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Lest We Forget

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					A P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E N AT I O N A L A L L I A N C E F O R FA I R C O N T R A C T I N G , I N C .




W W W.FAI RC ONTRACTI NG.ORG                                                             SPRING 2009




               “Lest We Forget”
                     Worker’s Memorial Day
                         April 28, 2009




REBUILDING AMERICA • FEDERAL CONTRACTING REFORM • PROTECTING AMERICA’S WORKER’S ACT
                                                                                   Spring 2009
                                                                                                   Board of Directors
                                                                                                      Rocco Davis, Chairman
                                                                                                 LIUNA Pacific Southwest Regional Manager

                                                                                                    Scott Larkin, Co-Chairman
                                                                                                       Central Illinois Builders, AGC
                    Table of Contents                                                                Karen Courtney, Secretary
                                                                                                             Foundation for
Calls For Reforming The Federal Contracting System . . . . . . . . .                       4          Fair Contracting Massachusetts

                                                                                                               John Penn
President Obama Announces Key Administration Posts . . . . . 7                                      LIUNA Midwest Regional Manager


Unions Are Good for the American Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
                                                                                                             Marc Poulos
                                                                                                         Indiana, Illinois & Iowa
                                                                                                      Foundation for Fair Contracting

Worksite Enforcement Strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10                     Sean McGarvey
                                                                                                       Secretary-Treasurer Building
Secretary Solis unveils DOL’s 2010 budget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11                       Trades Department AFL-CIO

                                                                                                              Steve White
Keep Prevailing-Wage Laws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12                 ACT Foundation


Maryland Governor Signs “Workplace Fraud Act” . . . . . . . . 13
                                                                                                            Paul Von Berg
                                                                                                           Brutoco Engineering

Protecting America’s Workers Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14                       Brian Tobin
                                                                                                            AGC of New Jersey

Meet Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15                                James Reed
                                                                                                      Center for Contract Compliance

   ON THE COVER: The Workers Memorial was paid for by donations                                             David Letinich
   from union members and “is dedicated to the memory of thousands of                             Washington Fair Contracting Foundation
   Illinois workers killed and injured on the job.” The statue was dedicated
                                                                                                              Lou Sancio
   on April 28, 1992 with national AFL-CIO president Lane Kirkland                                  Alliance for Competitive Contracting
   giving the keynote speech. It is located at 2nd & Capitol , Springfield, IL
   62701. Cover photograph by: Tim Roseberry, Public Information
   Officer, Mid-West Region-LIUNA
                                                                                                            Diane Ravnik
                                                                                                         Western States Consultant


   Since 1990, the National Alliance for Fair Contracting (NAFC) has been providing a
                                                                                                          Michael McNelly
   forum in the construction industry for those interested in fair, competitive contracting.             Director of Governmental
   NAFC is a labor-management organization that promotes a “level playing field”                         Affairs & Administrator
   through compliance with all applicable laws in public construction.
   When responsible contractors bid and perform public construction projects, the tax-                       Phillis Payne
   payer gets a high quality project performed by contractors who comply with the laws
   of the land.
                                                                                                     Legal Counsel, Connerton & Payne
                                                                                                             Washington, D.C.

   www.faircontracting.org                                                                                Geoffrey Griffith
                                                                                                            Executive Assistant
                                                                                                                                          PR EVAI LI NG TI M E S
  Rebuilding America
        “   
  by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
      To those of us associated with organ-       That dream for far too long has been
  ized labor in the United States overalls    held in the wallets and pocketbooks of
  and hard work come with the territory.      the top 1% of the wage earners in the
  To us they are a badge of honor and the     country. The contents of their bank
  reason for our very existence.              accounts have swollen over with the
      The opportunity to regain our           product of increased work productivity         Rocco Davis, Chairman
  rightful place in American society          of their fellow countrymen who have
  while rebuilding America and putting        been struggling over the past eight years     nation’s economic scale and the peo-
  America back to work is one that we         to just pay the bills. That must change if    ple who have held the reigns of power
  can not let pass us by. Not just for us     our children are to have any future at all.   for much too long are going to fight
  and our families, but for our children          The opportunity to turn the clock         long and hard for it to fail.
  and generations to come.                    back and return to some sense of fair-            But it must succeed for an attitude
      The possibilities are endless for       ness in the economic workplace is at          of fairness to again prevail in the com-
  people not afraid of the challenges         our fingertips. However, nothing will         munities where the hard working men
  facing our nation and willing to part-                                                    and women who are the backbone of
  ner with the Obama Administration                                                         this nation reside.
  and Congress to get the job done. All       “the stars are all aligned in                     We must stand toe to toe against the
  we ask in return is mutual respect and                                                    politicians that would oppose this effort
  an understanding of how important           our favor; we only have to                    on behalf of greedy employers who
  organized labor has been to the mid-                                                      want to remain in the past. But shoul-
  dle class in the past and how critical        follow the right path.”                     der to shoulder with politicians who
  our participation will be in its future.                                                  support the Act because it is the right
      If history has shown us anything, it                                                  thing to do for America and its recovery
  has shown us that it has been the middle    change if we as a nation do not seize the     effort in these hard economic times.
  class that has picked this country up in    moment to right the wrongs of the past.           Passing the Employee Free Choice
  its callous hands and scarred palms and         Mark Twain once said that “I was          Act (EFCA) will not hurt the econo-
  lifted the nation out of two world wars,    seldom able to see an opportunity             my, it will help the economy
  a great depression and several reces-       until it had ceased to be one.” This              In this very difficult year where good
  sions. Those were caring hands, hard        particular opportunity is sitting on          news does not seem to exist, remember
  working hands, hands that belonged to       the tip of our noses shouting for us          that President Harry Truman said that
  members of organized labor.                 not to let it pass by without grabbing        “a pessimist is one who makes difficul-
      It was the middle class and organ-      it by the horns and taking immediate          ties of his opportunities and an opti-
  ized labor who built the infrastructure     and positive action. Some would say           mist is one who makes opportunities of
  that we enjoy today. It will be that        “the stars are all aligned in our favor;      his difficulties. “
  same middle class and organized labor       we only have to follow the right path.”           Tough times in America’s past have
  who will repair and rebuild the infra-          The first opportunity is the              always been times when the work of
  structure for the country’s use in the      Employee Free Choice Act and it is an         righteous Americans has prevailed.
  future while providing our communi-         opportunity that if passed by                 Today and tomorrow will again be times
  ties with honest work and viable            Congress and signed by the President          when decent, hard working Americans
  wages and benefits that will allow our      will allow the middle class to finally        will take the opportunity to reach back
  friends and neighbors to share in the       regain its rightful position in               into their past to build upon their future.
  American Dream and provide ade-             American society. It will be that first           Americans are an optimistic people
  quately for their families.                 major step towards balancing the              and they will succeed.



