AGC Issues Statement After Major Construction Projects Halted
Editor's Note: The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America,
Stephen E. Sandherr, has issued the following statement in reaction to steps being
taken to put in place arbitrary halts to construction activity in certain parts of the country:
“Halting construction activity will do more harm than
good for construction workers, community residents and the economy. Construction
firms are already acting to ensure the safety and health of their employees in
the face of the coronavirus outbreak. These new measures, which include increased
hygiene and halting group gatherings of staff, are in addition to the fact construction
workers already wear protective equipment, including gloves that will help protect them and their co-workers.
“Given the precautions already in place, halting construction will do little
to protect the health and safety of construction workers. But it will go a long
way in undermining economic vitality by depriving millions of workers of the wages
they will need over the coming days. At the same time, these measures have the
potential to bankrupt many construction firms who have contractual obligations
to stay on schedule or risk incurring significant financial penalties.
“In addition, halting construction projects will undermine ongoing, and future,
recovery efforts in regions hit by natural disasters, and will also undermine
any future efforts to expand hospital capacity.
"We understand the need for social distancing to help slow
the spread of coronavirus. But needlessly shutting down projects where workers
are already protected will not help. Instead it will threaten the livelihood of
millions of craft professionals, force many small and family-owned businesses
to shut down, and undermine the nation’s ability to respond to natural disasters, including the coronavirus.
“In the unfortunate event construction is halted, we urge construction owners
to consider continuing their scheduled payments to contractors as a down payment
for work to be completed on the project. These payments will help mitigate some
of the potential economic impacts of construction shutdowns.”
About The Associated General Contractors Of America
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is a leading association for the construction industry. AGC represents more than 26,000 firms, including over 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 9,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 10,500 service providers and suppliers are also associated with AGC, all through a nationwide network of chapters. To learn more, visit www.agc.org.