President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan includes new workforce investments, labor preferences and the PRO Act.
The overall labor intent of the plan is to prioritize the construction investments are made with union labor. And, the Administration hopes to do just that with including the PRO Act in its plan. The PRO Act continues to be a top priority of the AFL-CIO to overturn decades of federal labor policy to arm unions with practically every legal and tactical advantage to gain the most favorable terms possible. While the PRO Act passed the U.S. House earlier this year, it has stalled in the Senate as Democratic leaders debate whether to change the filibuster rules to make its passage possible.
Labor provisions in the American Jobs Plan are consistent with previous Democratic-led infrastructure proposals that include expanding prevailing wages, use of project labor agreements, local hire and registered apprenticeship requirements. The proposal builds on these efforts by providing federal enforcement agencies new tools and increased penalties to enforce labor, safety, discrimination, and employment laws. However, the extent and the full scope of the labor policies will have to wait until formal legislation is presented to evaluate the impact on the industry.
The American Jobs Plan prioritizes workforce investments with a historic $100 billion dedicated to providing a trained and skilled workforce. AGC welcomes the combining workforce investment with dedicated infrastructure investment. The proposal targets and prioritizes investments in the hardest hit communities, establishes partnerships among all stakeholders, including employers, and provides tools for ensuring long-term employment in impacted industries to restore access to a robust labor supply for construction firms and the economy. However, details of the specific policy changes have been slow to develop. AGC will continue to monitor the impact on the industry.