SPRING 2009                                                                                                                                      3
    Calls For Reforming The Federal
       For the last eight years, reforming state      Now the call for reform at the federal     I Adopt New Responsible Bidder
    and local procurement has been an impor-       level can be heard from the Obama               and Prequalification Procedures.
    tant part of the fair contracting mission.     Administration, Congress and from               CAP urges the federal government
    NAFC has tracked these efforts through its     groups such as the Center for American          to adopt procedures during the bid
    online Resource Manuel of Responsible          Progress (CAP)                                  process to require contractors to
    Bidder & Prequalification Ordinances.                                                          show proof of compliance with
    http://www.faircontracting.org/pdf/index.php
       A few of the NAFC members active in
                                                   CAP Calls For Federal                           labor, tax and worker’s compensa-
                                                                                                   tion laws as a “precondition for
    state and local contracting reform include:    Procurement Reform                              entering into the contract bid
        I Chicago Regional LECET has a                CAP has issued an exhaustive exami-          process.”
           series of radio announcements           nation of the federal contracting system      I Create Transparency In The Federal
           which teach the public how respon-      which calls for significant reforms to pro-     Contracting Process By Establishing
           sible bidding ordinances are good       mote high road contractors on federal           a Centralized Federal Contractor
           for the taxpayer, government,           projects. Making Contracting Work for           Database. CAP finds that “informa-
           workers and fair contractors alike.     the United States: Government Spending          tion about contractors—and espe-
           http://www.lecetchicagoarea.org/resp    Must Lead to Good Jobs, David Madland           cially their subcontractors—is veiled
           bidding.html                            and Michael Paarlberg, Center for               behind layers of lax oversight, inade-
        I Iowa, Illinois, Indiana Fair             American Progress (November 2008)               quate record keeping, and unneces-
           Contracting Foundation has an           www.americanprogress.org.                       sary secrecy.” It recommends that the
           online Responsible Bidder Toolkit          CAP urges federal contracting                federal government “needs to sys-
           to promote contracting reform.          reforms which give “special considera-          tematically collect more information
           http://www.iiiffc.org/pdf/III_FFC_      tion to responsible contractors with            about contractors—such as the
           RBToolkit.pdf                           track records of delivering results and         number of workers and their wages
        I The Midwest Region Foundation            providing fair wages and benefits”. CAP’s       and benefits—and create a central-
           for Fair Contracting has pro-           recommendations for federal procure-            ized database with those and other
           duced a video which demon-              ment include:                                   records about federal contractors.
           strates how the low bidder system          I Promote High Road Contractors              The database should be used by fed-
           hurts government and taxpayers.               Who Provide Fair Wages And                eral contracting officers when evalu-
           http://www.mrffc.org/                         Fringe Benefits. CAP urges federal        ating bids, as well as be available to
        I Massachusetts Foundation for                   contracting agencies to promote           the public because sunshine is a pow-
           Fair Contracting has led the                  improved job standards by                  erful force for exposing wasteful and
           way in encouraging municipal-                 adopting a system that gives                  abusive contracting.”
           ities in Massachusetts to enact               special consideration to                             CAP concludes that “by
           responsible bidder ordinances.                contractors who meet or                           making these … reforms, we
           http://www.ffcm.org/pages/spri                exceed certain wage and                            can protect taxpayers and
           ng08 _5.html                                  benefit levels.                                     federally contracted workers




4                                                                                   W W W.FAI RC ONTRACTI NG.ORG
                                                                                                                                            PR EVAI LI NG TI M E S
Contracting System
and ensure the contracting system works       developed case studies on businesses and        GSA must include information in the
as it should. Improving working condi-        individuals that were awarded funds          database occurring over “the most recent
tions and holding companies accountable       despite being suspended or debarred for a    five year period “ regarding “each civil or
for how they treat workers not only helps     variety of offenses, ranging from national   criminal proceeding, or any administra-
uphold the federal government’s role as a     security violations to illegal dumping of    tive proceeding, in connection with the
model employer but also benefits taxpay-      chemicals to tax fraud.”                     award or performance of a contract or
ers by eliminating hidden welfare costs,                                                   grant with the Federal Government … to
improving the quality of services, and pre-   Congress Takes A First                       the extent that such proceeding results” in
venting wasteful and abusive contracts.”      Step Towards A Central                       the following:
                                                                                               I Criminal proceedings that result
GAO Shows Excluded Parties                    Contractor Database                                 in conviction.
                                                 In 2008, Congress took the first step         I Civil proceedings with a “finding of
Continue To Do Business                       toward establishing a new federal con-              fault and liability that results in the
With The Government                           tractor responsibility database. Section            payment of a monetary fine, penal-
   The General Accounting Office has also     872 of the FY 2009 National Defense                 ty, reimbursement, restitution, or
documented the need for federal contract-     Authorization Act (Public Law 110-417)              damages of $5,000 or more.”
ing reform in a recent report which shows     directs GSA to “establish, not later than        I Administrative proceedings with a
that even after contractors are debarred,     one year after the date of the enactment            “finding of fault and liability that
the federal contracting system does not       of this Act, and maintain a database of             results in (i) the payment of a
successfully screen out such low-road con-    information regarding the integrity and             monetary fine or penalty of
tractors from bidding and receiving addi-     performance of certain persons awarded              $5,000 or more; or (ii) the pay-
tional awards of federal contracts.           Federal agency contracts and grants for             ment of a reimbursement, restitu-
Suspended and Debarred Businesses and         use by Federal agency officials having              tion, or damages in excess of
Individuals Improperly Receive Federal        authority over contracts and grants.”               $100,000.”
Funds, GAO-419T (2/26/09).
   GAO found that “ recent allegations
indicate that businesses or individuals                            BUILDING THE RECOVERY
that have been excluded for egregious            The General Services Administration will spend $5.55 Billion on over 250
offenses have been able to ‘resurface’           construction projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S.
under the same or a different business           territories. The projects will support the President’s vision for a clean energy
name or identity in order to continue to         future, create jobs, and reinvest in our public buildings. (RECOVERY.gov)
receive federal contracts and other funds.
…We confirmed the allegations that busi-
nesses and individuals that were excluded
for egregious offenses were continuing to
receive federal contracts. Specifically, we




