ISSUES AFFECTING THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
NATIONAL CHAIR CALLS ON CONGRESS TO END GOVERNMENT MANDATED PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS
National Chair Chuck Goodrich’s op-ed calling on Congress to pass the Fair and
Open Competition Act (H.R. 1552/S. 622) was published in The
Hill on April 10, 2017. This ABC-priority legislation would
allow America's entire construction workforce—including the 86 percent of the
private construction workforce that has chosen not to join a labor union—to
compete on a level playing field by ensuring that taxpayer-funded construction
cannot be subjected to costly and discriminatory government-mandated project
labor agreements (PLAs).
“Gaylor Electric’s 1,100 skilled employees and their families benefit
from opportunities provided by fair and open competition on public works
projects,” wrote Goodrich. “However, the government undermines our ability to
fairly compete for contracts subject to government-mandated PLAs because it
forces us to hire unfamiliar workers instead of the key ingredient that makes
our company a safe and efficient industry leader.”
The bill, introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and Sen. Jeff Flake
(R-Ariz.), and would ensure that PLAs cannot be mandated in order to perform
federal or federally-assisted construction projects. It was
reported favorably out of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee March 28. It currently has 35 co-sponsors in the U.S.
House of Representatives and two in the U.S. Senate.
ABC is encouraging members to call on their representatives in Congress to
co-sponsor the Fair and Open Competition Act. Members can voice their support
through the ABC Action Center or through the ABC Action app on iPhone and Android devices.
NEW JERSEY ABC'S PRESSURE LEAD FREEHOLDER BOARD TO CHANGE COURSE
On January 25 the Morris County Freeholder Board met to discuss and vote on a skilled worker resolution. In its original form, this toxic resolution would have stifled competition and boxed out merit shop contractors from bidding certain work at the county.
Thank you to all the ABC Members who emailed and called the Morris County Freeholder Board over the last several weeks expressing to them how damaging their proposed apprenticeship mandate would be on fair and open competition and the merit shop. All that pressure, along with the efforts of some other grassroots organizations, lead to a new resolution that included language which would still allow all qualified contractors to bid on county work, all while strengthening some safety standards and legal workforce requirements the board felt was necessary.
During the vote, Freeholder Deborah Smith specifically mentioned and credited Associated Builders and Contractors for our support and education about New Jersey's merit shop and the impact this would have on our members. If you would like more information about the details of the Morris Skilled Worker Resolution please reach out. Click Here for Coverage of the Freeholder Meeting.
For the Merit Shop,
President, ABC New Jersey