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President Bush Agrees to Reinstate Davis-Bacon Protections for Gulf Coast Workers

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Change to Win Unions Continue to Train Workers in the Region

Washington, DC - At a meeting today with leaders of the Republican Main Street Partnership, President Bush promised to reinstate Davis-Bacon protections for workers in the Gulf Coast region starting November 8.  The provision requires contractors on federally funded projects to pay workers the prevailing wages and benefits of the region.

"This is the right thing to do for the families who are trying to rebuild their lives as well as their communities in the Gulf Coast," stated Anna Burger, Chair of Change to Win.  "We are grateful to the members of the Republican Main Street Partnership for their tireless work on this issue, as well as the other Democrats and Republicans who have helped to make this to happen.  We look forward to working with them on ensuring that the workers our unions are training in the area have access to jobs that provide a paycheck that can support a family once they've completed their training.  Today's act is an important step toward making that a reality, but our work is far from over for those families whose lives have been irrevocably changed."

Terence O'Sullivan, General President of the Laborers' International Union, stated, "The same bipartisan spirit that led to the reinstatement of Davis-Bacon can and should be harnessed to push forward the adoption of responsible contracting policies at the federal and local levels to further ensure that rebuilding is done by honest, qualified and safety-conscious contractors who pay and treat workers fairly."

"The Davis-Bacon Act, which was proposed by Republican members of Congress and signed into law by President Herbert Hoover, has long enjoyed the support of a strong bipartisan majority in Congress," stated Douglas McCarron, General President of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.  "Davis-Bacon keeps local area wages standards stable by making sure the Federal Government, the biggest purchaser of construction services in many areas, does not drive down the wages and standard of living of its own taxpayers and their communities."

Teams of Change to Win union volunteers have been providing health services, delivering supplies, removing hazardous material, and beginning the rebuilding process, in addition to raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide immediate relief and to bring evacuees back home to the Gulf Coast.  The unions have partnered with Rainbow/PUSH, community and religious organizations to put in place a massive, multi-industry program to train an army of workers to rebuild the region.

Stephanie Mueller, 202-730-7842 or 202-256-0833

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