Events and Products
Politics and Policy
On Sept. 7, ABC issued an action alert opposing the U.S. House of Representative’s efforts to move forward with the partisan budget reconciliation process that could result in tax hikes and far-reaching labor requirements for ABC members. Please urge your representatives to oppose this package this week as House committees continue to mark up their sections of the package.
ABC reiterated its opposition to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) “persuader rule” ahead of the April 27 U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing on how the newly finalized regulation limits employers’ rights and undermines the right of workers to make informed decisions in union elections. The final rule, issued March 23, redefines “persuader” activity under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) and triggers expanded reporting requirements for employers and their attorneys.
The leader of Philadelphia’s Ironworkers Local 401, Joseph Dougherty, was convicted Jan. 20 on charges of racketeering conspiracy and counts of vandalism and extortion. The court found him guilty of and responsible for the use of arson, intimidation and violence in order to secure jobs for members of the union. The conviction came more than two years after the Quaker Meetinghouse jobsite of longtime ABC member E. Allen Reeves, Inc., of Abington, Pa., was the target of vandalism during the 2012 Christmas holiday causing an estimated $500,000 in damages.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a 3-2 split decision along party lines Dec. 11, stating that employees are permitted, except in very limited circumstances, to use corporate email systems during non-work time for union organizing (Section 7 activities). The Board’s decision overturns the 2007 decision in Register Guard.
In the July 16 ruling of Merit Construction Alliance v. City of Quincy, the First Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) preempts a controversial city ordinance that forced contractors to “engage in a bona fide apprentice training program" registered with the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards as a condition of bidding for city work.
ABC of Michigan praised the state’s legislature for passing language that will deter public universities from engaging in unionizing activities by requiring neutrality as a part of the 2014/2015 Higher Education budget recommendation which is expected to receive final legislative approval.
The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate March 27 introduced three bills to reverse key elements of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) contentious “ambush election” rule. The NLRB’s proposed rule dramatically shortens the amount of time between when a union files a representation petition and when an election takes place to as few as 10 days in addition to requiring employers to submit their employees’ personal contact information to union organizers.
Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO (BCTD) President Sean McGarvey declared March 10 during an address to the BCTD 2014 Legislative Conference intent to increase their involvement in the oil, gas and petro-chemical industries, particularly in the Gulf Coast region.
Ten members of Ironworkers Local 401, Philadelphia, Pa., were indicted and have been arrested for allegedly participating in a conspiracy to commit criminal acts of extortion, destruction of property, and assault in order to force nonunion construction contractors to hire union ironworkers. In addition, the indictment included the $500,000 in damages at ABC member E. Allen Reeves, Inc.’s Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting House project in 2012 as one of the crimes allegedly committed by the defendants.
During the last presidential campaign, then-candidate Barack Obama proudly told audiences, “We need to strengthen our unions by letting them do what they do best—organize our workers … That's why I am fighting to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)…We'll make it the law of the land when I'm president.” When Democrats took the White House and held onto Congress in November 2008, Obama’s promise seemed all but certain. However, EFCA, also known as “card check,” met with quick and persistent resistance from both sides of the aisle. The passage of EFCA, which at one time seemed inevitable, stalled
ABC General Counsel Maurice Baskin Feb. 4 testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Workforce Protections during a hearing titled, “OSHA’s Regulatory Agenda: Changing Long-Standing Policies Outside the Public Rulemaking Process.” On behalf of ABC and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Baskin addressed a Feb. 21, 2013, letter of interpretation (LOI) from OSHA allowing union agents and community organizers for the first time to accompany safety inspectors into nonunion facilities, as long as an unspecified (non-majority) number of employees in the nonunion work place designate one.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) commended a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California seeking declarative and injunctive relief against an unnecessary and discriminatory new statute (S.B. 54) recently enacted in the California Legislature. SB 54 is special interest legislation that would force private refineries in California to award construction and maintenance work predominately to contractors who sign contracts with Building Trades unions.
The merit shop construction industry celebrated a victory Feb. 27 when the Santa Fe City Council in New Mexico repealed a controversial ordinance that required the use of wasteful and discriminatory community workforce agreements (CWAs) on all city-funded projects costing more than $500,000.
AIA Contract Documents A Massachusetts Federal District Court Oct. 4 ruled against a “responsible employer ordinance (REO)” in Fall River, Mass., that contained provisions favoring city residents. The ordinance also contained requirements that employers must provide group health insurance and a pension plan or annuity, and maintain an apprenticeship program before being eligible to work on city projects.
A “Fact Finder 12” special report by Kansas station KWCH-TV revealed that a bannering campaign conducted by Carpenters Local 201 was nothing more than an intimidation tactic to protest against nonunion contractors.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released a report showing a drop in union membership from 14 percent to 13.2 percent in the U.S. private construction industry from 2011 to 2012. Today 86.8 percent of the private construction workforce chooses not to belong to a union.
A Philadelphia jobsite of longtime ABC member E. Allen Reeves, Inc., of Abington, Pa., was the target of vandalism during the Christmas holiday. Philadelphia police detectives say arsonists caused an estimated $500,000 in damages at the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, a new Quaker meetinghouse.
The merit shop construction industry won a victory on March 29 when a federal court of appeals in Georgia upheld a jury verdict that awarded Fidelity Interior Construction, Suwanee, Ga., with $1.7 million against the Carpenters’ union. The jury found that the Carpenters conducted an illegal “area standards” campaign that included bannering, picketing and handbilling at buildings where Fidelity was, had or might be working.
ABC celebrated a major victory May 14 when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) “ambush” elections rule because it was adopted without the statutorily required quorum of NLRB members.