The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, June 23, 2017

News Briefs

By The Building Tradesman

Good times for U.S. contractors

A strong domestic market for the construction industry continued to be evident via the Engineering News Record's annual list of the Top 400 Contractors (by revenue), which was released last month.

"For ENR’s Top 400 Contractors, the construction market is going strong and predictions of a leveling off or even a decline have been premature," the ENR said in its preamble for the list. "While many in the industry now believe the market will remain healthy for the foreseeable future, large contractors in the big-ticket international oil-and-gas and mining markets did take another hit in 2016—although most are weathering that storm."

The ENR said 2016 "was a strong one for the Top 400, which generated a record $366.41 billion in contracting revenue, an increase of 6.5 percent from 2015. In 2016, the ENR said contracting revenue for domestic construction rose a healthy 9.7 percent from 2015, on top of a 9.5 percent rise in 2015. However, outside U.S. borders, U.S. contracting dropped 12.5 percent from 2015 to 2016.

For Michigan's top contractors, the song remained (mostly) the same, at least in terms of the companies staying at the top of the list. Of the Michigan companies that made the list last year, only  Triangle Associates (Grand Rapids) fell off the list this year. The remainder stayed on the list, with Sachse and George W. Auch joining them.

That list includes: Aristeo, Livonia (ranked No. 166 in 2017 -32 compared to 2016); Commercial Contracting Group, Auburn Hills (No. 258, -16); Wieland, Lansing (No. 260, -14); Granger, Lansing (No. 318 -63); Roncelli, Sterling Heights (No. 320, -28); Clark Construction (No. 338, -5); Pioneer Construction (No. 340, -17); Sachse Construction (No 393, unlisted in 2016) and George W. Auch (No. 394, unlisted in 2016).

The top five U.S. contractors this year were Bechtel of San Francisco; Fluor of Irving, Texas; The Turner Corp. of New York, CB&I of The Woodlands, Texas, and AECOM of Los Angeles.

Anti-union bill rises in the House 

One of the only set of proposed changes to union election procedures since the 1940s have been introduced in the U.S. House, and - no surprise - they aren't union-friendly.

The Bureau of National Affairs reports that the so-called "Employee Rights Act" was introduced May 25 in the U.S. House by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.). The legislation has six Republican co-sponsors and was written with the help of the Center for Union Facts, an anti-union advocacy group.

The bill is similar to others introduced regularly since 2011, but they didn't get anywhere with President Obama's veto looming. This proposal have more of a chance this year if Republicans drop the filibuster rule, allowing legislation to pass with a simple majority in the Senate.