The Davis-Bacon Act mandates payment of local prevailing wages on projects funded by the federal government. It prevents competition for federal construction contracts from artificially depressing local labor standards. Studies show, however that such a race to the bottom does not substantially cut public construction costs, as worker skills, experience and motivation drop in correlation to wage reductions.
A project labor agreement (PLA) is a pre-hire collective bargaining agreement establishing the terms and conditions of employment on one or more construction projects. PLAs were first used on the big public works projects of the 1930s, like the Hoover Dam. Since then, scores of large and complex projects, both public and private, have been built across the United States successfully using the PLA model, such as Kitsap Naval Base, Cove Point – LNG Export Terminal, LAX Airport, the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement, and every single one of Toyota Motor Corporation’s North American production facilities.
NABTU is committed to training and workforce development in the construction industry, as demonstrated through our investment in registered apprenticeship. Through our 1,900 training centers across the United States and Canada, we train 71 percent of all construction apprentices.
For far too long, U.S. immigration policy has been broken. Unscrupulous employers manipulate this broken system to exploit immigrant workers and drive down labor standards and wages in the construction industry. U.S. immigration policy must be overhauled and realistically realigned with future economic and workforce needs.
Federal regulations impact workplace standards for construction workers, and North America’s Building Trades Unions support regulations that strengthen workplace standards, both wage and benefit standards, as well as standards affecting apprenticeship training and education. North America’s Building Trades Unions will continue to fight against harmful regulations threatening the health, safety and economic livelihood of building trades members, as well as all construction workers.
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