Capitol Connection: February
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February 9, 2022

IEC Opposes Recent Executive Order Mandating PLAs

On Thursday, President Biden signed an executive order (E.O.) that requires the use of project labor agreements (PLAs) on all federal construction projects above $35 million. The E.O. applies to direct federal procurement projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed last year. Within 120 days of the order being issued, rules must be proposed implementing it, for which there will be a comment period. Under the E.O., the Obama-era policy which encourages PLAs is revoked. IEC will be working with its allies and coalition partners to push back against this blatant handout to unions and their signatory contractors. A copy of the IEC press release can be found here. You can help by urging Congress to support the Fair and Open Competition Act, which would prevent federal agencies and recipients of federal assistance from requiring contractors to sign a PLA as a condition of winning a federal or federally assisted construction contract.
 

White House Task Force on Unions Issues Recommendations

The White House’s Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, established in April of 2021, issued its report to the president outlining nearly 70 recommendations that “when implemented, will promote worker organizing and collective bargaining for federal employees and workers employed by public and private-sector employers.” The Task Force claims their recommendations are critically needed due to the decline in unionization over the past few decades and the resulting increase in economic inequality as well as increasing public support for unions and the large portions of the workforce who claim to want union representation. A summary of the report can be found here.

 

House-Passed China Legislation Includes Harmful Labor Provision

Last week, the United States House of Representatives passed legislation that included a number of labor provisions to which IEC objected. Most notably, H.R. 4521, the America COMPETES Act, included a form of ‘card check’ that would be imposed on contractors who receive construction funding from the bill. Under ‘card check’, employers must recognize and bargain with a union if it can show majority support from the workers in question via signed authorization cards and ultimately eliminate a secret ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. Other labor provisions in the bill included expansion of prevailing wage requirements and limiting access to certain grant funding to only apprenticeship programs that partner with a union. Similar legislation passed the Senate last year and the bill will now head to the conference, where IEC will work to strip these radical labor provisions. A copy of IEC’s letter opposing the bill can be viewed here.

 

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