ABC to the White House: Do Not Exclude 87% of America’s Construction Industry From Your Infrastructure Plan

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WASHINGTON—Today, Associated Builders and Contractors and more than 900 member companies and chapters from 47 states sent a letter to the White House highlighting concerns with President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan and recommendations to improve it, streamlining the permitting process and supporting bipartisan workforce development efforts. The letter also voiced strong opposition to the Protect the Right to Organize Act.

“We urge you to work with Congress and other stakeholders to pursue a bipartisan agreement on the federal investment needed to effectively and efficiently replace and repair the nation’s critical infrastructure,” the letter said. “Importantly, we believe that any federal investment in our nation’s infrastructure must ensure an opportunity to all Americans, regardless of labor affiliation. While the American Jobs Plan seeks to inject more than $2 trillion of federal spending into the economy and our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, ABC is concerned that the proposed spending on what is traditionally considered infrastructure will not meet the needs of the nation. Specifically, only a portion of this funding is dedicated to roads and bridges—$115 billion—which is a fraction of what is needed to truly modernize America’s most critical transportation infrastructure.

“We are also concerned that the American Jobs Plan calls for passage of the PRO Act, supports inaccurate prevailing wage rates for construction projects and urges Congress to tie infrastructure investments to government-mandated project labor agreements and community workforce agreements that often discriminate against our nation’s small, women-, veteran- and minority-owned businesses. More than 87% of the construction industry does not belong to a union, and placing stringent requirements that allow only union jobs and union employers to participate in rebuilding America’s infrastructure is an ineffective strategy that is likely to increase costs, reduce job creation, decrease the number of infrastructure.”