    SPRING 2009                                                                                                                                     5
       I A disposition of any criminal,      any person awarded a federal agency       should be available to state and
           civil, or administrative pro-     contract or grant in excess of            local officials who let contracts
           ceeding where there was “an       $500,000” and additionally “any per-      using federal funds and also rec-
           acknowledgment of fault” by       son awarded such other category or        ommends that state/local officials
           the person that would have led    categories of Federal agency contract     have in-put into the database.
           to the results described above.   as the Federal Acquisition Regulation     Procurement and Grant Fraud:
       I Situations where a federal con-     may provide.”                             Legislative and Regulatory Reform
           tract and grant award was ter-         The new database must be             Proposals, National Procurement
           minated because of default.       strengthened to be effective, particu-    Task Force Legislation Committee.
       I Each federal suspension and         larly in providing public access to it.   http://pogoarchives.org/m/co/npftflc
           debarment of a government         As the CAP report argues, if the pub-     -white-paper-20080609.pdf
           contractor.                       lic does not know the responsibility
       I Each federal agreement to
           “resolve a suspension or debar-
                                             records of the contractors receiving
                                             billions of taxpayer dollars each year
                                                                                       President Obama Focuses On
           ment proceeding.”                 it cannot have any meaningful role in     Federal Contracting Reform
       I Each final finding by a Federal     monitoring and enforcing responsi-           On March 4, 2009, President
           official that a person has been   bility standards both during and after    Obama announced that the Executive
           determined not to be a respon-    the bidding process.                      Branch will begin an examination of
           sible source.                          Expanding the database to input      federal contracting reforms. The
       The database is only available to     from state and local officials            President’s Memorandum on
    acquisition officials of Federal         f i n d s support in a report of the      Reforming the Federal Contracting
    Agencies and other government offi-      Inspector General of the National         System calls for the Director of the
    cials as the GSA determines appropri-    Procurement Fraud Taskforce. The          OMB and other federal agencies to
    ate. It is limited to information for    report argued that the database           development procurement reform
                                                                                       guidance. http://www.whitehouse.gov/t
                                                                                       he_press_office/Memorandum-for-the-
                                                                                       Heads-of-Executive-Departments-and-
       Tracking Recovery Act Developments                                              Ag e n c i e s - Su b j e c t - G o v e r n m e n t -
                                                                                       Contracting/
         American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“Recovery Act”):
                                                                                          The President set a September 30,
                                 www.recovery.gov
                                                                                       2009 deadline requiring the OMB to
              The Recovery Act’s key Davis-Bacon provisions are found                  issue government-wide guidance to
                      on pages 31, 90, 94, 108, 109 and 248:                           “govern the appropriate use and over-
                 http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgibin/getdoc.                        sight of all contract types… and to
                cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h1enr.pdf                            minimize risk and maximize the
                         Recovery Act Bidding Opportunities:                           value of government contracts gener-
               http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/opportunities                        ally …[and to] assist agencies in
                                                                                       reviewing the capacity and ability of
                        OPM Information on The Recovery Act:                           the Federal acquisition workforce to
                     http://www.opm.gov/recovery/index.aspx                            develop, manage, and oversee acquisi-
          Second Guidance Memorandum from OMB on the Recovery Act:                     tions appropriately…”
             http://www.recovery.gov/sites/default/files/m09-15.pdf
                          Link to DOL Recovery Act Website:
                           http://www.dol.gov/recovery/
           Link to Websites of Each Federal Agency On the Recovery Act.:
                 http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/agencies
                  Links To All State Websites On The Recovery Act:
      http://www.recovery.gov/?q=content/state-recovery-page&mode=table




