulemaking on determining employee or independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

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19 ABC Members Ranked in Top 25 Among ENR’s Top 400 Contractors

Of the nation’s top 25 construction companies, 19 are ABC members, according to Engineering News-Record’s recently published annual list of the Top 400 Contractors. These successful contractors were ranked based on 2021 revenue. 

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Employers Can Now Petition for 30,000 New H2B Visas

The departments of Homeland Security and Labor recently released a new H-2B visa rule authorizing 35,000 supplemental temporary work visas for hiring through Sept. 30. As of May 18, employers can begin petitioning for the visas. The supplemental allocation includes 23,500 visas for returning workers who received an H-2B visa in the previous three fiscal years. Another 11,500 are designated for nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti, to address irregular migration from those countries.

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ABC Urges DOL to Abandon Issuing a New Overtime Proposed Rule

On May 11, ABC, as a steering committee member of the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, as well as 92 other organizations, sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh urging him to abandon or at least postpone issuing the U.S. Department of Labor’s announced proposed rulemaking altering overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Read PPWO’s press release on the letter.

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CISC Voices Concerns to OSHA About Powered Industrial Trucks Design Standard Update

On May 17, ABC, as a steering committee member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration voicing compliance and cost concerns on the proposed rule on Powered Industrial Trucks Design Standard Update. While CISC members are not manufacturers of powered industrial trucks, certain types of PITs are frequently used on construction worksites and, thus, CISC members are interested in this proposal.

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ABC Champions Diversity at EEOC Hearing on Discrimination in Construction Industry

ABC highlighted its achievements in recruiting diverse audiences to careers in construction nationwide and outlined goals championing inclusion, diversity and equity in a letter to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for a May 17 hearing on race, sex and national origin discrimination in construction.

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Biden Administration’s Davis-Bacon ‘Reforms’ Are More Pork for Labor Unions

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act delivers $550 billion of funding to improve our nation’s infrastructure, and the construction industry stands ready to deliver on the law’s promised revitalization of America’s roads, schools, bridges, utilities, and transportation systems.

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Action Alert: Urge Congress to Remove Harmful Labor Policies From America COMPETES Bills

ABC sent out an action alert for ABC members to urge their members of Congress to remove unnecessary, job-killing provisions in the US Innovation and Competition Act/America COMPETES Act bills.

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ABC Survey Indicates Members Oppose Davis-Bacon Regulations and Proposed Changes—Submit Your Comments by May 17

ABC recently surveyed contractor members regarding Davis-Bacon Act prevailing wage regulations, and the results clearly demonstrate that ABC members oppose Davis-Bacon Act regulations and have serious concerns about the sweeping changes recently proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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ABC, CDW Raise Alarm on NLRB, EEOC Conflicts

On May 9, ABC and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace sent a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to voice concerns with the current tension between federal anti-discrimination laws and federal labor relations laws as implemented by the National Labor Relations Board and its general counsel.

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DOT Requests Comment on Six-Month ‘Buy America’ Waiver

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently published a proposal to waive “Buy America” requirements for construction materials used on DOT projects for 180 days and requested public comments with a deadline of May 13.

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Comment Deadline Nears for Proposed Davis-Bacon Act Reforms

With the May 17 deadline for public comments on the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to Davis-Bacon and Related Acts prevailing wage regulations fast approaching, ABC urges interested members to consider submitting comments on these sweeping changes to federal contracting rules.

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ABC and Members of Congress Slam Biden’s PLA Executive Order in Congressional Hearing

On April 27, ABC sent a letter to a congressional subcommittee warning of the negative impacts of imposing government-mandated project labor agreements on infrastructure spending. 

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DOL Announces Upcoming Davis-Bacon Wage Surveys

On April 20, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division released its schedule of upcoming Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Wage Surveys. These voluntary surveys are used by the WHD to determine the prevailing wage rate for construction workers on federal and federally assisted projects over $2,000.

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ABC Opposes OSHA’s Proposal to Include Construction Industry in Final Rule on COVID-19 in Health Care Settings

On April 22, ABC, as a steering committee member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, submitted comments in response to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s request for additional comment on its “potential provisions or approaches” to a final Occupational Exposure to COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings rule. CISC opposes OSHA’s proposal to expand coverage under any promulgated final rule and include certain construction work in health care settings.

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Construction Safety Week Starts May 2

From May 2-6, ABC will observe Construction Safety Week and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction with a social media campaign sharing tools and resources. ABC encourages its members to participate in these events and renew their commitment to keep all workers safe on all jobsites.

