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Support Davis Bacon and Project Labor Agreements
We need your help. As members of a building trades union we are under attack.
Recently Republicans sought legislation in the House of Representatives that would attempt to REPEAL the Davis Bacon Act and prohibit Project Labor Agreements on federally funded projects. Fortunately the attempt was defeated on February 19th.
We need to visit, call, write communicate through every available means to our United States Congressmen and Senators, the importance of Davis Bacon and Project Labor Agreements.
The week of March 22, 2011, our representatives are back in their districts on break. Contact them now and urge them to support Davis Bacon and Project Labor Agreements!
The Davis-Bacon Act
Protecting and Enhancing American Community and Workforce Standards
America’s Building Trades Unions have long believed that the Davis-Bacon Act is sound and proven public policy, and that all federal construction spending should be subject to the Act’s prevailing wage requirements.
For their part, the opponents of the Davis-Bacon Act have, continuously and consistently based their opposition to prevailing wage laws on arguments that are erroneous and disingenuous. The organizations and ideologies behind these arguments have a vested interest in seeking the demise of the Davis-Bacon Act in order to protect and further advance an economically and socially destructive business model that it premised upon an ability to maximize opportunity and profit through the utilization, and exploitation, of a low-wage construction workforce.
America’s Building Trades Unions and their signatory contractors, on the other hand, subscribe to a business model that is explicitly structured to protect and nurture community and workforce development and wage standards.
The Davis-Bacon Act is a proven and invaluable tool to insure the best bang for the buck for the tax-payers dollars.
In the absence of prevailing wage laws, contractors do not compete on the basis of who can best train, best equip and best manage a construction crew. Instead, they compete on the basis of who can find the cheapest workers, either locally or by importing labor from elsewhere. This, in and of itself, puts the quality of construction, and in many cases, taxpayer investments, at risk. In fact, numerous studies have shown that in local areas where prevailing wage laws have been repealed substantial cost overruns become the norm.
The Davis-Bacon Act insures that local communities, and America in general, are better off in the long run when federal construction investments encourage competition that seeks to protect local standards, develop a skilled workforce for the future, offer substantive and stable career opportunities for all Americans, and pay decent wages and provide health insurance and pension benefits.
Points to Highlight regarding
Project Labor Agreements
Project Labor Agreements (PLA)
- A project labor agreement is a business model that increases the efficiency and quality of construction projects for the private sector as well as local, state, and federal government(s)
- It is a pre?hire collective bargaining agreement that establishes the terms and conditions of employment for all workers and their respective crafts on one or more construction project(s).
- Used on all types of construction projects such as schools, hospitals, power plants, government buildings, and sports stadiums
- Widespread praise and use by Fortune 500 companies such as Walmart, Toyota, and Boeing
- Prohibits all strikes or work stoppages by all construction workers on the project
- Establishes a single procedure for handling all workforce disputes regardless of the craft
- Is an effective tool for ensuring that large and complex projects are completed on time
- Provides construction contractors with access to a highly skilled & properly trained workforce
- Creates a set wage for each craft and apprentices on the construction project, allowing for accurate budgeting by the business owner and construction contractors on and off the job site
- Encourages employment of local residents, in turn ensuring that these workers’ paychecks will be spent in the local community.
Job Training & “Pathways to a Career” for Local Citizens, Veterans, and Minorities
- May be used as a mechanism for enhancing work opportunities on the construction project for local residents, military veterans, and minorities, as well as minority contractors
- Provides workers of all skill levels with the most up?to?date training in their craft as well as on safety measures such as OSHA training
- Sets up a “pathway to a career” for veterans and young workers who can “learn while they earn” as they are trained on?the?job and in the classroom by more skilled and experienced workers
Cost Effective & Efficient
Simply put, project labor agreements help the end user (i.e. the government or private sector) increase the efficiency and quality of its project by promoting a business model that employs a highly skilled workforce.
Such a workforce ensures construction projects are built correctly the first time, on time, and as a result, on budget for the end user. This prevents costly delays that usually result from an unskilled workforce’s lack of knowledge regarding the use of building materials or tools as well as job site safety measures. Future building maintenance costs should be less, too. Regarding job site safety, a highly skilled workforce is safety certified to work in a dangerous job environment. Businesses will pay less for workers compensation and project delays because job site accidents will be less likely to occur.
Union vs. Non?Union & Workforce Standards
The PLA business model does not mandate or pre?determine a workforce to be union or non?union. It allows for the project owner, such as the government or private sector entity, to establish the workforce standards that both union and non?union workers must meet in order to be hired by contractors and sub?contractors under the PLA.
The PLA “Mandate Myth”
The federal government does not mandate PLAs. Executive Order 13502 states federal agencies may (not “shall”) require them to be used on construction projects where the total cost to the federal government is $25 million or above.
Actual language from the Executive Order:
Sec. 5. This order does not require an executive agency to use a project labor agreement on any construction project, nor does it preclude the use of a project labor agreement in circumstances not covered by this order, including leasehold arrangements and projects receiving Federal financial assistance. This order also does not require contractors or subcontractors to enter into a project labor agreement with any particular labor organization.