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en/european-companies-respond-to-afl-cio-report-alleging-use-of-anti-union-tactics-in-american-south#c197803

Response by Skanska

Author: Skanska, Published on: 29 October 2019

Thank you for this opportunity to respond to the AFL-CIO report pertaining to workers rights in the American South. Generally, the AFL-CIO report is advocating for unionization of labor in the southern US. The current status of labor unionization in that region is largely driven by socioeconomic, political and legislative influences that are far broader than the construction industry, and certainly far broader than anything Skanska has the ability to meaningfully influence due to the competitive forces in the marketplace. As part of its advocacy, the AFL-CIO generally contends that alleged wage theft and other mistreatment of labor in the construction industry could be avoided through unionization. Skanska believes it has been identified in the report largely, if not exclusively, because of an alleged incident of nonpayment of wages to certain drywall laborers on a hotel project in Nashville, Tennessee. 

This incident was isolated and attributable to the conduct of Skanska’s lower tier subcontractors. Contrary to the suggestion in the AFL-CIO report, on this privately-funded project Skanska had no influence or control over the wage rates paid by its subcontractors or the actual payment of wages. When Skanska became aware of the nonpayment allegations, Skanska acted appropriately and in a manner consistent with both applicable law and its contractual obligations. The Tennessee state lawsuit identified in the report resulted from liens filed by some of the alleged unpaid laborers. Skanska was able to properly utilize amounts withheld from responsible subcontractors to discharge the liens and pay the amounts to the account of the laborers that participated in the lawsuit. The fact that Skanska is not named in the federal lawsuit filed by the alleged unpaid laborers reinforces that Skanska did not participate in any alleged wage-related wrongdoing.

Skanska takes exception to AFL-CIO’s suggestion that Skanska improperly uses anti-union subcontractors, tolerates violations of labor standards by its subcontractors and otherwise has an anti-union bias. In Tennessee, Skanska solicits competitive bids from multiple trade subcontractors, both union and nonunion. Skanska routinely awards contracts to union trade subcontractors, especially when the union trade subcontractor is the lowest responsible bidder.

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This is a response from the following companies: Skanska