Statement of Building and Construction Trades Department President Mark H. Ayers on Federal GAO Report on Davis-Bacon Act Wage Surveys

April 13, 2011

WASHINGTON, April 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following is a statement by Building and Construction Trades Department President Mark H. Ayers:

America’s Building Trades Unions welcomes and appreciates the interest and effort on the part of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to attempt to improve the manner by which Davis-Bacon Act local prevailing wage surveys are conducted and analyzed (Mythological Changes Needed to Improve Wage Survey; GAO – 11 – 152).

As our nation continues to confront the difficult task of both revitalizing and restructuring the American economy, the notion of prevailing wage protections under the federal Davis-Bacon Act is generating important and noteworthy discussions. Central to those discussions is the process by which locally-prevailing wages are determined.

It is critical that any discussions relating to the wage survey process associated with the federal Davis-Bacon Act be grounded in fact; not fiction. America’s Building Trades Unions have long believed that the Davis-Bacon Act is sound and proven public policy, and that all federally assisted construction spending should be subject to the Act’s prevailing wage requirements. That being said, we also recognize that there is room to improve the accuracy, methodology and accounting of the wage surveys mandated by the law. Without accurate and timely wage surveys, the Department of Labor’s wage and benefit determinations will inevitably be too low.

What concerns us is that advocates of competition for public works contracts based on wage competition may attempt to misconstrue and distort the GAO’s objective evaluation of the Department of Labor’s wage survey methodology. Instead, we hope that GAO’s findings and recommendations will be used constructively to improve both the speed and the accuracy of the Departments’ wage survey process in a way that will engender greater confidence among its stakeholders in its reliability.

The Building and Construction Trades Department is an alliance of 13 national and international unions that collectively represent approximately 2 million skilled craft professionals in the United

SOURCE Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO

Source: newswire

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