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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Monthly Archives: April 2018

Construction Employment Rises in 38 States and D.C. From March 2017 to March 2018 While 29 States Add Construction Jobs for the Month

April 20, 2018

Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia added construction jobs between March 2017 and March 2018, while 29 states added construction jobs between February and March, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today.  Association officials said the job gains are coming amid strong private-sector demand and new public-sector investments in school and airport construction.

Senate Confirms U.S. EPA's Second-In-Command Position

April 19, 2018

On April 12, the U.S. Senate confirmed attorney Andrew Wheeler, former lobbyist and congressional aide, to serve as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s deputy administrator.  AGC had urged the Senate to confirm Mr. Wheeler’s nomination. If EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt were to leave the agency, Wheeler would be next in line to become acting administrator.

AGC Urges NLRB to Reconsider "Quickie" Election Rule

April 19, 2018

On April 18, AGC submitted a response to the National Labor Relations Board’s Request for Information regarding representation-case procedures.  AGC also signed onto a response submitted by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW).  Both responses call on the Board to rescind or modify its 2014 rule that changed the procedures for union representation elections.  The rule is often called the “quickie” or “ambush” election rule because it expedites the procedures in a way that can disadvantage employers that oppose a union organizing campaign.

Lead Pipes, Paint, and Dust; Update on Federal Activities

April 13, 2018

Recent meetings and calls for action at the federal level indicate that the Trump Administration is mounting a coordinated and collaborative approach to target all sources of lead exposure.  There are a slew of regulatory developments focused primarily on re-evaluating, clarifying, and potentially expanding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) current program that addresses lead paint hazards – the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) program.  In addition, federal agencies are considering other sources of lead exposure, including drinking water and soil.  Following is an update on federal activities related to lead pipes, paint, and dust.

USACE Undertakes Work on AGC-Recommended Permitting Improvement

April 13, 2018

A draft U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) directive would encourage the agency to concurrently process two related permitting reviews when a project needs them—Section 408 permissions under the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 dredge and fill permits—a priority among a number of AGC’s environmental review and permitting reform recommendations. RHA Section 408 requires USACE to evaluate and grant permission for any construction projects that alter existing USACE infrastructure—e.g., bridge/road construction project over, or by, a USACE-built levee, port construction on, or in, a USACE-dredged harbor. Where a construction project needs both a Section 408 permission and Section 404 permit, USACE does not currently begin the Section 404 permitting review process until it completes the Section 408 permission process, which further delays construction projects.

Administration Announces "One Federal Decision" Policy

April 13, 2018

In Line with AGC Environmental Review Streamlining Recommendations

DOL Issues Three New Wage and Hour Opinion Letters

April 12, 2018

On April 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued 3 new opinion letters addressing compliance under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other laws.  The DOL issued the letters as part of its commitment to protect employees, enforce the law, and ensure employers have the tools for compliance.

NLRB Returns to Full Complement and Republican Majority

April 12, 2018

On April 11, the Senate confirmed John F. Ring’s appointment to the National Labor Relations Board for a term expiring on December 16, 2022.  Once Ring is sworn in, the Board will return to a full complement of five members, with a three-to-two Republican majority.  Ring is currently a partner at the law firm of Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Washington, DC, where he co-leads the firm’s Labor-Management Relations Practice representing employers in a variety of labor and employment matters.  He has been with the firm his entire legal career, starting in 1988.

Tour New Operating Engineers International Training Center June 5

April 12, 2018

International Union of Operating Engineers Pres. Jim Callahan has invited AGC members and staff to tour the union’s brand new International Training & Conference Center in Crosby, TX, on June 5.  AGC is in the process of arranging hotel accommodations at a hotel at Bush Intercontinental Airport in nearby Houston for June 4 and will host a breakfast on June 5.  Transportation to the Center will also be provided.  The tour will begin around 10:00 a.m., followed by lunch hosted by the Operating Engineers.

Construction Costs Climb in March as Wide Range of Input Costs Jump; Tariff Threats May Delay Projects and Make Some Unaffordable

April 10, 2018

Construction costs climbed again in March, with increases for a wide range of building materials, including many that are subject to proposed tariffs that could drive prices still higher and cause scarcities, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released today. Association officials warned that tariffs on some items might lead to project delays and cancellations if supplies become unobtainable or too expensive for current budgets.

Construction Employers Add 228,000 Jobs Over the Year Despite Dip in March; Industry Unemployment Rate of 7.4 Percent is Lowest Ever for the Month

April 6, 2018

Construction employment increased by 228,000 jobs over the past year despite a weather-related dip last month, and the industry’s unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent, the lowest yet for March, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Association officials called for revitalizing and adequately funding career and technical education and training programs to ensure that employment in the high-paying industry would continue to grow.

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