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1. The Davis Bacon Act By Gregory D. Callahan
2. What is the Davis Bacon Act Enacted in 1931, the law states that contractors for federal projects must pay their workers no less than the wage rates prevailing in the local area for each craft, as determined by the U. S. Department of Labor.
3. Creation of the Davis Bacon Act Depression: In 1931 this country was in the midst of the devastating depression. Workers before depression were paid $4 a day. During depression paid $2 a day, when work was available
Unions: Just starting to become powerful, with many members in several trades, and political support.
4. Creation of the Davis Bacon Act. Veterans Bureau Hospital, Long Island, NY(1931): Contractor from Alabama won bid to build hospital, by using cheap laborers from the South, most of whom were African American.
Congressman James J. Bacon of New York was enraged that workers from outside his district were taking jobs from his local workers. Union influence on politicians.
5. Creation of the Davis Bacon Act Congressman Bacon" A practice has been growing up in carrying out the building program where certain itinerant, cheap bootleg labor, have been going around throughout the country picking off a contact here and a contract there, and local labor and local contractors have been standing on the side lines looking in. Bitterness has been caused in many communities because of this situation. This bill, my friends, is simply to give local labor and the local contactor a fair opportunity to participate in this building program.
6. Creation of the Davis Bacon Act President Hoover, Congress desperate to jumpstart the economy so passed bill 1931
First prevailing wage bill for non government employees
Significant, because of all the federal projects that were constructed as part of the new deal; post offices, bridges, parks, etc.
7. Prevailing wage One of the most debated and aspects of the bill is the prevailing wage in our present time it has come to be understood as union wages , but that is not actually true. The Prevailing wage is determined by the Department of Labor. The Department of Labor states that prevailing wages is the rate of wages and fringe benefits paid to majority (more than 50%) of workers in the classification on similar construction jobs in the area , or where there is no majority , the average rate paid .
8. Proponents Unions support the act because of the tremendous amount of indirect benefits to the unions. Prevailing wages eliminate the economic penalties put upon firms when they do unionize their workforce. This makes the unionized firms more competitive in bidding for government work. And therefore lower employer resistance to unionization to increased collectively bargained wage rates
9. Oppenents Contractors, ABC, etc. say that Act is responsible for over $5 billion in over costs every year.
Civil Rights Advocates argue that the act is racially biased because it favors the predominantly white unions and is prejudice against minority contractors.
10. Davis Bacon Act in Current EventsThe Homeland Security In August 2002 the Senate Government Affairs Committee approved legislation by Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) that would expand the Davis-Bacon Act to apply to all projects financed in whole or in part by the Department of Homeland Security.
Homeland Security Department voted Sept. 19, 2002 to continue debate and blocked a vote on the legislation.