Belaboring Labor Board

Your recent editorial regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s decision on bannering seemed to be based on the premise that, because the best interests of the industry rest on having robust union and open-shop employers, the industry is better off if the labor law is interpreted by the boards so that both are healthy.

I am disappointed that ENR would seek to engage in an exercise intended to balance the equities rather than to take a position that is based exclusively on simply supporting what is right and promotes free and open competition for the entire construction industry.

If ENR was consisent in its effort to balance the [different sides of controversial issues] as it purports to be, then why has it not weighed in on such disparate issues as decisions under the Hobbs Act or anti-trust laws that clearly favor union employers over open-shop employers? Where has ENR been on these important issues, which have created a competitive imbalance that favors union employers over open-shop employers?

I am under the impression that ENR is simply catering to the industry on an issue-by-issue basis—regardless of the merits of any issue—in order to avoid alienating one side of the industry. I would challenge ENR to simply stand up for what’s right—regardless of which part of the industry may be offended—and try not to engage in a shallow balancing act that has no basis in principal.


Frederic L. Plotnick, who blogs frequently about planning, scheduling and the legal aspects of engineering and construction, recently wrote about the certification process for scheduling professionals. He remarked upon the spread of software programs and suggested that requiring narrative answers on the examination reveals subject knowledge more than mastery of software. Several readers responded; one reader, writing anonymously, wrote the following.

I am not a planning and scheduling professional, but I like the idea of requiring narratives in examinations generally. Narratives test understanding like no paint-by-the-numbers questions could ever hope to.