ABC Central Texas

Advocacy

Empowering Your Voice in Construction Policy

Advocacy & Action

ABC Central Texas' Government Affairs Team

The ABC Central Texas Government Affairs Team is unwavering in its commitment to advocating for our members, workers, apprentices, and the merit shop philosophy across all local government levels through legislative sessions, hearings, and press events. They educate the community on vital local legislation, election candidates, and voting matters. Core to their mission is initiating grassroots campaigns—via letter writing, phone campaigns, and legislative visits—to address pressing issues, alongside political fundraising to support pro-construction candidates and policies.

Simultaneously, the ABC Central Texas Chapter takes a broad approach, defending the interests of the merit-based construction industry at the local, state, and federal levels. This involves monitoring and responding to the activities of special interest groups and governmental agencies that affect our industry, all to protect our members’ autonomy in business management.

A pivotal objective for the team involves enlightening Texas legislators about the merit-based construction industry’s significant role in bolstering the state’s economy, highlighting the widespread benefits for all Texans.

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Construction Advocacy in Texas
Your Voice Matters

What Role Do You Play?

As an integral community member, your active involvement is key in shaping the laws and policies that affect us all. Whether you draft letters, make phone calls, or arrange in-person meetings with your legislative representatives, each action you take carries significant weight. Rest assured, your efforts do not go unnoticed; your representatives are indeed receptive to and appreciative of the insights and feedback you provide.

Your personal story and experiences have the unique ability to transform viewpoints and influence decision-making processes. By sharing the real-world implications of legislative decisions on you, your employees, and the broader community, you contribute to a more informed and empathetic legislative process. The ABC Action App is a powerful tool in this endeavor, enabling you to directly communicate your narrative and concerns to those who can make change. Engage with this platform to ensure your voice is heard and considered in the halls of power, contributing to a future that reflects the needs and values of our community.

TAKE ACTION

ABC Action is an advanced advocacy tool that enables users to become a vital part of the ABC grassroots advocacy efforts and further the merit shop philosophy.

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Uniting for Construction Progress

Fostering Partnerships & Supporting Construction Advocacy

ABC Central Texas members understand the significant challenges the construction industry faces, often stemming from stringent and excessive governmental regulations. By uniting with our allies in the industry and the broader community, we aim to enlighten our local decision-makers on the real-world impacts of their well-meaning policies on the men and women who work within the construction sector.

Strengthening Alliances

Our efforts encompass a wide range of activities, from advocating for increased funding for state apprenticeship programs to resisting measures that unfairly target non-union (or merit shop) workers and even proposing legislation that enables local government entities to reject biased Project Labor Agreements (PLAs). The Government Affairs agenda of ABC Central Texas is dedicated to bolstering the political clout of ABC, promoting the principles of the merit shop and free enterprise. We strive for regulatory and legislative environments that align with the merit shop ideology, advocating for pragmatic solutions that support our industry’s growth and fairness.

PLAs: Limiting Fairness and Elevating Costs in Construction

What is a Project Labor Agreement (PLA)?

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Project Labor Agreements: Unpacking Fairness, Costs, and Community Impact in Construction

Project Labor Agreements bring to light several critical issues in the construction industry related to fairness, cost, and community involvement. By prioritizing certain labor groups over others, PLAs have the potential to increase project costs, limit local employment opportunities, and impose undue restrictions on contractors and workers alike.

A Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is a contentious type of agreement that can prevent contractors and their skilled workforce from participating in and securing construction projects. These agreements often bar workers from non-union, or “merit shop,” backgrounds from engaging in projects for which they are perfectly suited, leading to discrimination claims and unnecessary financial implications.

The Impact of PLAs on Construction Costs and Competition

PLAs are known to inflate the costs of construction projects by eliminating the healthy competition that typically leads to more favorable pricing and quality. By favoring certain labor groups, these agreements can increase project expenses significantly, estimates suggest by 10-30%, due to reduced competition.

Exclusion of Non-Union Workers and Apprenticeships

PLAs often exclude skilled workers, veterans, and those enrolled in state-recognized apprenticeship programs not affiliated with unions, denying them critical on-the-job training opportunities. This exclusion impacts individual career paths and affects family and community stability.

Key Statistics and Considerations

With a significant portion of the construction workforce operating outside of unions, PLAs that require a union-only labor force have many projects to bypass the local workforce entirely. This exclusionary approach disadvantages the majority of local contractors and small businesses, leading to higher costs for public projects funded by taxpayers. It also imposes restrictions on worker choice regarding union membership, benefits, and pensions.