6                                                                               W W W.FAI RC ONTRACTI NG.ORG
                                                                                                                                    PR EVAI LI NG TI M E S
  President Obama Announces
  More Key Administration Posts
     WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama                     state and federal labor laws, OSHA, Immigration and tax
  announced his intent to nominate Lorelei Boylan, as              laws. She graduated cum laude from Hunter College and
  Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, Department          received a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School where
  of Labor. He also announced his intent to nominate M.            she was a Writing Competition and Articles Editor of the
  Patricia Smith, as Solicitor of the Department of Labor.         Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law.
                                                                   Boylan speaks Spanish and French fluently and is admitted to
  Lorelei Boylan, Nominee for Administrator of                     practice law in New York State.
  the Wage and Hour Division, Department of Labor
      Lorelei Boylan is currently the Director of Strategic         M. Patricia Smith, Nominee for Solicitor,
  Enforcement at the New York State Department of Labor,            Department of Labor
  Labor Standards Division. In this capacity she supervises the        President Obama said, “I’m confident that this distin-
  Apparel Industry/ Fair Wages Task Force, a state-wide special-    guished individual will use her unique talents to help us
  ized unit charged with investigating low-wage industries          take on the important work that lies ahead. Patricia Smith
  where workers are at risk of exploitation. Under her leader-      brings a commitment to public service and a dedication to
  ship, the Task Force has flour-                                                                 meeting the goals of my
  ished into a groundbreaking                                                                     administration and I look
  investigative unit with a high “I’m confident that this distinguished forward to working with her
  rate of success in the resolution
  of wage and hour investiga-
                                       individual will use her unique talents in the months ahead.” is cur-
                                                                                                      M. Patricia Smith
  tions. The Task Force has devel-         to help us take on the important                       rently the Commissioner of
  oped complex investigations,                                                                    the New York State Depart-
  conducted around-the-clock                         work that lies ahead.                        ment of Labor and co-chair of
  field work and built coalitions                                                                 New York State’s Economic
                                                      –President Barack Obama
  with low wage workers’ advo-                                                                    Security sub-cabinet. She
  cates. Boylan has a wealth of                                                                   oversees the New York State
  experience in the enforcement field, ranging from private         Department of Labor with an annual budget of $4 billion,
  monitoring for retailers with social accountability initiatives   with 3,700 employees in 80 offices throughout the state and
  to affirmative litigation and field investigative experi-         serves as advisor to Governor David Paterson on workforce
  ence. Prior to heading the Task Force, Boylan spearheaded the     and labor policy. Previously, she served for 20 years in the
  Bureau of Immigrant Workers’ Rights, a newly formed divi-         Labor Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s
  sion of the Department of Labor, where she formulated inno-       Office, the last 8 as Bureau Chief.
  vative policies to respond to the needs of individuals with          Her responsibilities included representing the New York
  Limited English proficiency. She is the recipient of the 2008     State Department of Labor and the New York State Workers’
  Frances Perkins Leadership Award for exceptional leadership       Compensation Board in all State and Federal litigation and
  in developing the mission of the Department. Boylan prac-         advancing an affirmative docket enforcing New York’s Labor
  ticed law as an Assistant Attorney General in the New York        Laws. In 1996 and 1997, she argued and won two
  State Attorney General’s Office. She was hired under the          Employment Retirement Income Security Act cases before the
  Honor’s Program to represent the State in defensive and affir-    United States Supreme Court. Before joining the Office of the
  mative litigation. In this position, Boylan investigated busi-    Attorney General, she worked for a variety of Legal Services
  nesses for violations of state and federal labor laws and repre-  Organizations representing unemployment claimants, mini-
  sented the Department of Health in New York State Supreme         mum wage workers, workers in federal job training programs
  Court and the New York Court of Appeals. Prior to becom-          and job seekers. She is an honors graduate of Trinity College
  ing an attorney, Boylan worked for several years for a global     in Washington, D.C. and received her law degree, cum laude,
  monitoring company, counseling firms on compliance with           from the New York University School of Law.



SPRING 2009                                                                                                                                 7
    Unions Are Good for the
    By David Madland, Karla Walter                  and have the income they need to purchase   Unions help workers
    (Reprinted with Permission of the Center for    goods. This is where unions come in.        achieve higher wages
    American Progress Action Fund)                     Unions paved the way to the middle           Union members in the United States
                                                    class for millions of American workers      earn significantly more than non-union
        The essence of what labor unions            and pioneered benefits such as paid         workers. Over the four-year period
    do—give workers a stronger voice so             health care and pensions along the way.     between 2004 and 2007, unionized work-
    that they can get a fair share of the eco-      Even today, union workers earn signifi-     ers’ wages were on average 11.3 percent
    nomic growth they help create—is and            cantly more on average than their non-      higher than non-union workers with sim-
    has always been important to making             union counterparts, and union employ-       ilar characteristics. That means that, all
    the economy work for all Americans.             ers are more likely to provide benefits.    else equal, American workers that join a
    And unions only become more impor-              And non-union workers—particularly          union will earn 11.3 percent more—or
    tant as the economy worsens.                    in highly unionized industries—receive      $2.26 more per hour in 2008 dollars—
        One of the primarily reasons why our        financial benefits from employers who       than their otherwise identical non-union
    current recession endures is that workers       increase wages to match what unions         counterparts.
    do not have the purchasing power they           would win in order to avoid unioniza-           Yet union coverage rates have been
    need to drive our economy. Even when            tion.                                       declining for several decades. In 1983, 23.3
    times were relatively good, workers were           Unfortunately, declining unioniza-       percent of American workers were either
    getting squeezed. Income for the median         tion rates mean that workers are less       members of a union or represented by a
    working age household fell by about             likely to receive good wages and be                          union at their workplace.
    $2,000 between 2000 and 2007, and it            rewarded for their increases in produc-                       By 2008, that portion
    could fall even further as the economy          tivity. The Employee Free Choice Act,                          declined to 13.7 percent.
    continues to decline. Consumer activity         which is likely to be one of the most
    accounts for roughly 70 percent of our          important issues debated by the 111th
    nation’s economy, and for a while workers       Congress, holds the promise of boosting
    were able to use debt to sustain their con-     unionization rates and improving mil-
    sumption. Yet debt-driven consumption           lions of Americans’ economic standing
    is not sustainable, as we are plainly seeing.   and workplace conditions.
        What is sustainable is an economy
    where workers are adequately rewarded




