Lawmakers who support the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation that would make it easier for unions to organize, continue to hold backroom negotiations to find a way to change the bill to avoid a filibuster in the Senate. Construction groups oppose provisions that permit elections without a secret ballot and require binding arbitration to settle disputes. Geoff Burr, vice president of government affairs with Associated Builders and Contractors, says even if some provisions were removed to reach cloture, once the bill goes to the floor, senators can reinstate those provisions by amendment. Kate Cyrul, a spokeswoman for Sen. Tom Harkin
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.