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New ‘Buy America’ Mandates for Infrastructure Projects Could Trigger Cost Increases, Delays

On April 18, the Biden administration’s Office of Management and Budget issued a memo providing initial implementation guidance to federal agencies on the application of a “Buy America” preference for materials used in infrastructure projects.

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CEQ Releases Final Rule on National Environmental Policy Act

Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s rulemaking reverses the much-needed efforts of the previous administration to update and streamline the federal environmental review and permitting process. Modernizing this process would be a bipartisan win, as both sides of the aisle have long identified the need for faster, more efficient permitting. While Congress recently passed legislation providing an unprecedented investment in our nation’s infrastructure, including language specifically calling for streamlined environmental review, today’s rulemaking will delay the completion of these critical projects and increase costs for the construction industry and taxpayers without providing meaningful environmental benefits.

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ABC Pushes Back on Biden’s Pro-PLA Policies Through the Media

ABC continued to fight against government-mandated project labor agreements through a media campaign publicizing a letter recently sent to the White House with more than 1,200 signatures from members and chapters. The campaign garnered coverage of the importance of fair and open competition for construction projects on Fox Business (reach: 13.5 million) and in The Washington Post (67.7 million), among others.

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ABC Members Gain Construction Technology Expertise at Local Chapter Events

The ABC Florida East Coast and Central Pennsylvania chapters recently hosted their first construction technology events in order to help their members use technology to develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably. ABC’s Tech Alliance and Tech Marketplace members were featured speakers at the event.

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Action Alert: Tell Your Lawmakers to Oppose Job-Killing Provisions in the America COMPETES Act and USICA

Earlier this month, the U.S. House and Senate established a conference committee to continue debate on the House-passed H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act, and the Senate-passed S. 1260, the United States Innovation and Competition Act. Both bills contain troubling, restrictive labor policies that would dilute the effectiveness of the legislation and limit opportunities for much of the construction industry to participate in new programs authorized under these bills. 

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OSHA Launches NEP on Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards

On April 12, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announcedNational Emphasis Program—Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards, which expands on the agency’s ongoing heat-related illness prevention initiative and campaign by setting forth a targeted enforcement component and reiterating its compliance assistance and outreach efforts.

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Register Today for DOL’s Listening Sessions on Overtime Rule and Heat-Related Hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division previously announced that it is reviewing its overtime regulations. DOL is now offering five regional virtual listening sessions in May and June and would like to hear feedback from employers on possible revisions to the regulations. Learn more about the dates, times and how to register for the virtual regional meetings.

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OSHA Announces Enforcement Program to Identify Employers Failing to Submit Injury and Illness Data

On April 5, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it is starting an enforcement program that identifies employers who failed to submit Form 300A data through the agency’s Injury Tracking Application. The enforcement program will begin in early April and was developed in response to recommendations from the Government Accountability Office to improve reporting of summary injury and illness data.

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OFCCP Issues Directive Rescinding Trump Administration Transparency Initiatives

On March 31, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs announced new directive 2022-02: Effective Compliance Evaluations and Enforcement, which rescinds directives issued under the Trump administration aimed at increasing the certainty, efficiency and transparency of the department’s operations for the contractor community.

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The No-Cost Workforce Development Management System Is Live

The ABC Workforce Development Management System was created to evaluate such programs and validate what each organization is already doing or identify areas for enhancement. It is a no-cost, easy-to-use assessment designed to assist users with a self-evaluation of their workforce development program, using 11 key components of world-class programs.

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Remembering Former ABC President Franz June

Franz Eston June, former ABC president (now the role of the ABC chair of the board of directors), died on Friday, March 18, 2022.

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ABC Advocates for Worker Freedom, Against PLAs in Letter to Congress

On March 30, ABC sent a letter to a Congressional subcommittee cautioning that more regulations and less worker freedom, combined with the construction industry shortage of 650,000 workers in 2022, will make it harder to fill any jobs created by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

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DOL Issues Proposed Rule on Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

ABC is concerned about a proposal from the Biden administration that will increase the number of contractors subject to electronic safety data submission requirements and carry risks for exposing confidential business information by posting parts of the submissions on a public website.

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ABC Requests 60-Day Comment Period Extension on Proposed Changes to Davis-Bacon Act Regulations

Following the release of the U.S Department of Labor’s proposed rule, Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations, on March 18, ABC formally submitted a request for the 60-day comment period to be extended by an additional 60 days.

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White House Releases FY23 Budget Proposal

On March 28, the White House released the president’s $5.8 trillion budget for the next fiscal year, which renews calls for tax hikes to support Democrats’ federal spending priorities in the coming years.  