8                                                                                   W W W.FAI RC ONTRACTI NG.ORG
                                                                                                                                        PR EVAI LI NG TI M E S
American Economy
American workers’ wage growth               22.6 percent, which means that workers        Increased unionization would boost
lags as productivity                        were compensated for only 30.2 percent of     Americans’ annual wages
   Workers helped the economy grow          their productivity gains.                         Union employers are also significant-
during this time period by becoming            The cost of benefits—especially health     ly more likely to provide benefits to their
ever more productive, but they received     insurance—has increased over time and         employees. Union workers nationwide
only a small share of the new wealth        now accounts for a greater share of total     are 28.2 percent more likely to be cov-
they helped create. Throughout the          compensation than in the past, but this       ered by employer-provided health insur-
middle part of the 20th century—a           increase is nowhere near enough to            ance and 53.9 percent more likely to
period when unions were stronger—           account for the discrepancy between           have employer-provided pensions com-
American workers generated economic         wage and productivity growth. For exam-       pared to workers with similar character-
growth by increasing their productivity,    ple, according to analysis by the Center      istics who were not in unions.
and they were rewarded with higher          for Economic and Policy Research,                 Nearly three out of five survey respon-
wages. But this link between greater        between 1973 and 2006 the share of labor      dents from a Peter Hart Research
productivity and higher wages has bro-      compensation in the form of benefits rose     Associates poll report that they would join
ken down.                                   from 12.6 percent to 19.5 percent.            a union if they could, but workers
   Prior to the 1980s, productivity gains      If American workers were rewarded          attempting to unionize currently face a
and workers’ wages moved in tandem: as      for 100 percent of their increases in labor   hostile legal environment and are com-
workers produced more per hour, they        productivity between 1980 and 2008—as         monly intimidated by aggressive antiu-
saw a commensurate increase in their        they were during the middle part of the       nion employers. The Employee Free
earnings. Yet wages and productivity        20th century—average wages would be           Choice Act would help workers who want
growth have decoupled since the late        $28.53 per hour—42.7 percent higher           to join a union do so by ensuring fairness
1970s. Looking from 1980 to 2008,           than the average real wage in 2008.           in the union selection process with three
nationwide worker productivity grew by                                                    main provisions: workers would have a
75.0 percent, while workers’ inflation-     Unionization rewards workers                  fair and direct path to join unions through
adjusted average wages increased by only    for productivity growth                       a simple majority sign-up; employers who
                                               Slow wage growth has squeezed the          break the rules governing the unioniza-
                                            middle class and contributed to rising        tion process would face stiffer penalties;
                                            inequality. But increasing union coverage     and a first contract mediation and arbitra-
                                            rates could likely reverse these trends as    tion process would be introduced to
                                            more Americans would benefit from the         thwart bad-faith bargaining.
                                            union wage premium and receive higher             Passing the Employee Free Choice Act
                                            wages. If unionization rates were the same    and making it harder for management to
                                            now as they were in 1983 and the current      threaten workers seeking to unionize
                                            union wage premium remained constant,         would be good for American workers. It
                                            new union workers would earn an esti-         would help boost workers’ wages and
                                            mated $49.0 billion more in wages and         benefits. And putting more money in
                                            salaries per year. If union coverage rates    workers’ pockets would provide a needed
                                            increased by just 5 percentage points over    boost for the U.S. economy. Increasing
                                            current levels, newly unionized workers       unionization is a good way to get out of
                                            would earn an estimated $25.5 billion         our current economic troubles.
                                            more in wages and salaries per year. Non-     Editor’s Note: Dr. David Madland is the
                                            union workers would also benefit as           Director of the American Worker Project
                                            employers would likely raise wages to         at the Center for American Progress Action
                                            match what unions would win in order to       Fund and Karla Walter is a Policy Analyst
                                            avoid unionization.                           with the same organization.



    SPRING 2009                                                                                                                                 9
     Worksite Enforcement Strategy
     DHS Press Office – April 30, 2009                                   illegal workers who are found in the course of these
                                                                                worksite enforcement actions in a manner con-
         • The Department of Homeland Security                                     sistent with immigration law and DHS prior-
     (DHS) has a vital responsibility to enforce                                      ities. Furthermore, ICE will use all avail-
     the law and engage in effective worksite                                           able civil and administrative tools,
     enforcement to reduce the demand for                                                including civil fines and debarment, to
     illegal employment and protect employ-                                               penalize and deter illegal employment.
     ment opportunities for the nation's law-                                                 I ICE officers will be held to high
     ful workforce.                                                                      investigative standards including:
         • An effective, comprehensive worksite                                              I ICE will look for evidence of the
     enforcement strategy must address both                                            mistreatment of workers, along with evi-
     employers who knowingly hire illegal work-                                     dence of trafficking, smuggling, harboring,
     ers as well as the workers themselves. Of the                               visa fraud, identification document fraud,
     more than 6,000 arrests related to worksite enforce-                   money laundering, and other such criminal
     ment in 2008, only 135 were employers.                                conduct.
         • Updated worksite enforcement guidance was distrib-           I ICE offices will obtain indictments, criminal arrest
     uted to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),                    or search warrants, or a commitment from a U.S.
     which reflects a renewed Department-wide focus targeting              Attorney's Office (USAO) to prosecute the targeted
     criminal aliens and employers who cultivate illegal work-             employer before arresting employees for civil immi-
     places by breaking the country's laws and knowingly hiring            gration violations at a worksite.
     illegal workers.
         • Effective immediately, ICE will focus its resources in        • Existing humanitarian guidelines will remain in effect,
     the worksite enforcement program on the criminal prose-         impacting worksite enforcements involving 25 or more
     cution of employers who knowingly hire illegal workers in       illegal workers. This reflects a change from the previous
     order to target the root cause of illegal immigration.          threshold of 150.
         • ICE will continue to arrest and process for removal any       • DHS is committed to providing employers with the
                                                                              most up-to-date and effective resources to comply
                                                                                           with our nation’s laws.
                                                                                                               • DHS will continue
                                                                                                               to work with part-
                                                                                                              ners in the public
                                                                                                             and private sectors to
                                                                                                            maintain a legal work-
                                                                                                           force through training
                                                                                                          and employee verifica-
                                                                                                         tion tools like E-verify,
                                                                                                        which improve the accu-
                                                                                                       racy of determinations of
                                                                                                      employment eligibility and
                                                                                                     combat illegal employment
                                                                                                       • As a former border state
                                                                                                   Governor, Napolitano signed
                                                                                                  into law one of the toughest
                                                                                                 employer sanctions laws in the
                                                                                                country in 2007 to target employ-
                                                                                               ers who knowingly hired illegal
                                                                                             workers.



