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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Labor & HR

June 12, 2009

In an All-Agency Memorandum issued on May 29, 2009, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has provided guidance to contracting agencies on the applicability of Davis-Bacon labor standards to federal and federally-assisted construction work funded in whole or in part under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  The memorandum provides a summary of the prevailing wage labor standards applicable to construction projects funded under Division A of the ARRA, highlights federal agencies' responsibilities in implementing Davis-Bacon labor standards, and provides links to online resources for additional information. 

June 5, 2009
The first AGC-NCAII regional meeting took place at the Carpenters training facility in Philadelphia, PA, on May 28.  Members and staff from the Philadelphia Builders Chapter, Contractors Association of Eastern Pennsylvania, and AGC of New Jersey attended, along with the general presidents and regional business managers of the Carpenters and Operating Engineers unions, AGC Union Contractors Committee Staff Associate Denise Gold, and NCAII Executive Vice President Ray Poupore.  The NCAII - an abbreviation of National Construction Alliance II - is a partnership of the Carpenters and Operating Engineers international unions.  The "II" was added after the Laborers dropped out of the alliance last year. 
June 5, 2009
The federal government has agreed to even further delay implementation of the E-Verify rule for federal contractors.  Contracts and solicitations issued prior to September 8, 2009, will not contain the mandate. 
May 18, 2009
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (KY, MI, OH, TN) has issued two opinions in recent months addressing whether contractors signatory to the General President's Project Maintenance Agreement (GPPMA) were liable for contributions to certain local funds.
May 15, 2009
In addition to the many employer mandates enacted by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), new efforts to assist the nation's unemployed have been introduced, potentially causing an increase in state-mandated unemployment taxes for employers.  Because employers are seemingly no longer responsible for former workers, many employers may not have realized the affect of this initiative on their respective companies.
May 15, 2009
Construction executive salaries increased an average of 4.6 percent in 2008, according to the latest Contractor Compensation Quarterly published by PAS, Inc.  Although last year's increase was not as significant as the 5.4 percent increases reported in 2006 and 2007, buying power for those executives who received raises still rose in 2008, as the inflation rate remained unchanged at zero percent.
May 15, 2009
On April 30, 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a shift in its workforce enforcement priorities from the prosecution of illegal aliens working in the United States to the prosecution of employers who knowingly hire them.  According to a fact sheet distributed by DHS, only 135 of 6,000 arrests related to worksite enforcement in 2008 were employers.  As a result, DHS issued new guidelines to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with instructions to immediately "focus its resources in the worksite enforcement program on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers in order to target the root cause of illegal immigration." 
May 14, 2009
The National Labor Relations Board has held that Laborers Local 79 violated the National Labor Relations Act when it threatened a real estate developer that it would picket and "shut down" the developer's job site unless demolition work was performed by a union contractor. 
May 13, 2009
The cost of construction-industry collective bargaining agreement (CBA) terms and conditions as a percentage of wages and fringes was unchanged in 2008 at 6.4 percent, according to the Construction Labor Research Council's (CLRC) latest Cost of Terms and Conditions in Collective Bargaining Agreements report.  The dollar cost of these items increased, as the cost of many contract terms is directly related to wage rates, which increased. 
May 12, 2009
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a collective bargaining agreement that "clearly and unmistakably" requires union members to arbitrate claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is enforceable as a matter of federal law.  The case is 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, 129 S.Ct. 1456 (April 1, 2009).

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