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‘Good Jobs’ Plan Aimed at Worker Rights, Labor Chief Says (1)

Jan. 21, 2022, 7:14 PMUpdated: Jan. 21, 2022, 8:35 PM

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh announced a new effort from the Biden administration dubbed the “Good Jobs Initiative” aimed at providing workers with more information about their unionization rights and boosting protections in federal contracts.

Walsh said Friday the U.S. Labor Department initiative will provide technical assistance to ensure “prevailing wages, paid leave, registered apprenticeships, and pre-apprenticeships” in government contracting and grant programs.

“We’re going to speak directly to workers—making sure they have the information they need to exercise their rights, find good jobs, and get in-demand skills,” Walsh said while announcing the effort at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C.

A key piece of the initiative would support the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Public Law 117-58), which is expected to create hundreds of federally funded construction projects, according to a summary of the proposal.

The DOL says it will assist federal agencies and provide guidance on compliance with federal labor standards such as the Davis Bacon Act, anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity requirements, as well as Project Labor Agreements and “free and fair union organizing and collective bargaining.”

The DOL also will work with community leaders and employers to identify ways to “improve job quality,” which according to Walsh will help grow local economies and drive the economic recovery.

“Consistent with applicable legal authority, the initiative will ensure that workers, employers and other agencies continue to have access to these resources in building job quality standards and equitable pathways to those jobs,” the DOL said in a statement on the effort.

(Updated with additional reporting throughout. )

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Rainey at rrainey@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Martha Mueller Neff at mmuellerneff@bloomberglaw.com, Melissa B. Robinson at mrobinson@bloomberglaw.com

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