Blackstone (NYSE:BX) today announced that its dedicated infrastructure business has adopted a Responsible Contractor Policy that includes an agreement to cooperate with North America’s Building Trades Unions (“NABTU”) to include “responsible contractors” in the bidding and selection process for its investments. Through this policy, Blackstone will promote fair benefits, wages, working conditions, and training opportunities for construction workers on projects for Blackstone’s dedicated infrastructure business.
In May, Blackstone announced the launch of its dedicated infrastructure investment vehicle with an anchor $20 billion commitment by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Blackstone anticipates that, over time, the program will have $40 billion in total equity commitments in a permanent capital vehicle, including $20 billion to be raised from other investors. Overall, through the equity in this vehicle and additional debt financing, Blackstone expects to invest in more than $100 billion of infrastructure projects, principally in the United States.
Sean Klimczak, Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Blackstone’s Infrastructure business, said: “Rebuilding our country’s aging infrastructure will create badly needed jobs with good wages and benefits for construction workers throughout the United States. At Blackstone, we have a strong track record of responsible engagement with workers, their labor union representatives, and the communities in which we invest. We are proud to partner with the NABTU in this effort because we believe a fairly compensated and well-trained workforce is critical to producing high-quality infrastructure projects that help drive local economic growth.”
Sean McGarvey, President of North America’s Building Trades Unions, said: “We are proud to partner with Blackstone on ensuring good jobs and pathways for disadvantaged communities in the launch of their dedicated infrastructure business. This agreement creates opportunities for our members and contractors, while strengthening job training for women, veterans and communities of color. As we mark Labor Day this year, we are excited and proud to get down to the work of rebuilding our country.”
Under this Responsible Contractor Policy, Blackstone’s infrastructure business expresses its strong preference for the selection of contractors in its projects that, among other things, meet the following criteria:
- Operate in compliance with local, state, and national laws related to labor, insurance, withholding taxes, anti-discrimination, environment, occupational health and safety, and the right of workers to join unions;
- Provide employer-paid training, which may include apprenticeship programs and apprenticeship readiness programs;
- Maintain and consistently implement a workplace health and safety program, consistent with applicable laws and industry best practices;
- Have a commitment to ethical conduct and transparent reporting of incidents; and
- Have the requisite skill, experience, and dependability (with respect to time and budget) that are appropriate for the relevant project.