Teamsters state case for legacy Davis-Bacon wage standard

Sources: International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters applauds the Department of Labor (DOL) for its early-August ruling on prevailing wage standards under the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA). The agency returns the definition of “prevailing wage” to a standard used from 1935 to 1983, thereby requiring compensation on federally funded construction projects to be on par with a living wage for workers in a given locality. The DOL measure, union officials contend, also improves the prevailing wage update system so rates keep pace with actual wages; modernizes regulatory language to reflect current construction industry practices; and, strengthens worker protection and enforcement mechanisms to ensure employer compliance. 

“The methods for determining prevailing wage rates never should have been modified in the first place, so we commend Secretary Su for doing right by working-class communities,” says Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “The workers on these jobs are responsible for re-building our country. They are patriots and deserve to be rewarded for their service.”

“With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we’re experiencing a federally backed construction boom at a level that hasn’t been seen since the New Deal,” adds Building Material and Construction Trade Division Director Thomas Gesauldi. “Modernizing prevailing wage standards under the DBRA is integral to making sure these investments benefit the American middle class.”

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