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SWACCA Takes Several Actions to Support and Clarify DOL’s Proposed Rule to Modernize Davis-Bacon Prevailing Wage

This week, SWACCA worked with our allies and industry partners to submit three separate comment letters to support and clarify the Department of Labor’s seminal proposed rulemaking to modernize Davis-Bacon and Related Acts prevailing wage.

First, SWACCA collaborated in drafting comments with the other union contractors in the Construction Employers of America (CEA) supporting the Department of Labor’s notice of proposed rulemaking to update the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) Regulations. In its comments, SWACCA worked with CEA to express support for the proposed DBRA rule’s: (1) return to the original definition of “prevailing wage”—including the 30 percent rule; (2) amendments providing that prime contractors are responsible for subcontractors’ Davis-Bacon compliance; and (3) amendments to reinforce the “well established” principle that Davis-Bacon labor standards apply even when there is no employment relationship between a contractor and worker, such as when the worker is treated as an independent contractor. The joint CEA comment letter is available in its entirety here.

Second, SWACCA drafted and submitted its own comments on the proposed Davis-Bacon modernization rule to specifically address concerns and suggest revisions to clarify provisions in the proposed rule related to “site-of-work.” This comment letter addresses concerns SWACCA members have about the need to protect unionized shops that build panels and perform other fabrication work off-site. In its comments, SWACCA explains that applying a jobsite rate at these manufacturers and fabricators would be disruptive to the collective bargaining relationships and agreements in place at unionized plants. SWACCA is pleased that we were able to have a common position with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters on the site of work issue. You can read SWACCA’s comment letter in its entirety here.

Finally, SWACCA jointly sponsored an independent economic analysis of the proposed Davis-Bacon Rule from the Institute for Construction Economics Research (ICERES). We sponsored this technical analysis jointly with the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, the National Electrical Contractors Association, and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association. SWACCA sponsored this independent economics analysis to rebut attacks we anticipate from opponents of the rule about the projected cost of expanding the application of Davis-Bacon prevailing wage. This expert analysis will strengthen the rulemaking record if it is challenged in court. The economic analysis submitted by ICERES is available here.

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