Infrastructure bill offers telecommunications unions $ 43 billion in windfall

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The part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill dedicated to distributing $ 42.5 billion in broadband funds would give preference to companies used to following labor and employment laws – a requirement which, in practice, could give professionalized unionized workers an advantage over the constellation of subcontractors. that power the telecommunications industry. Under legislation passed by the Senate, which the House could vote on this week, groups that receive federal money for broadband work – including state and local governments and nonprofits – should take into account a company’s “demonstrated record and plans to be in compliance with federal labor and employment laws” before allocating money for a specific project. Recipients should also prioritize three other factors: the speed of the broadband service offered, the speed at which the project can be completed and the fact that it is in a very poor and underserved area. is well-trained would probably have an easier time complying with the new federal requirements, which would give them an advantage in the tendering process. This has long been true for trade unions. e construction, who tend to negotiate competitive rates of pay consistent with salary requirements on federal projects. Some unions predict that the workforce requirements could deter large telecommunications companies from seeking federal funds for broadband expansion, while others close to the industry say the requirements could s prove difficult to apply.


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