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Labor Board walks back union election rule’s ‘ambush’ aspects

A lengthy, late-2019 notice in the Federal Register outlines modifications to the National Labor Relations Board’s Representation–Case Procedures rule, which saw 25 amendments in 2014-2105 as a part of a significant policy shift under President Barack Obama. Changes effective April 2020 sunset certain provisions enabling what opponents dubbed “ambush elections” by narrowing the window between a union petition for bargaining unit representation and rank & file voting from a 38- to 28-day average.

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Transportation economist: 2020 outlays outpace inflation

The U.S. transportation infrastructure market is expected to grow at least 5 percent this year, fueled by increased federal, state and local government investment, according to American Road & Transportation Builders Association Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black. Total construction and related-market activity in 2020 should reach $300.4 billion, up from $286.5 billion in 2019 after adjusting for project costs and inflation.

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California county embraces country’s premier Low-Carbon Concrete Code

The Marin County (Calif.) Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted an ordinance that adds a low-carbon concrete specification to the county’s building code, effective January 2020. The new code applies to foundation, column or slab mix designs for private and public construction projects in unincorporated areas, and includes pathways for compliance with either reduced cement levels or lower-emission supplementary cementitious materials. Exemptions address higher cement contents typical of structural precast and lightweight aggregate concrete mixes.

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Transportation, equipment contact lead fatal work injury categories

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 5,250 fatal work injuries in 2018, a 2 percent increase from the prior year’s 5,147 figure, but agency officials note that the fatal work injury rate last year remained unchanged at 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. Data are from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) for 2018, released late last month, and indicate mostly year-over-year figures:

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Feds zero in on bid rigging through Procurement Collusion Strike Force

The Justice Department has teamed with five federal agencies to form Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF), focused on deterring, detecting, investigating and prosecuting antitrust crimes, such as bid-rigging conspiracies and related fraudulent schemes, which undermine competition in government procurement, grant and program funding. The PCSF has launched a publicly available website, www.justice.gov/procurement-collusion-strike-force, where government procurement officials and members of the public can review information about the federal antitrust laws and training programs, and report suspected criminal activity affecting public procurement. Individuals and companies are encouraged to contact the PCSF if they have information concerning anticompetitive conduct involving federal taxpayer dollars by emailing [email protected].

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