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  • Construction Labor News
    Updated On: Feb 26, 2021

    Biden DOL Targeting Government Contractors for Wage Enforcement

    U.S. Labor Department officials are planning to boost enforcement of wage standards on federally funded construction and service projects, in an effort to reverse a trend compounded by the attrition of seasoned investigators.

    Policy Moves: The changes the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division is formulating—potentially one of its biggest initial policy moves under the new administration—would support the infrastructure and jobs package President Joe Biden is planning to roll out.

    Investigative Power: As the administration readies those big-ticket proposals, which would increase government investment in projects developed by private companies, the department has begun preparations to expand its investigative capacity under two statutes that require government contractors to pay workers prevailing wages and benefits.

    Labor Complaints: The building trades and service unions have long called for the department to crack down on what they have described as government contractors’ persistent noncompliance with the two laws: the Davis-Bacon Act, which covers public construction projects, and the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act, which applies to government spending on services, such as janitorial work and food preparation.

    Early Stage: The Wage & Hour Division’s strategy is still in an early planning stage, and details on possible components, such as staffing and dedicated funding, remain unclear, according to sources, most of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.

    “There’s no question that this administration is going to support significant infrastructure, and if that happens, much of that stuff is going to happen under DBA or SCA,” said Michael Hancock, a former WHD assistant administrator under President Barack Obama.

    Leading the News

    Water Pipes Burst Across Texas, Setting Off a Hunt for Plumbers

    After the big freeze in Texas comes the big thaw -- and the big demand for workers to repair the broken pipes and sagging roofs the retreating ice and snow will reveal.

    READ MORE

    After Texas Crisis, Biden’s Climate Plan Hangs on Fragile Grid

    The millions of people who struggled to keep warm in Texas, with blackouts crippling life inside a dominant energy hub, have laid bare the desperate state of U.S. electricity grids. To fix nationwide vulnerabilities, President Joe Biden will have to completely reimagine the American way of producing and transmitting electricity.

    READ MORE

    White House Scraps Trump’s Industry-Led Apprenticeship Model (1)

    The White House is discontinuing a Trump administration workforce initiative that sought to deregulate government-funded apprenticeship programs by shifting oversight to industry groups.

    READ MORE

    Marty Walsh’s Story Gives Him an Edge in Biden Labor Messaging

    Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s working-class background and Everyman ethic may be his secret weapon if confirmed as U.S. labor secretary, giving him a way to relate to the average American in promoting President Joe Biden‘s labor and jobs agenda.

    READ MORE

    DOL Deputy Pick Julie Su Pledges Recusal From California Agency

    President Joe Biden‘s choice for deputy labor secretary, Julie Su, pledged to distance herself from actions involving the California workforce agency she currently leads, as part of an agreement approved by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

    Documents Attached

    READ MORE

    Column

    Punching In: Labor Leaders Seeking Big-Project Love From Biden

    While a meeting last week between organized labor leaders and the White House went smoothly, behind the scenes unions are asking to strengthen a 2009 executive order that allowed federal agencies to require project labor agreements, or PLAs, on large public construction contracts.

    READ MORE

    Biden’s Economic Legacy at Stake as Next Package Takes Shape (1)

    The next phase of President Joe Biden’s legislative agenda is fast taking shape, with an economic-recovery package that will potentially far surpass his $1.9 trillion virus-relief plan in size, complexity and overall ambition.

    READ MORE

    Watchdog Finds OSHA Injury Reporting Woes, Limited Enforcement

    Fewer than half of all employers are complying with OSHA injury and illness reporting requirements because of the agency’s outdated notification methods and near-toothless enforcement, a federal watchdog said.

    Documents Attached

    READ MORE

    DeFazio’s Ambitious Goals Include Water Infrastructure Upgrade

    The House’s top infrastructure lawmaker is prepared to pursue ambitious goals in the coming months, including more investment in a critical federal program that helps provide clean wastewater throughout the country.

    READ MORE

    Amid Virus Shield Laws and Workers’ Comp, Lawyers Seek Gaps (1)

    Liability shield laws designed to protect businesses from Covid-19 lawsuits are trending again in Republican-majority state legislatures after several were adopted last year, but court arguments in early cases suggest they can be redundant.

    Documents Attached

    READ MORE


  • IUEC Local 9

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