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U.S. DOL Announces Proposed Rule to Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 for Federal Contractors

July 21, 2021

On July 21, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a proposed rule that would require federal contractors to pay a $15 minimum wage to workers  on or in connection with a federal government contract. The public has until Aug. 23 to comment on the proposal.  

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ABC Responds to Treasury Guidance Encouraging PLAs

In a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, ABC expressed concerns about Treasury’s guidance on $350 billion worth of federal funding for state and local fiscal recovery allocated in the American Rescue Plan and the encouragement of project labor agreements on federally assisted water, sewer and broadband projects.

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U.S. Treasury Promotes PLA Schemes on Federally Assisted Public Works Projects

The Biden administration and U.S. Department of Treasury have taken another unfortunate step promoting controversial, anti-competitive and costly government-mandated project labor agreements, local hire and Davis-Bacon/prevailing wage policies on federally assisted taxpayer-funded construction projects.

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ABC Fights DOL’s Withdrawal of Trump-era Independent Contractor Rule

On May 14, the Coalition for Workforce Innovation, ABC, ABC Southeast Texas Chapter and the Financial Services Institute filed an amended complaint challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s unlawful withdrawal of the independent contractor rule. The Department’s hasty and unjustified action violates the Administrative Procedure Act, compounding a violation that began when the department improperly delayed the effective date of the rule in March.

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ABC Urges Revisions to OSHA’s Latest FAQs Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Reactions

On May 10, ABC, as a steering committee member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, wrote to U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration urging it to review and revise its recently issued Frequently Asked Questions on whether employers must record adverse reactions caused by COVID-19 vaccinations that are required and/or recommended by employers.

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What the Surge In Construction Material Prices Means

Because coronavirus vaccine distribution is accelerating, the expectation is that worldwide demand for steel, aluminum, oil and other productive inputs will surge later in 2021. The result could be substantial upward pressure on construction input prices. 

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Language in Clean Energy Tax Credit Overhaul Bill Would Chill Competition From Merit Shop Contractors

On May 4, ABC sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) raising concerns about provisions in the Clean Energy for America Act that would expand new government-registered apprenticeship program requirements and Davis-Bacon prevailing wage regulations onto the construction of projects receiving clean energy tax incentives. ABC is troubled by provisions in the legislation that will needlessly increase construction costs and reduce competition from qualified companies and their skilled employees who participate in the construction of the clean energy marketplace.

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

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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ABC, Coalition Alarmed by Government-mandated PLAs in Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan

On May 5, ABC and a coalition of 16 industry and employer groups sent a letter to President Joe Biden raising concerns about the administration’s direct expansion and support of legislative policies encouraging or requiring controversial government-mandated project labor agreements on federal and federally assisted construction projects.

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ABC Greater Tennessee Chapter Receives $1M Grant for Skills Education

Thanks to a $1 million grant that just passed the Tennessee General Assembly, ABC’s Greater Tennessee Chapter will operate educational programs to provide advanced craft skills in HVAC, masonry, electrical, and carpentry in a new 15,000-square-foot facility with classroom and lab space. The grant will enable ABC to serve an additional 250 students a year in its four-year adult program. 

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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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