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    Construction NewsBRIEFS! 10-6-2011

    Reporting requirements under a proposed rule issued by the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Office of Labor-Management Standards would be expanded for labor relations consultants (including attorneys and associations) who conduct activities to persuade employees concerning their rights to organize or bargain collectively and of the employers who receive assistance from such consultants, according to AGC of America.

    AGC urged the agency to withdraw the rule because it includes association-provided advice and education as persuader activity outside the “advice” exemption; it would damage the construction industry; and it would present additional legal and practical problems.

    For example, it presents numerous real and difficult legal and practical issues for construction employers because of the complexity of the law governing when and in what way picketing or bannering is lawful under state or federal law; when injunctive relief or damages are appropriate for improper picketing under state or federal law; which union properly has jurisdiction over which types of trade work in certain geographical areas; and which groups of employees at certain work sites in various states constitute an appropriate unit for collective bargaining purposes.

    Connecticut will be committing “substantial resources” to energy efficiency, renewable power and innovative technologies, DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty said in the keynote address to the Renewable Energy and Efficiency Summit last month. Esty said his agency is seeking $1 billion in investment in clean technology for each year over the next 10 years, and he plans to “ramp up” to devote at least 50% of department resources to clean energy technology.

    Connecticut ranks among the top ten states in terms of an abundance of business regulations, which can result in a business climate that can “hamstring business owners and entrepreneurs who simply don’t have the resources of larger firms to cope with these constraints,” said Steven P. Lanza, executive editor of UConn’s quarterly publication, The Connecticut Economy and author of “Economic Regulation of Business: Market Safeguard or Development Straight Jacket?”.

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