(Bloomberg) -- Congressional Democrats demanded in a letter Thursday that the Biden administration add more labor protections to its initiative aimed at boosting US semiconductor production.

More than 100 lawmakers asked Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to strengthen labor protections in implementing the 2022 Chips Act, which set aside subsidies worth $100 billion to convince chipmakers to build in the US.

The group wants the government to impose requirements around wages, training and the right to organize in pending contracts with companies like Intel Corp., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co. They also want worker-led safety committees included in negotiations.

Those steps are necessary given the “significant, longstanding opposition to worker organizing in the semiconductor industry and lingering safety concerns regarding the semiconductor manufacturing process,” the letter said. Signatories include Representative Donald Norcross, the New Jersey Democrat who is co-chair of the Labor Caucus, and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

The Commerce Department has received the letter and will respond through the appropriate channels, a spokesperson said. Raimondo said at a Monday event that “we’re partnering with labor leaders and labor unions and manufacturers on training the workforce of the future.” The agency has also expressed a preference for applicants whose construction sites are covered by labor agreements.

Read More: Biden’s $100 Billion Chips Bet Ensnared in Arizona Union Fight

The push echoes concerns around the Inflation Reduction Act, Democrats’ signature climate law. The ability to organize at EV battery joint ventures was a key motive for a fall strike by the United Auto Workers, who endorsed Biden last month.

Organizing the semiconductor sector may be more of an uphill battle. Only one chipmaking facility in the US is unionized, with a second under construction in California. 

Construction unions, meanwhile, have notched more chip-related wins. Formal labor accords govern major Micron Technology Inc. projects in Idaho and New York. Half a dozen unions praised a recent $1.5 billion Chips Act award to GlobalFoundries, citing longstanding labor agreements for construction workers there.

Arizona construction unions in December reached a labor accord with TSMC after a monthslong spat over safety and management issues.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.