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ABC Urges USDA to Withdraw Proposal That Includes New Labor Law Compliance Certifications and Reporting

On Feb. 17, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published a proposed rule to make amendments to the Agriculture Acquisition Regulation, which includes new labor law compliance certifications and reporting provisions that present wide-ranging implications for ABC members that perform work on federal contracts awarded under the AGAR. On March 21, ABC submitted comments urging the USDA to withdraw the proposal.

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ABC Hails Court Decision Blocking Biden Administration’s Independent Contractor Rulemaking

On March 15, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas dealt a blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to delay and rescind the Trump administration’s 2021 independent contractor final rule. Under a decision applauded by ABC, which had sued to block those actions, the ABC-supported rule went into effect as scheduled on March 8, 2021, and remains in effect today.

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ABC Celebrates Women in Construction Week 2022

ABC celebrated Women in Construction Week, March 6-12, to raise awareness of the growing role of women in the construction industry and encourage women to consider a career in construction. ABC demonstrated the success of women in the industry through social media posts and letters to the editor published in a number of  media outlets.

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ABC: Biden’s Proposed Davis-Bacon Act Reforms Are More Pork for Special Interests

“While ABC is still reviewing the 432-page rule, it appears the DOL missed an opportunity for meaningful Davis-Bacon reform. For example, the proposed rule reverts back to 1983 regulations that do not result in actual prevailing rates, as required by statute. Reversing course by 40 years is not modernization. Instead, it is even worse public policy catering to special interests embedded in the Biden administration that benefit from the broken status quo,” ABC said in a statement.

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ABC Partners with Congressional Leaders to Oppose Biden PLA Mandate, Advocate for Fair and Open Competition

On March 7, Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., and Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C., wrote letters to the White House in opposition to President Biden’s executive order 14063 requiring federal construction contracts of $35 million or more to be subjected to project labor agreements.

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Sens. Thune, Scott Seek Federal Recognition for Industry, Market-Driven Apprenticeships

On March 7, U.S. Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., introduced legislation that would allow federal recognition of industry and market-driven apprenticeship programs. The Training America’s Workforce Act would allow third-party entities approved by the U.S. Department of Labor to recognize and perform oversight over apprenticeship programs developed by the private sector and other organizations.

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ABC Joins Amicus Brief on NLRB’s Employer Handbook Rules

On March 7, the ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace filed an amicus brief in Stericycle, a case in which the National Labor Relations Board is considering changing the way it reviews employer handbook rules to determine if they violate workers’ rights to collectively bargain. On Jan. 6, the board invited parties and amici to submit briefs. ABC along with several other organizations joined the brief.

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ABC Responds to President Biden’s State of the Union Address

During his address to the nation, President Joe Biden expressed his support for the Protecting the Right to Organize, saying, “Let’s pass the PRO Act. When a majority of workers want to unionize, they shouldn’t be stopped.” ABC issued a statement criticizing the president’s anti-merit shop agenda three minutes later.

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CDW Pushes Back on NLRB Independent Contractor Case, Conflicts of Interest

On Feb. 11, the ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace filed an amicus brief before the National Labor Relations Board in The Atlanta Opera, a case dealing with the independent contractor standard.

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ABC, Coalition Support the Fair and Open Competition Act in Letter to Congress Opposing PLA Mandates

On Feb. 23, ABC and a coalition of 19 associations and organizations representing the construction industry and business community sent Congress a letter of support for the Fair and Open Competition Act (S. 403/H.R. 1284), sponsored by Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind. and Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C.

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Action Needed: Oppose Biden’s PLA Executive Order

ABC recently drafted a letter highlighting its concerns with President Biden’s recently announced Feb.4 Executive Order 14063, which imposes government-mandated project labor agreements on federally funded and federally assisted construction projects of $35 million or more. ABC members are encouraged to sign on to the letter to the Biden administration, which will be sent to the White House in April. 

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Materials Prices, Interest Rates and Defense Spending: Major Impacts of the Invasion of Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine will have three first-order impacts on the U.S. construction industry. The first relates to materials prices, which are already sky-high and have induced some project owners to delay project start dates.

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DOL Offers Webinar on Davis-Bacon Compliance for Projects Receiving Funding Under IIJA

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is offering two free webinars on Feb. 28 and March 1 at 1:30 p.m. ET to provide an overview of the Davis-Bacon compliance requirements for projects receiving funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. It will also include a question-and-answer session. Participants will be able to submit questions in advance or during the webinar.

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