The National Labor Relations Board has upheld unions’ right to display large, inflatable rats at workplaces of secondary employers, including companies that hire nonunion firms to build or retrofit buildings. In a May 26 decision, NLRB’s three Democrats—Chairman Wilma Liebman and members Craig Becker and Mark Pearce—said the use of rats at such workplaces is not coercive. They said unions protesting at a hospital did not shout, block access or otherwise disrupt hospital operations. The board’s only Republican, Brian Hayes, dissented. He said, “For pedestrians or occupants of cars passing in the shadow of the rat balloon, which proclaims the
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.