Green Pork and (Davis) Bacon

by Ivan Osorio on June 26, 2009

The alliance between organized labor and leftist environmentalists remains as strong as ever. As Carter Wood at notes, the Waxman-Markey climate change bill is a great example of this alliance.

From page 78 of the manager’s amendment, concerning state revolving loan funds for small- and medium-sized manufacturers.

(F) COMPLIANCE WITH WAGE RATE REQUIREMENTS.-Each recipient of a loan shall undertake and agree to incorporate or cause to be incorporated into all contracts for construction, alteration or repair, which are paid for in whole or in part with funds obtained pursuant to such loan, a requirement that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors performing construction, alteration or repair shall be paid wages at rates not less than those determined by the Secretary of Labor, in accordance with subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code (known as the ‘Davis-Bacon Act’), to be prevailing for the corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on projects of a character similar to the contract work in the same locality in which the work is to be performed.

The Secretary of Labor shall have, with respect to the labor standards specified in this subparagraph, the authority and functions set forth in Reorganization Plan Numbered 14 of 1950 (15 F.R. 3176; 64 Stat. 1267) and section 3145 of title 40, United States Code.

So that’s one of organized labor’s rewards in the bill, the spreading of above-market wage rates to smaller manufacturers.

Davis-Bacon-like provisions of this sort also make it more difficult for non-union companies to compete for bids. This results in higher costs, which are paid for by taxpayers.

With their share of the private sector work force declining to around 8 percent, unions need such alliances with environmentalists to gain political goods like this. Expect to see more of this.

For more on Davis-Bacon, see here.

Fore more on the labor-green alliance, see here.

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