Biden’s Union-Only Approach Excludes 70% of Wisconsin’s Workforce

Recently, President Joe Biden boasted about creating 2,300 union construction jobs in his
announcement of a $3.3-billion investment by Microsoft to build a new artificial intelligence
data center in Racine. But his divisive, union-only agenda excludes 70% of Wisconsin’s
construction workforce during a severe labor shortage. It also carries a high price tag for all
taxpayer investments in infrastructure.

New federal regulations on prevailing wage requirements, apprenticeship programs and anticompetitive
project labor agreements on federal and federally assisted construction projects
create an excessive burden on local companies. They also stand to favor union workers and
contractors. This approach excludes more than 7 out of 10 of Wisconsin’s construction workers
who have proven their ability to build our roads, bridges and schools efficiently and safely but
do not belong to a union. These same workers live in Wisconsin communities, pay local taxes,
and should be permitted to compete for the jobs created in our state.

The requirements placed on the construction of the artificial intelligence data center not only
limit competition but increase costs 12% to 20% and will delay other clean energy and
transportation projects. Such inefficiencies burden Wisconsin taxpayers when they are already
concerned about rising costs of essential commodities like food and fuel.

Our political leaders should promote fair and open competition because that will deliver high quality
infrastructure projects at the best price for taxpayers. Policies that respect worker
choice—whether unionized or not—and enable all contractors to compete on an equal footing
will enhance the value of federal tax dollars for all Wisconsinites. Learn more at

John Mielke
Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin

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