Government Affairs

The Government Affairs program is more than a simple lobbying operation that represents the Nevada Chapter’s interest when threats arise. Instead, the Government Affairs Department teaches and guides ABC members in direct political involvement, so members can protect and advance their interests on their own for the long-term. Direct involvement of contractors in federal, state, and especially local politics is the most effective way to preserve open competition and free enterprise in Nevada.  

Process

ABC works through its Legislative Committee in the identification of issues and the establishment of policy on subjects that will affect our members. This committee is utilized to review legislation and meets to evaluate legislative initiatives to be considered by the Nevada State Legislature during its four-month session, take positions on these proposals, and communicates the position of the industry to the appropriate legislators or regulatory agencies.

Information

The members of ABC are kept informed through a variety of publications and alerts. Legislative Action Alerts are sent to members on critical issues requesting action in a short period of time. In addition, legislative updates are printed monthly in the chapter’s newsletter, the Merit Builder, highlighting legislative issues. The legislative update is broad based and covers not only legislative proposals, but also regulatory and administrative actions, which impact the industry.

Events

ABC holds several events throughout the year that enable the members to interact with their elected
officials. These events provide an excellent opportunity for ABC members to meet face-to-face with their representatives and to have meaningful dialogue on the issues of concern to the overall organization and each individual business. Chapter members also participate in ABC’s National Legislative Conference held annually in Washington, DC. This is an excellent opportunity to interact with your congressional members and visit our nation’s capitol.

Lobbying

You don’t have the time to track all of the action of the local, state, and national legislatures and
regulatory agencies. ABC does work on your behalf to fight anti-business forces in Congress and the Nevada Legislature who seek to pass legislation that would be detrimental to the merit shop philosophy. We will be pro-active when the political landscape allows. Full-time lobbyists are operating on the state and national levels.

Project Labor Agreements

Construction contracts subject to union-only PLAs are almost always awarded exclusively to unionized contractors and their all-union workforces. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 15.6 percent of America’s private construction workforce belongs to a union. This means union-only PLAs would discriminate against more than eight out of 10 construction workers who otherwise would work on construction projects if not for a union-only PLA.  The following provisions typically discourage merit shop contractors from working on PLA projects.

 

Union-only PLAs drive up the cost of construction projects

You don’t have the time to track all of the action of the local, state, and national legislatures and
regulatory agencies. ABC does work on your behalf to fight anti-business forces in Congress and the Nevada Legislature who seek to pass legislation that would be detrimental to the merit shop philosophy. We will be pro-active when the political landscape allows. Full-time lobbyists are operating on the state and national levels.

Union-only PLAs discriminate against merit shop contractors and disadvantaged businesses

This discrimination is particularly harmful to women- and minority-owned construction businesses whose workers traditionally have been underrepresented in unions, mainly due to artificial and societal barriers in union membership and union apprenticeship and training programs. 

Union-only PLAs harm local workers

Proponents of PLAs claim union-only PLAs ensure the use of local workers, but PLA supporters fail to mention “local workers” doesn’t include local non-union workers. This rhetoric is particularly misleading when considering only 15.6 percent construction workers belong to a union. In construction markets where the demand for union labor is greater than the supply, union workers from outside the local area are given preference over qualified and available local non-union workers on PLA projects.

Union-only PLAs take away workers' rights

Workers normally are permitted to choose whether to join a union through a federally supervised private ballot election. PLAs require unions to be the exclusive bargaining representative for workers during the life of the project. The decision to elect union representation is made by the employer rather than the employees.  PLAs are called pre-hire agreements because they can be negotiated before the contractor hires any workers or employees vote on union representation. The National Labor Relations Act generally prohibits pre-hire agreements, but an exception in the act allows for these agreements only in the construction industry. In short, union-only PLAs strip away the right of construction workers to a federally supervised private ballot election when deciding whether to unionize their workplace. 

PLAs are not necessary to, and are not successful at, ensuring labor peace or keeping a project on time or on budget

Unions use the threat of labor strikes and unrest to coerce construction users into signing union-only PLAs. This is a particularly disingenuous argument bordering on blackmail because unions cause many project delays through illegal organizing and jurisdictional disputes on job sites. Merit shop workers do not strike, yet they are excluded from working on PLA projects. A 2005 report by ABC general counsel Maury Baskin, Union-Only Project Labor Agreements: The Public Record of Poor Performance, documents the numerous failures and mishaps on union-only PLA construction projects.

View the latest information about discriminatory and costly project labor agreements on ABC’s website and blog at