Sen. Arlen Specter’s announcement that he would not support a cloture vote on the Employee Free Choice Act may stall action for now on the bill, the center of a fierce fight between labor unions and business groups. But construction union and industry officials are not ruling out a vote on the measure before Memorial Day. Major retailers now are proposing a compromise. “I won’t be satisfied that the bill is dead until Congress adjourns…in 2010,” says Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors, which opposes the legislation. Specter, the lone Republican to vote to close debate
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.