10                                                                                 W W W.FAI RC ONTRACTI NG.ORG
                                                                                                                                       PR EVAI LI NG TI M E S
  Secretary Solis unveils DOL’s 2010 budget
     Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis                                                    million, an increase of $35 million from
  through a national online discussion with                                               the prior year, including funding to hire
  stakeholder groups, the general public                                                  200 new investigators. With these increas-
  and the news media, will outline the pres-                                              es, Labor’s worker protection agencies
  ident’s fiscal year (FY) 2010 budget for the                                            will be able to vigorously protect wages
  U.S. Department of Labor, which begins                                                  and working conditions of the 135 mil-
  to restore worker protection programs                                                   lion workers in more than 7.3 million
  and revitalize employment opportunities                                                 workplaces.
  for the American workforce.                                                                 The Labor Department is receiving
     “The president’s budget launches new                                                 $38.3 billion under the Recovery Act to
  and innovative ways to promote economic                                                 assist unemployed workers and provide
  recovery and the competitiveness of our                                                 more training and employment opportu-
  nation’s workers,” said Secretary Solis. “At                                            nities to seniors, the unemployed and
  the same time, the budget reflects our                                                  underserved populations.
  effort to invest in what works and cut or          Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis       For employment and training pro-
  reduce programs that do not. The budget is                                             grams, the budget provides $9 billion,
  transparent, and we are accountable to the American public.”          including $50 million for green jobs training initiatives.
     The budget, for instance, ends the Work Incentive Grants           The Department of Labor will use $500 million from the
  program, saving $17 million. This demonstration program               Recovery Act for competitive grants to train workers for
  has accomplished its mission, and the lessons learned are             green jobs.
  being incorporated into other programs. Building on the                  Because community colleges and educational institu-
  best practices developed under the Work Incentive Grants,             tions are often the basis for successful careers, the Labor
  the budget boosts funding for the department’s Office of              Department will use $135 million for the Career Pathways
  Disability Employment Policy to facilitate the employment             Innovation Fund, which will help people to advance in the
  and advancement of individuals with disabilities.                     workplace. Another $50 million will be used to test transi-
     It is with this fiscally responsible approach that the Labor       tional job programs, which help individuals with severe
  Department’s FY 2010 budget builds on the American                    employment barriers gain the skills and experience they
  Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), restoring               need to find unsubsidized jobs. Finally, $114 million is
  worker protection programs; promoting an inclusive, green             requested for Youth Build, which gives low-income and at-
  recovery; and ensuring accountability and transparency.               risk youth the opportunity to obtain a high school diploma
     The budget requests $104.5 billion, with the majority to           or GED and learn construction job skills, while serving
  be used for unemployment insurance benefits for displaced             their communities by building affordable housing.
  workers and federal workers’ compensation. The discre-                   For veterans, the budget provides $255 million (a six
  tionary request of $13.3 billion allocates $1.7 billion for           percent increase) to reach an additional 7,200 homeless
  worker protection programs, a 10 percent increase over the            veterans, particularly women veterans; provide green jobs
  prior year’s budget.                                                  training; and expand access to employment workshops for
     Under this budget, the Labor Department expects to                 service members and their families who are transitioning
  hire nearly 1,000 new employees, including about 670                  to the civilian workforce.
  investigators, restoring worker protection staffing to FY                The budget provides $12 million for evaluation of job
  2001 levels. For example, the FY 2010 budget asks for $564            training programs, a 68 percent increase, and provides $5
  million for the department’s Occupational Safety and                  million for a new department-wide evaluation initiative.
  Health Administration (OSHA), which is $51 million (10                The additional funding will support rigorous evaluations
  percent) more than that agency received in FY 2009. With              to determine which programs and interventions work and
  this funding, the Labor Department plans to hire 160 new              inform the department’s policy, management and resource
  enforcement staff, many of whom will be bilingual to com-             allocation decisions.
  municate with staff in the changing workplace. Also, the                 For more information on the president’s 2010 budget
  department’s Wage and Hour Division will receive $228                 for the Department of Labor, visit http://www.dol.gov.



SPRING 2009                                                                                                                            11
     Keep Prevailing-Wage Laws
     They have helped the construction industry add jobs that support families.
     By Mark Price                                                       toward a polarized distribution of wages, taking a toll on
         Philadelphia has a problem: It doesn’t have enough jobs that    workers, families, children, and communities.
     can sustain families. The area’s lopsided labor market is well          Some critics have argued that prevailing-wage laws are
     documented in a widely publicized report by the Philadelphia        racist because they benefit unions that keep out minorities.
     Workforce Investment Board, A Tale of Two Cities.                   The evidence suggests otherwise: African Americans make up
         But one of the bright spots in the region’s employment pic-     19 percent of the unionized construction workforce in the
     ture is the non-residential construction industry. While many       five-county Philadelphia metropolitan area, while they make
     manufacturing jobs have disappeared, and trucking has seen          up just 6 percent of the nonunion construction workforce.
     wage declines since the 1970s, construction projects create             Furthermore, half the African Americans working in con-
     large numbers of middle-class jobs. That’s partly due to pre-       struction in the Philadelphia area are in unions, compared
     vailing-wage laws that have recently come under attack.             with less than a quarter of the whites in the sector. As a result,
         The non-residential construction industry also has exten-       African Americans benefit more than other groups from the
     sive support structures enabling workers with a high-school         continuing strength of the high-wage, high-skill construction
     education to develop their skills, advance, and gain security       model. And they would suffer more than other groups if that
     while performing well for their employers. These start with         approach were abandoned.
     three-to-five-year apprenticeship programs that blend class-            Rather than destroying some of the best family-sustaining
     room training on workers’ own time with on-the-job supervi-         jobs in our economy by casting aside prevailing-wage laws,
     sion and mentoring.                                                 what about creating the conditions in which residential con-
         This system is not the result of the magic of the market or a   struction and burgeoning fields - such as weatherization,
     government program. It is paid for by contractors and unions        energy efficiency, and other green industries - can provide
     through contributions to training, health-benefit, and pension      middle-class jobs?
     funds. These funds make employment in the Philadelphia                  That would systematically expand opportunities for
     construction industry a rewarding, lifelong career.                 women and men of all races. African Americans, the growing
         State and federal prevailing-wage laws, which set pay and       Hispanic population, and other demographic groups should
     benefits for public projects according to regional standards,       all have the chance to enter an apprenticeship and a family-
     also help support careers in construction. These laws ensure        supporting career.
     that the purchasing power of the public sector does not sup-            When the economy recovers, an influx of high-quality new
     port businesses that undercut the local wage and benefit scale      recruits could help the construction industry cope with an
     while skimping on training, health, and safety.                     upcoming demographic cliff - the large number of retire-
         In many parts of the country, institutions and laws that        ments expected in the next decade.
     promote high-wage, high-skill construction have broken                  Revitalized to better develop and take advantage of work-
     down. As a result, the construction sector is becoming more         ers’ skills, the construction industry might provide a model for
     and more lopsided, with a few jobs at the top that pay well and     transforming our regional labor market to help us become
     many more at the bottom that do not pay enough to support           one Philadelphia.
     a family.                                                               Mark Price is a labor economist at the Keystone Research
         In places such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona, immigrants       Center in Harrisburg, PA. For more information, see
     are the victims of this restructuring. In the Philadelphia area,    www.keystoneresearch.org. Article reprinted with permission
     the residential construction industry has already moved             of the Author.




