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ABC Calls for Inclusive Infrastructure Policies During United for Infrastructure Week

By May 13, 2024No Comments

Associated Builders and Contractors today issued the following statement supporting United for Infrastructure’s 12th annual Infrastructure Week, May 13-17.

“The importance of quality, safe, dependable infrastructure cannot be understated, and we must build public works projects to deliver the most value for the taxpayer and our communities,” said Ben Brubeck, ABC vice president of regulatory, labor and state affairs. “That means creating a level playing field so all contractors have an opportunity to bid on taxpayer-funded construction contracts—competition is constructive to our industry.

“Instead, President Joe Biden’s administration has rejected the inclusive, win-win policies that would welcome the overwhelming majority of industry workers who do not belong to a union—a record 89.3%—to build and rebuild America,” said Brubeck. “The president’s approach is not only pro-union, but it is also union-only, designed to exclude some of the nation’s most qualified contractors and their talented and highly trained workforces from competing for work in their own communities.

“The Biden administration keeps pushing anti-competitive regulations like the final rule mandating corrupt project labor agreements on federal construction contracts, the controversial proposal overhauling the government-registered apprenticeship system and the burdensome final Davis-Bacon rule, which increase costs, stifle competition and further exacerbate the industry’s labor shortage of more than half a million,” said Brubeck. “Even the Inflation Reduction Act has been weighed down by exclusionary labor policies implemented through the Internal Revenue Service that increase costs, reduce competition and delay construction of privately developed clean energy projects eligible for more than $270 billion in federal tax incentives.

“While these exclusionary policies secure political donations and accolades from special interests, in practice, all they do is inflate construction costs and steer public works contracts to political donors at the expense of taxpayers,” said Brubeck. “If the goal of United for Infrastructure Week is to ‘shine a light on the importance of prioritizing transformative infrastructure projects in our communities,’ then let’s discuss solutions that invite all qualified contractors to compete to build and rebuild our infrastructure systems.

“Americans deserve the best return on their investments in infrastructure. One solution to achieve that is the Fair and Open Competition Act, which would allow all contractors to compete fairly based on merit and to utilize the talented construction professionals they have invested in and who are achieving their career dreams with their employer of choice,” said Brubeck. “Another solution is the Employee Rights Act, which preserves worker choice in contrast to the Biden-supported PRO Act, which effectively forces workers to join a union. Solutions like these will result in cost savings, more jobs and more opportunities for all qualified small, minority- and women-owned businesses in the construction industry and the completion of more construction projects built by quality contractors and construction workers safely, on time and on budget.”