BALTIMORE (WJZ) — President Joe Biden appeared at an Upper Marlboro union hall on Friday to sign an executive order adding project labor agreements to all federal contracts for construction projects.

Such agreements are reached with labor groups before a job is started to establish the terms and conditions of a contract. Biden said the agreements will ensure major projects, such as the ones in the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will come in on time and under budget.

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“They ensure that major projects are handled by well-trained, well-prepared, highly skilled workers and they ward off problems,” Biden said of the agreements. “They resolve disputes ahead of time, ensuring safer work sites, avoiding disruptions and work stoppages that can cause expensive delays down the line.”

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The president delivered remarks to workers and elected officials at Ironworkers Local 5 in Upper Marlboro.

Following his visit last week to the site of a bridge collapse in Pittsburgh, Biden said the improvements to roads, bridges, airports, ports, power stations and public transportation in the infrastructure bill are coming at a critical time. No deaths have been reported in that incident, but 10 people were injured, including four who were hospitalized.

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“We can’t count on miracles like what happened out in Pittsburgh to prevent tragedies that are waiting in plain sight,” he said. “But we can count on, what America has always counted on, the American worker, the hardest-working, best-trained workers in the world.”

CBS Baltimore Staff