12                                                                                      W W W.FAI RC ONTRACTI NG.ORG
                                                                                                                                          PR EVAI LI NG TI M E S
  Maryland Governor O’Malley Signs
  “Workplace Fraud Act”of 2009
  The Act protects and empowers
  Maryland workers
      Department of Labor, Licensing and
  Regulation Secretary Thomas E. Perez applauded
  Governor Martin O’Malley’s signing today of
  new laws to protect and empower Maryland
  workers and level the playing field for employers
  who play by the rules.
      The Workplace Fraud Act of 2009 provides the
  state with tools to crack down on workplace
  fraud, which involves employers who wrongly
  classify their employees as independent contrac-
  tors or do not classify them at all. This practice
  allows employers to cut payroll costs significantly,
  leaving workers unprotected by critical workplace
  protection laws and creating a competitive disad-
  vantage for those employers who play by the rules. May 7, 2009 Maryland State House – Annapolis, Maryland. Governor Martin O’Malley
  Workers who are misclassified as independent (center), left of him President of the Maryland Senate Mike Miller and to the right of
                                                                                                                       Behind
  contractors are denied access to unemployment the governor is Maryland Speaker of the House Michael Busch.McNelly, them in
                                                       center is Maryland Delegate Cheryl Glenn to her left is Michael        NAFC
  insurance, workers’ compensation and other pro- Administrator and her right is Thomas E. Perez, Maryland Secretary of Labor
  tections, and the taxpayers are deprived of mil- Licensing & Regulation.
  lions of dollars to the Unemployment Insurance
  Trust fund and the State General Fund.
       “Protecting Maryland’s workers and their             “This new law should illustrate the state’s
  families is always our most important responsi-
  bility, but even more so as we work together to
                                                         commitment to Maryland’s working families,
  weather the current economic storm,” Governor
  O’Malley said. “This new law should illustrate
                                                                       and to protecting their rights.”
  the state’s commitment to Maryland’s working
  families, and to protecting their rights.”                           to cheat the system, their workers and their competitors,
      Governor O’Malley sponsored the Workplace Fraud Act              will pay a steep price for their actions,” Secretary Perez said.
  of 2009, which was the product of an inclusive work group            “It should send a message that we will be fair to those
  process led by Secretary Perez beginning in the fall of 2008         employers who are trying to play by the rules, but we will
  and continuing throughout the legislative session. The               not tolerate flagrant and intentional violations of the law
  process brought together stakeholders from labor, business           for personal gain.”
  and government.                                                         Editor’s Note: Since 2006 Members of the National
      The new law makes it a violation of law to fail to prop-         Alliance for Fair Contracting have been working diligently in
  erly classify workers as employees, and it imposes penalties         the State of Maryland educating government officials and the
  on those employers who knowingly misclassify their work-             public they serve as to the importance of eliminating the
  ers. The law also clarifies the definition of an independent         process of misclassification of employees as independent con-
  contractor. The law takes effect October 1, 2009.                    tractors. This new law may save the Maryland taxpayers over
      “This new law will ensure that employers who attempt             80 million dollars a year in lost tax revenue.



