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Labor Board rules open employees’ e-mail to union communications

National Labor Relations Board had adopted a final Representation–Case Procedures rule to modernize and streamline union organizing and election dispute resolution, Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce noting: “With these changes, the Board strives to ensure [the] process remains a model of fairness and efficiency for all.”

 

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Report shows marked improvement for cities’ fiscal outlook

Officials are overwhelmingly optimistic about the health and direction of local fiscal conditions for the first time since the recession, according to the National League of Cities’ 29th annual City Fiscal Conditions. The report confirms the first positive growth in five years, coupled with resumption of hiring among League members.

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EPA ‘Waters’ rule clouds aggregate supplies, concrete plant management, construction permits

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Government Affairs staff is tracking the Environmental Protection Agency’s expansion of the jurisdiction of waters covered under the Clean Water Act, noting how a proposed rule “holds unnecessary and overreaching regulatory implications that would adversely affect ready mixed concrete operations, such as washout pits, sedimentation ponds, settling basins.”

Read more: EPA ‘Waters’ rule clouds aggregate supplies, concrete plant management, construction permits

Transportation funding initiatives prevail on election day

Voters across the nation expressed support for increased investment in surface transportation, approving 60 out of 90 related initiatives on November ballots. The approved measures will provide nearly $21 billion in additional funds for transportation projects, reports the American Road and Transportation Builders Association Transportation Investment Advocacy Center.

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Contractor cited in job fatality

OSHA has proposed $14,000 in fines for Van Kirk Sand and Gravel, which operates as Van Kirk Brothers Contracting, for two serious safety violations related to a July 2014 incident in Holdrege, Neb., where two workers were injured, one fatally, while installing drainage structures. An inspection found that one of the employees sustained puncture wounds from a bucket after it disconnected from the excavator and rolled into the trench from a height of about 4 feet. He died from his injuries later that day. The other suffered contusions and abrasions in the incident and has since returned to work. Van Kirk was cited for failing to train workers in the recognition of unsafe conditions and to teach them how to access emergency medical services from a job site.