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NRMCA Supports Labor Nominee Acosta

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NRMCA last week joined a broad coalition in supporting the confirmation of Alex Acosta to Secretary of Labor, a position that will have a great impact on the ready mixed concrete industry. Over the past eight years, labor rules like the overtime rule, the blacklisting rule and National Labor Relations Board decisions like the joint-employer and micro-union decisions have had a negative impact on the ready mixed concrete industry. Mr. Acosta’s reputation of being an independent and fair advocate for applying the law will serve to rein in onerous regulations and justly enforcing existing rules. In addition, President Trump will fill two vacancies to the NLRB during his first term. Whoever serves as Labor Secretary will advise President Trump on these appointments.

A sampling of Mr. Acosta’s decisions as a voting member of the NLRB reflect an even-handed approach to labor cases. Law 360 described Acosta’s approach to evaluating cases as "independent and nonpartisan." Mr. Acosta was admired as someone who applied the law rather than stretched it and extended it. His open and principled approach garnered him bipartisan praise and he was viewed as being fair to both employers and employees alike. He has been confirmed by the Senate with bipartisan support three times prior to being nominated by President Trump – as a member of the NRLB, as an assistant attorney general and as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Well respected by both conservative lawmakers and labor unions alike, Alex Acosta has garnered substantial support since being named as President Trump’s second pick for Secretary of Labor. Conservative Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) praised Acosta for being a conservative who understands the law and believes in the free market. Mr. Acosta has an impressive resume. After law school, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito when Alito was on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. Acosta was appointed by President George W. Bush to fill a vacancy on the National Labor Relations Board, where he served for 18 months before serving as assistant attorney general for civil rights and later as a federal prosecutor.

It is NRMCA’s belief that Mr. Acosta will be an advocate for fairly applying the rule of law and opposing onerous regulations that add unnecessary burden to the ready mixed concrete industry. NLRB decisions like the joint-employer and micro-union decisions are beyond the scope of existing law and must be reversed. Similarly, regulations like the overtime rule, persuader rule and blacklisting rule are unnecessarily burdensome on small businesses and should be rescinded.

No date has yet been set for Mr. Acosta’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. NRMCA will continue to follow the confirmation process, support Mr. Acosta’s nomination, and keep you apprised of the progress.

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