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In this issue of ACWI Advance we take a closer look at these stories:
- Courts block several of President Biden’s Covid 19 vaccine mandates.
- The minimum wage for federal contractors will rise to $15 on Jan. 30,
- The infrastructure law sets ambitious goals for workforce development.
- Covid 19 helped keep most trucking costs low last year, research finds.
- Prologis reports that logistics space in the U.S. is effectively sold out.
- FMCSA extends waiver of trucker hours-of-service rules to Feb. 28.
- NLRB Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo says student athletes don’t exist.
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Federal courts have blocked three of the Biden administration’s forced vaccination requirements for employees, and the President himself seriously weakened a fourth aimed at federal employees.
When this was written a week ago, none of the administration’s vaccine mandates was proceeding as planned. Please keep in mind as you read this that there are new developments taking place every day across the country that impact these policies, both in the courts and administratively.
The minimum wage for federal contractors and subcontractors will rise from the current $10.95 an hour to $15.00 effective Jan. 30, 2022, and will increase each year after that.
However, the final rule issued by the Labor Department does not apply automatically to all federal contractors, notes attorney Leslie Stout-Tabackman of the Jackson Lewis law firm.
In addition to funding highways and bridges, the recently enacted $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has set ambitious goals for workforce development in manufacturing and the transportation industries.
“The way the provision works is it’s a mentorship type, apprenticeship type of initiative that tries to manage the potential for there to be a safety tradeoff,” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg explained to reporters.
Covid 19 had a major impact on trucking costs, according to the 2021 Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking published annually by the American Transportation Research Institute.
“The various line-item cost centers clearly document the numerous impacts that the Covid 19 pandemic had on trucking and the economy in general,” the ATRI report observed.
Logistics space in the United States is effectively sold out, according to the global industrial real estate giant Prologis Inc.
Demand pushed the vacancy rate to a new low of 3.9% in the third quarter, the company reported in its Industrial Business Indicator report. “What is available is increasingly more expensive,” the company observed. “Logistics customers must move fast to lock down space.”
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration expanded the commercial truck driver hours-of-service regulations waiver through Feb. 28.
Since then, it has modified the emergency declaration several times to expand and remove categories of supplies, equipment and persons to respond to changing needs for emergency relief.
If there was any doubt remaining that the Biden administration is the most pro-labor in history, it has been thoroughly obliterated by Jennifer Abruzzo, who he named General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board.
Abruzzo insists that the term “student athlete” was concocted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association with the deliberate intention to deceive and she rejected its use in any context.