SPRING 2009                                                                                                                               13
     Protecting America’s Workers Act
        Rep. Lynn Woolsey and Rep. George Miller have intro-             “(A) the employee is killed as a result of a work-related
     duced a bill to bring enhanced protections to America’s          injury or illness that is the subject of an inspection or
     workers who are injured or killed on the job.                    investigation conducted under section 8; or
        Protecting America’s Workers Act (H.R. 2067) will                (B) the employee sustains a work-related injury or ill-
     strengthen OSHA enforcement by increasing civil and crim-        ness that is the subject of an inspection or investigation
     inal penalties and will also establish a mandatory minimum       conducted under section 8, and the employee cannot rea-
     penalty in a case involving the death of a worker. Family        sonably exercise the employee’s rights under this section.”
     members of workers will also be given rights in OSHA inves-         “On request, a victim or the representative of a victim,
     tigations. PAWA would provide greater protections to work-       shall be afforded the right, with respect to a work-related
     ers from retaliation through stronger whistleblower provi-       injury or illness (including a death resulting from a work-
     sions. Finally, Protecting America’s Workers Act would           related injury or illness) involving an employee, to—
     extend OSHA coverage to state and local public employees            (1) meet with the Secretary, or an authorized represen-
     and other workers who currently lack OSHA protection.            tative of the Secretary, regarding the inspection or investi-
        Some of the key provisions of the bill include:               gation conducted under section 8 concerning the employ-
                                                                      ee’s injury or illness before the Secretary’s decision to issue
     EMPLOYEE PROTECTIONS                                             a citation or take no action; and… receive, at no cost, a
        “No person shall discharge or in any manner discrimi-         copy of any citation or report, issued as a result of such
     nate against an employee for refusing to perform the             inspection or investigation … (B) be informed of any
     employee’s duties if the employee has a reasonable appre-        notice of contest filed under section 10; and (C) be provid-
     hension that performing such duties would result in seri-        ed an explanation of the rights of employee and employee
     ous injury to, or serious impairment of the health of, the       representatives to participate in proceedings conducted
     employee or other employees. The circumstances causing           under section 10.”
     the employee’s apprehension of serious injury or serious
     impairment of health shall be of such a nature that a rea-       CRIMINAL PENALTIES
     sonable person, under the circumstances confronting the              “Any employer who willfully violates any standard, rule,
     employee, would conclude that there is a bona fide danger        or order promulgated pursuant to section 6 of this Act …
     of a serious injury, or serious impairment of health, result-    and that violation caused death to any employee, shall,
     ing from the circumstances. In order to qualify for protec-      upon conviction, be punished by a fine in accordance with
     tion under this paragraph, the employee, when practicable,       section 3571 of title 18, United States Code, or by impris-
     shall have sought from the employee’s employer, and have         onment for not more than 10 years, or both; except that if
     been unable to obtain, a correction of the circumstances         the conviction is for a violation committed after a first con-
     causing the refusal to perform the employee’s duties.”           viction of such person under this subsection or subsection
                                                                      (i), punishment shall be by a fine in accordance with sec-
     PROHIBITION ON DISCOURAGING EMPLOYEE                             tion 3571 of title 18, United States Code, or by imprison-
     REPORTS OF INJURY OR ILLNESS                                     ment for not more than 20 years, or by both. …For the
        “Regulations shall prohibit the adoption or implemen-         purpose of this subsection, the term `employer’ means, in
     tation of policies or practices by the employer that discour-    addition to the definition contained in section 3 of this Act,
     age the reporting of work-related injuries or illnesses by       any responsible corporate officer.”
     any employee or in any manner discriminate or provide for            “Any employer who willfully violates any standard, rule,
     adverse action against any employee for reporting a work-        or order promulgated pursuant to section 6 … and that
     related injury or illness.”                                      violation causes serious bodily injury to any employee but
                                                                      does not cause death to any employee, shall, upon convic-
     VICTIM’S RIGHTS                                                  tion, be punished by a fine in accordance with section 3571
        The term “victim” means an employee who has sus-              of title 18, United States Code, or by imprisonment for not
     tained a work-related injury or illness that is the subject of   more than 5 years, or by both.
     an inspection or investigation conducted under section 8,            For more information visit www.faircontacting.org click
     or a family member of an employee, if:                           on“ Inside the Beltway.”



14                                                                                  W W W.FAI RC ONTRACTI NG.ORG
                                                                                                                                        PR EVAI LI NG TI M E S
  Meet Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey
     Democratic Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, the first               works to reduce American dependence on foreign oil and
  former welfare mother to serve in Congress, is in her ninth       promote the use of clean, efficient energy sources. In the
  term as the representative from California’s 6th District,        most recent energy bill, Congresswoman Woolsey was
  just north of San Francisco. Her district includes all of         instrumental in securing over $2 billion in renewable ener-
  Marin, and most of Sonoma County.                                 gy research, development, demonstration and commercial
      As Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus,          application. The energy bill also included the “Woolsey
  Congresswoman Woolsey is a vocal and visible leader on            Green Building Amendment,” modeled after a project in her
  progressive issues, particularly those dealing with children      district, which will promote the use of renewable energy
  and families. A passionate and outspoken opponent of the          technology in public buildings. Congresswoman Woolsey
  Iraq war, she has helped move public opinion against              has also recently introduced legislation to add the Sonoma
  President Bush’s failed Iraq policy.                              coastline to the National Marine Sanctuary Program, thus
      As the Chairwoman of the Committee on Education and           protecting it from oil and gas drilling.
  Labor’s Workforce Protections Subcommittee, Congress-                 Congresswoman Woolsey’s dedication to family issues
  woman Woolsey helps to oversee policies that affect millions      and her belief in a strong social safety net are rooted in her
  of American workers. Congresswoman Woolsey also sits on           personal history. As a young single mother struggling to raise
  the Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education.           three children by herself, she needed public assistance just to




  She is currently working on reform of the No Child Left           make ends meet, even though she was employed. The expe-
  Behind Act, to fully fund the law and make it more flexible and   rience of needing a helping hand from her government has
  less punitive toward schools and school districts.                shaped her commitment to family-friendly policies.
        Since her appointment in 1993, Congresswoman                   Before coming to the House of Representatives
  Woolsey has used her seat on the Committee on Education           Congresswoman Woolsey was a Human Resources Manager
  and Labor to provide children and families the tools they         for a large high-tech manufacturer in Marin County,
  need to realize the American Dream. She has been an advo-         California. In 1980, she opened her own human resources
  cate of special education and vocational education, and she       consulting and employment agency, Woolsey Personnel
  has fought against job discrimination in Head Start and           Service, while finishing her bachelor’s degree at the University
  other federal programs. Congresswoman Woolsey also                of San Francisco. She began her public service career in 1984
  authored a School Breakfast Pilot Program that was signed         with a seat on the Petaluma City Council, California where
  into law by President Clinton.                                    she served until she was sworn in to the United States House
       During her time in Congress one of Congresswoman             of Representatives in January 1993.
  Woolsey’s top priorities has been a legislative package               Since then, the people of the 6th district of California have
  called “The Balancing Act,” which aims to help parents            returned Congresswoman Woolsey to office eight times.
  manage the challenge of the balance between work and                   A friend of American working men and women,
  family. Among the Balancing Act provisions are: paid fam-         Congresswomen Woolsey recently sponsored HR 2067 (To
  ily leave; public universal pre-school; major investments in      amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to
  child care; universal school breakfast; benefits for part-time    expand coverage under the Act, to increase protections for
  workers; and telecommuting incentives.                            whistleblowers and to increase penalties for certain violators)
      Congresswoman Woolsey is also a Senior Member of the             Congresswomen Lynn Woolsey was born on November
  House Committee on Science and Technology, where she              3, 1937 in Seattle, Washington.



SPRING 2009                                                                                                                             15
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                               UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
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                                                              ULLICO
                            “Responsible Bidder Ordinances-What America Needs”

                                 CENTER FOR CONTRACT COMPLIANCE
                         “Apprenticeship Standards for Public Works Construction”

				
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