What a Marty Walsh-led Labor Department could mean for construction

Born in Boston, Walsh joined Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 223 in 1988 and worked his way up through the ranks to lead both Local 223 and the Boston Building Trades Unions before being elected mayor in 2013. Walsh also served in the Massachusetts legislature. Labor organizations hailed Walsh’s nomination as a win for American workers and the U.S. economy. For instance, Dan Langford, executive secretary-treasurer of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, told Construction Dive that Walsh is a great pick, and said that “what’s good for unions is good for all working people.” One of the policies that could make a comeback under a Walsh DOL is the “blacklisting rule” that was part of President Barack Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which was swiftly scuttled after President Donald Trump took office. The order required that contractors submit a record of past violations related to health and safety, civil rights, wage and other federal statutes and equivalent state laws prior to bidding on projects valued at more than $500,000. Contractors would have been required to disclose the same information about their subcontractors. If contracting officers determined that a contractor’s violation record was egregious or had repeat breaches, they could deny those contractors work.


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