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Letter to the House on Anti-worker Amendments to H.R. 4486

April 30, 2014

Dear Representative: 

On behalf of the 3 million members of the National Education Association (NEA), and the students they serve,  we urge you to VOTE NO on any amendments to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 4486) that would repeal or weaken Davis-Bacon Act wage protections or prohibit or weaken Project Labor Agreements (PLAs).   Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 113th Congress. 

The Davis-Bacon Act mandates payment of locally prevailing wages on projects funded by the federal government. Both the Davis-Bacon Act and PLAs offer vital worker protections that ensure a fair, living wage and in the case of PLAs health and retirement benefits.  The benefit of these agreements and provisions extend past the workers to taxpayers and the communities who benefit from the projects Davis-Bacon and PLAs serve.  

The prevailing wage that must be paid on federal projects is based upon typical wages and benefits paid for work in each community, regardless of whether those workers are union members. According to the Department of Labor, 72 percent of wage determinations issued in 2000 were based upon non-union scales of labor. A union wage only prevails if the DOL wage survey process determines the local union wage to be the prevailing wage. 

Project Labor Agreements ensure that every employee has access to a fair wage, health care, and pension benefits so that he or she can support a family — the very nature of the American Dream.  PLAs promote equality in opportunity and ensure that a fair wage is paid for a day’s work.  Through important pro-worker protections such as PLAs, workers and their families have the chance to seize prosperity for themselves.  

Again, we urge you to VOTE NO on any anti-worker amendments to H.R. 4486 that would repeal or weaken Davis-Bacon Act wage protections or prohibit or weaken Project Labor Agreements. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations