Friday, September 09, 2005

Bush Suspends Minimum Pay for Contract Workers

From Whitehouse.gov:

Message to the Congress of the United States Regarding Hurricane Katrina
I hereby report that I have exercised my statutory authority under section 3147 of title 40, United States Code, to suspend the provisions of 40 U.S.C. 3141-3148 in the event of a national emergency. I have found that the conditions caused by Hurricane Katrina constitute a "national emergency" within the meaning of section 3147. I have, therefore, suspended the provisions of 40 U.S.C. 3141-3148 in designated areas in the States of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
This action is more fully set out in the enclosed proclamation that I have issued today.
September 8, 2005.

From OMB Watch:

Thursday, September 08, 2005
Bush Suspends Minimum Pay for Contract Workers

The White House announced that it is suspending its obligations under the Davis-Bacon Act to require a fair minimum wage for contractors working on the reconstruction and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Davis-Bacon Act prohibits the federal government from undercutting prevailing wages in the construction industry in areas where the federal government is contracting for work. The administration is required to ensure that its contracts establish minimum wages for workers that comport with the prevailing wage of the area. The White House invoked the act's exemption for national emergencies.

The irony here is that the devastation of Hurricane Katrina was compounded by poverty and low wages -- factors that kept many from evacuating in time. Now the Bush administration is empowering itself to pay substandard wages for the reconstruction effort.Posted by Robert Shull


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