Vote No on Paul Amendment to Repeal Davis-Bacon in FAA Bill
On behalf of the 32 affiliated unions of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to oppose Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) amendment to eliminate Davis-Bacon prevailing wage protections for construction projects funded under the Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act (S. 223).
Unless rejected, this proposed repeal of prevailing wages will inspire a race to the bottom in wages and will harm working people and the local economies in which they live. The elimination of prevailing wage requirements, an element of every major federal infrastructure program for many decades, will lower salaries at a time when employees and their families still suffer from the dire consequences of the long recession. Moreover, the ripple effect will be felt by other workers who are employed outside the construction sector. According to numerous studies, purported claims of savings are not supported by economic data. Without prevailing wage laws, construction contractors pay workers less, local businesses suffer, tax revenues decrease and often the quality and timeliness of projects suffer.
Under Davis-Bacon, federal construction contracts, including work at our nation’s airports, must provide compensation that is at least the prevailing wages and benefits paid on similar projects in the same community. Not only does this help to protect workers and local communities from decreasing wage rates, but it also ensures construction projects are performed by qualified and trained personnel. While this is important in all federally funded projects, it is especially important as we seek to modernize and expand our aging aviation system.
Davis-Bacon requirements have provided economic stability to communities across our nation for decades. These protections are critically important to the hundreds of thousands of workers who help build and expand our transportation system and to the families they support.
We urge you to oppose Senator Paul’s amendment to eliminate Davis-Bacon protections in the FAA reauthorization bill.