November 1, 2019

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT
PRO Act Alert
  
Congress is poised to consider the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, or PRO-Act. Although this bill is not expected to become law before next year's election, a U.S. Representative's or Senator's vote in support of it today becomes precedent for future votes, when the political landscape may be more conducive for its enactment. In short, today's vote vests political capital and warrants your awareness. Key provisions include:
  • Secondary Boycotts and Strikes. Permits unions to engage in secondary boycotts. For instance, if a union has a dispute with one (primary) employer, a secondary boycott would permit that union to take coercive action against other (secondary) neutral employers as a means to prevent the second employer from doing business with the primary employer. Currently, secondary boycotts are illegal. Making them legal could mean, for instance, any strike could shutdown a jobsite to non-striking workers and suppliers. Employers also could not replace striking workers.
  • Joint Employer. The rules about joint employer liability have been in flux. Historically, a subcontractor or franchisee was considered a distinct business/employer from the principal and any liability created by the subcontractor or franchisee did not flow uphill to the principal. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decisions began to undermine this rule when the principal controlled or influenced the subcontractor. PRO-Act would remove the rule, potentially making a general contractor liable to employees of the subcontractor.
  • Independent Contractor. Similar to the joint employer issue, PRO-Act creates a new test for independent contractors that can make it more likely that general contractors will be liable for the employees of its subcontractors.
  • Increased Damages. Currently, if an employer is found to have committed an unfair labor practice, then it pays the affected employee contract damages: backpay less what the employee earned. PRO-Act changes damages from compensatory to tort: backpay, front pay, consequential damages, doubling liquidated damage plus attorney's fees.
  • Grievances to Court. Unfair labor practices currently are heard by the NLRB (absent an arbitration clause). The PRO-Act would move the cases to federal court, which tends to be longer, more expensive, public, and not specialized.
    Other. There are a number of other provisions, such as creating an exception to secret ballot representation voting and repealing state right-to-work laws.
Some unions are treating a legislator's support of the PRO-Act as a litmus test whether the union will support that legislator in 2020. Some employers are concerned these changes tilt the balance too far, undermining signatory employers' ability (and interest) to compete.
  
AGC of America considers the PRO-Act a significant, unprecedented and detrimental change to the balanced rights and relationships among employees, employers and unions. Its website has an easy way to contact your U.S. Representative and Senators. We also encourage you to raise any concerns you may have with your legislators.

EVENTS & EDUCATION
STP Registration Open
  
Registration is available for November/December Supervisory Training Program (STP) classes. Click below for more information and to register.
  
Unit 2 - Communication
  
  
Unit 6 - Risk Management and Problem Solving
AGC - MnDOT Grading Forum
  
On December 3, AGC and MnDOT will host the 12th annual all-day Transportation Construction and Grading Innovations Technology Forum. This forum offers contractor and MnDOT representatives from around the state an opportunity to hear from industry experts and discuss common current issues. Details and registration are available here.
GENERAL NEWS
Construction Industry Assessment Survey
  
Only one week left to give your input on the annual Minnesota Construction Industry Assessment! As we do each year, AGC is asking members to take a few minutes to complete a short, confidential survey to tell us how you see the present and future of Minnesota's commercial construction industry. To help complete the picture, responses will also be gathered from our architecture and engineering partners. The survey will close on November 8. Only one response per company. Thank you in advance for your participation.
Have You Downloaded AGC's App? 

AGC of Minnesota is pleased to introduce a new tool to help our members stay connected to AGC and one another - the AGC app! Keep up with the latest news, register for events, discuss issues with other AGC members in online forums, and find useful resources...all with a tap. To get connected:
  1. Download the "AGC Connection" app from iTunes or Google Play
  2. Enter your (work) email address as your username, and click "Forgot Password." You will receive an email to create a password.
  3. Log in to the app once with your credentials and start using!
If you get an error message that your username can't be found, go to www.agc.org and click the "Register" button at the top left.  Once you create an account, your email and password will work for opening the app.
Proposed One-Call Law Changes
  
The Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MNOPS) continues to review proposed changes to Minnesota's One-Call Law (Minnesota Statutes 216D). Based on stakeholder feedback, revisions have been made to the September 6, 2019 proposal. The revised language is available here . If you would like to provide comments, click here .
  
MNOPS will be holding stakeholder meetings the week of November 18, at its St. Paul office (445 Minnesota Street, Suite 147), from 9:00 to 11:00 am. AGC members are encouraged to attend. There will be a call-in option for those unable to attend in person. Following is the meeting schedule:
  
Facility operators: Monday, November 18 
One-call center: Tuesday, November 19
Engineering/survey companies: Wednesday, November 20
Locators: Thursday, November 21
Excavators: Friday, November 22
  
Call 651-201-7230 or email MNOPS at dps.mnops.response@state.mn.us if you have any questions or comments.
MPCA Grant Opportunities
  
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) currently has two grant opportunities.
  
$1.5 Million for New Electric Replacements - This grant includes a variety of vehicles and equipment for on-road use, such as trucks, as well as off-road vehicles and equipment, such as forklifts. Details and applications are available here. The application deadline is November 19.
  
$1.2 Million for Off-Road Equipment - This grant offers replacement or upgrades for older diesel equipment (or just the engine) with new, cleaner diesel, alternative fuel, or electric equipment and engines. Owners who want to save money on fuel used while idling might consider installing eligible idle reduction technology. Details and applications are available here. The application deadline is December 6.
   
CENTENNIAL NEWS
AGC of Minnesota Staff Want to Visit You

During this AGC of Minnesota centennial year, the AGC staff and centennial sponsors will travel around the state, visiting members where you are. Think root beer floats made with 1919 root beer (of course).  Will you be conducting an education day for your staff? Perhaps a holiday event? Maybe your firm will be celebrating an anniversary this year. Whatever the event - or for no specific reason - , please let us know so we can put you on the schedule. We're coming your way!
 
Contact Merry Beckmann at 612-796-2187 or mbeckmann@agcmn.org for more information and to put your firm on the calendar. This centennial year belongs to you, our members! 
CENTENNIAL SPONSORS
Last Chance to be a Centennial Sponsor
 
AGC of Minnesota is still looking for companies interested in sponsoring our final centennial event, the closing reception, being held December 11.  If your firm has not yet participated as a centennial sponsor, this is your last opportunity. Your bronze sponsorship (available to all members) will help defray event costs and bring recognition to your firm. Contact Merry Beckmann at 612-796-2187 or mbeckmann@agcmn.org  for more information. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime sponsorship opportunity!
 
We would like to thank the following, who have already pledged their support of our centennial celebrations with a bronze sponsorship: Adolfson & Peterson Construction; Advanced Masonry Restoration, Inc.; Ames Construction, Inc.; Association of Women Contractors; Blattner Energy, Inc.; Bituminous Roadways, Inc.; Bolander; Danny's Construction Company, LLC; Diamond Surface Inc.; Egan Company; Enebak Construction Company; FPI Paving Contractors, Inc.; George F. Cook Construction Company; Graham Construction Services, Inc.; Grazzini Brothers & Company; Hasslen Construction Company, Inc.; Hoffman Construction Company; JE Dunn Construction Company; J.R. Jensen Construction Company; Jorgenson Construction, Inc.; Knutson Construction Services; Kraemer North America, LLC; Kraus-Anderson Construction Company; Lakehead Constructors, Inc.; Lunda Construction Company; Magney Construction, Inc.; The Mathiowetz Construction Company; C.S. McCrossan, Inc.; McGough Construction; M.G. McGrath, Inc.; McNamara Contracting, Inc.; Molin Concrete Products Company; Mortenson Construction; PCL Construction Services, Inc.; Park Construction Co.; Rachel Contracting, Inc.; Rice Lake Construction Group; Ryan Companies US, Inc.; S & R Reinforcing, Inc.; Twin City Tile & Marble Co.; Ulland Brothers, Inc.; Viant Crane, LLC; and Woody's Rebar Co., Inc.

CAREERS

Associated General Contractors of Minnesota 

525 Park Street, Suite 110  |   St. Paul, MN 55103
651-632-8929