Statement of Mark H. Ayers, President of the Building and Construction Trades Department, on U.S. Senate Action to Uphold Davis-Bacon Act Protections on FAA Construction
04 Feb, 2011, 01:58 ET
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's Building Trades Unions applaud the bi-partisan action taken yesterday by the U.S. Senate to defeat an attempt by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to deny Davis-Bacon Act wage protections on Federal Aviation Administration construction projects. By a vote of 55-42, the Senate tabled Paul's amendment to the FAA re-authorization bill (S.223). We were especially pleased that three Republican senators – Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Mike Johanns (R-NE) – voted in favor of tabling this amendment.
The Davis-Bacon Act is sound and proven public policy. Senator Paul's actions yesterday were nothing more than a political stunt; particularly in light of the fact that Kentucky has its own state prevailing wage law – which demonstrates just how far out of step Senator Paul is, even with his own constituents. Opponents of the Davis-Bacon Act have always had a vested interest in seeking its demise in order to protect and further advance an economically and socially destructive business model in the construction industry that it premised upon the ability to maximize opportunity and profit through the utilization, and exploitation, of a low-wage construction workforce.
In the absence of prevailing wage laws that protect community standards, 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 In fact, numerous studies have shown that in local areas where prevailing wage laws have been repealed substantial cost overruns become the norm.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 Building and Construction Trades Department is an alliance of 13 national and international unions that collectively represent over 2 million skilled craft professionals in the United States and Canada
SOURCE Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO
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