Concrete Products

FEB 2019

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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Page 7 of 77

Job seekers were flooded with positive labor market sig- nals in 2018, wage spikes, widespread openings, workforce development initiatives, and employer training commit- ments from President Trump's Pledge to America's Workers among them. The Associated General Contractors of Amer- ica and Associated Builders & Contractors peg construction labor pool growth at more than 4 percent last year. Chal- lenges members of both groups continually cite in finding qualified workers suggest another construction season friendly to tradesmen who want hours and know a good time for wage premiums when they see it. Happy workers and market-driven compensation gains spell another flat or off year for union organizers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the 14.7 million wage and salary workers who were members of unions in 2018 accounted for 10.5 percent of the U.S. workforce, down 0.2 percent year-over- year. The figure underscores a sustained membership rate decline since 1983, the first year for which comparable worker data are available. BLS calculated a rank-and-file of 17.7 million workers 36 years ago, or 20.1 percent of the wage and salary workforce. BLS data on organized labor's dwindling fortunes surfaced just as nonunion contractors J.D. Eckman Inc. and Allan Myers LP prevailed in a Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania challenge to a project labor agreement (PLA) mandate the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation applied to the second phase of a Markley Street/U.S. 202 rebuilding project in Montgomery County (note this month's Government Affairs report, page 8). Unencumbered by a PLA mandate and thereby free to assign labor it knew could execute a construction plan, J.D. Eckman underbid the closest union contractor by more than $500,000 in the first phase, completing work well ahead of schedule. In the second phase, PennDOT tied J.D. Eckman, Allan Myers and other prospective bidders to a PLA favoring crews from 11 Building and Construction Council of Philadelphia and Vicinity or United Steel Workers locals. "The PLA introduced 'uncertainty in bidding the job' for prequalified nonunion contractors," observed Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt in a ruling for petitioners representing J.D. Eckman and Allan Myers. "Notwithstanding (its) lip service to the principle of competitive bidding, the PLA does not place nonunion contrac- tors on 'an equal footing' with union contractors." Although different from Markley Street contract skills requirements, a demon- stration in one of the hottest areas of low rise building envelopes speaks to the latitude contractors deserve in competitive bidding (note "Eldorado-backed study reveals labor savings potential in veneer substrates," page 22). Teaming with Boral America's Eldorado Stone business and modified mortar supplier Laticrete International, PermaBoard cement board developer National Gypsum Co. enlisted Home Innovation Research Labs to test exterior finishing labor, material and substrate metrics. Using Group Timing Technique sampling and widely accepted manufactured stone installation standards, lab staff compared masonry and carpentry crew man-hour requirements on 275-sq.-ft. exterior wall sections with Eldorado Stone veneer on mortar and lath versus Laticrete mortar on PermaBoard. The carpentry crew bested its masonry counterpart by 3.5 man-hours on the test with the latter substrate. The Home Innovation Research findings spell new flexibility for builders eyeing manufactured stone veneer for their next custom or tract project. They also reinforce a guiding principle for departments of transportation or other public agencies serving as taxpayer fiduciaries on all construction endeavors: When operating on a level playing field with crews of their choosing, competent builders and contractors nail economy, efficiency and performance. EDITORIAL BY DON MARSH SEMCO PUBLISHING CORPORATE OFFICE 8751 East Hampden Avenue, Suite B-1 Denver, Colorado 80231 U.S.A. P: +1.303.283.0640 F: +1.303.283.0641 PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER Peter Johnson, EDITOR Don Marsh, ASSOCIATE EDITOR Josephine Patterson, PRODUCTION MANAGER Dan Fitts, GRAPHIC DESIGNER Michael Florman, PROJECT MANAGER Tanna Holzer, CIRCULATION Juanita Walters, SALES U.S., CANADA SALES Bill Green, Tel +1 414 212 8266 GERMANY SALES Gerd Strasmann, Tel +49 2191 93 1497 SCANDiNAVIA, UNITED KINGDOM AND WESTERN EUROPE SALES Jeff Draycott, Tel +44 (0) 786 6922148 Colm Barry, Tel +46 (0) 736 334670 JAPAN SALES Masao Ishiguro, Tel +81 (3) 3719 0775 AUSTRALIA/ASIA SALES Lanita Idrus, Tel +61 3 9006 1742 Concrete Products, Volume 72, Issue 2, (ISSN 0010-5368, USPS 128-180) is published monthly by Mining Media Inc., dba Semco Publishing, 10 Sedgwick Drive, Englewood, Colorado 80113. Periodicals postage paid at Englewood Colorado, and additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40845540. Canada return address: Station A, PO Box 54, Windsor ON N9A 6J5, Current and back issues and additional resources, including subscription request forms and an editorial calander, are available online at SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualified subscribers. Non-qualified persons may subscribe at the following rates: USA and Canada, 1 year $72.00, 2 year $119.00, 3 year $161.00. For subscriber services or to order single copies, write to Concrete Products, 8751 East Hampden Avenue, Suite B1, Denver, Colorado 80231 USA; call +1.303.283.0640 ext. 207 (USA) or visit ARCHIVES AND MICROFORM: This magazine is available for research and retrieval of selected archived articles from leading electronic databases and online search services, including Factiva, LexisNexis, and ProQuest. For microform availability, contact ProQuest at 800-521-0600 or +1.734-761-4700, or search the Serials in Microform listings at POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Concrete Products, PO Box 828, Northbrook, IL 60065-0828. REPRINTS: Concrete Products, 8751 East Hampden Avenue, Suite B1, Denver, CO 80231 USA; P: +1.303.283.0640 ext. 207, F: 1+303.283.0641, PHOTOCOPIES: Authorization to photocopy articles for internal corporate, personal, or instructional use may be obtained from the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) at +1.978.750.8400. To obtain further information, visit COPYRIGHT 2019: Concrete Products ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Circuation audited by Official Media Partner 4 • February 2019 Honoring contractors' competitive drive

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