Build America, Buy America fine print contrasts cast-in-place, precast concrete

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has formally delineated Build America, Buy America (BABA) requirements as they relate to concrete materials for Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)-funded building or nonbuilding construction projects. Final BABA sourcing requirement guidance issued last month indicates procurement interpretations relating to cast-in-place and precast concrete. It puts to rest questions surrounding IIJA…

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Workplace heat-safety measures: Training vs. temperature triggers

Ahead of a month or more of vacation for some Washington, D.C. regulars, the White House instructed the Department of Labor to issue a first ever Hazard Alert in response to an unusually hot July. The agency will ramp up enforcement of heat-safety violations, increasing inspections in high-risk industries like construction, while its Occupational Safety and Health Administration belabors a…

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CalPortland v. Teamsters narrows NLRA gray area

A willingness to take a deep dive into ready mixed concrete production and revisit a tired National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) interpretation guided the highest court in the land to appropriate action in Glacier Northwest, Inc., dba CalPortland v. International Brotherhood Of Teamsters Local Union No. 174—a case we first examined here in December 2022.  In last month’s 8-1 ruling,…

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California cement plant deal spotlights feds’ misdirected market concentration concerns

by Don Marsh Through direct action or implication of costly, prolonged legal measures, the Federal Trade Commission has helped quell a second cement plant sale in as many years. In 2021, the agency challenged the proposed sale of Giant Cement Holdings’ Keystone Cement mill in Bath, Pa. to Heidelberg Materials, then operating as Lehigh Hanson Inc. FTC officials cited concerns…

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Cement Roadstone’s Wall Street destiny

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CRH Plc guidance on 2022 performance—to which Americas Materials Solutions and Building Solutions segments comfortably contributed—offers some of the most definitive U.S. and Canadian market aspirations we’ve heard from the company during its 45 years of mining aggregate, milling cement, bagging dry mix, fabricating precast, molding masonry and delivering ready mixed concrete or asphalt this side of the pond. The…

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Contractors challenge safety status quo

Organizations whose members and market objectives align closely with those of concrete producers have launched campaigns challenging the most basic of job site safety provisions, or delineating who owns what part of the accident prevention equation.  The ASCC Education, Research & Development Foundation is live with www.hardhatstohelmets.org, stating the case for what sponsors view as stronger construction worker protection than…

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A new portal for Buy Clean era

We are into a second decade of covering ready mixed and manufactured concrete producer response to construction market catalysts driving Environmental Product Declaration preparation and submittals: The Architecture 2030 Challenge (2012), compelling proof of lower embodied carbon materials or products in project specifications, and the U.S. Green Building Council LEED v4 standard (2014-16), the first broad-based mechanism incentivizing suppliers, producers…

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Topping the 2023 radar

Major industry developments last year did not match the eventful 2021, when a dealmaking flourish put leading admixture, plant equipment and ready mixed or manufactured concrete brands or market stakes on track to change hands. But 2022 served up its share of surprises. A review of the year’s most impactful content from these pages and our companion Concrete Currents weekly…

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CalPortland asks the Supreme Court to draw a line on union recklessness

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this term involving one of the West Coast’s top cement, aggregate and ready mixed concrete players (note Government Affairs, page 11). CalPortland Co. counsel will demonstrate why justices should reverse a Washington State Supreme Court decision shielding International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 174 from liability in a 2017 Seattle plant stunt…

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National Mixer Driver Championship: A much-warranted workforce salute

The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Workforce Development Committee did not sugarcoat the results of its 2021 Mixer Driver Recruitment and Retention Survey. As we noted in a report last month, survey data shows that 28 of every 100 drivers hired in 2021 quit during the year. That placed ready mixed producers 3 points above the national resignation rate the…

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