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U.S. Chamber Asks Trump to Reconsider Construction Halt

March 23, 2020
Silhouettes of construction workers on site.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter to President Donald Trump, urging the federal government to recommend exemptions for “essential infrastructure" following the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus and 'Essential Infrastructure'

Excepting construction on essential infrastructure from the operational halt would allow individuals to leave their residence to provide services to the operations of operations deemed essential including public works construction, construction of housing, airport operations, public transportation, roads and highways, and more. 

The group also asked the President to remain open to adding more items to the specific “essential infrastructure” as conditions continue to change. 

Additional Call to Action Following COVID Labor Halt

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen Sandherr, and the President of North America’s building trades unions, Sean McGarvey, also issued a joint statement urging government officials to exempt construction work from regional, state and local work shutdowns:

“Government officials at all levels should treat the construction industry and the work it performs as vital and essential to the critical industries that must remain in operation,” they stated. 

The team continued, saying construction workers provide an “invaluable economic service, maintaining and improving the nation’s infrastructure.” This includes critically important energy and communication systems, roads and bridges, and social infrastructure, including police, fire, and health care facilities.

“Construction workers’ unique skills are essential now and in the coming weeks to construct, maintain, and repair critical infrastructure, and to build temporary health facilities and retrofit and expand existing ones.

“Labor and management construction industry partners continue to monitor and provide guidance on all recommended health and safety job site precautions for construction workers so that proper measures are deployed to ensure a safe work environment for those on the job. 

Source: AGC / U.S. Chamber

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