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Rail News: Labor

USDOT withdraws local-hiring plan for federally funded projects


The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has withdrawn an Obama-era proposal that allowed cities receiving federal grant funds to use geographic hiring preferences for federally-funded projects.

The proposal revised a 1988 rule that prohibited the use of local-hire practices in the expenditure of federal grant funds, according to a press release issued by labor advocacy organization Jobs to Move America. The withdrawal took effect Aug. 25.

The administration's "withdrawal of support for local job creation directly contradicts President Trump's stated commitment to creating good jobs for people in this country," said Madeline Janis, executive director of Jobs to Move America. "Many Americans continue to suffer from poverty and inequality and desperately need the opportunities that are created by our federal infrastructure and transportation investments. Why not give local communities the opportunity to benefit from taxpayer investment?"

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Phillip Washington have cosigned a letter opposing the termination of the rule enabling local-hiring preferences.

For Metro, the federal prohibition on local hiring "no longer makes sense or represents sound policy" since most of the agency's major projects are being paid for by Los Angeles County taxpayers, Washington told Capital & Main.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/28/2017