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International Operating Engineer - Summer 2017

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The quarterly magazine of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

Politics & Legislation

Politics & Legislation Strong worker protections help build our middle class, strengthen our communities, and allow our economy to grow.” HOUSE VOTE DECISIVE Anti-worker forces in the House of Representatives also used the National Defense Authorization to devise a strategy to weaken Davis-Bacon prevailing wages. Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) offered an amendment to change the way Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rates are calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor. The problem with his proposed method of calculating wage rates? It would slash Davis-Bacon wage rates all around the country, and his method of calculating wage rates does not include any fringe benefits – no pension contributions, no family health care, and no investment in apprenticeship. Operating Engineers, other construction unions, and big parts Senator Joe Donnelly, (D-IN) of the contractor community came together to beat back the effort. A large bipartisan majority defeated the amendment, 183-242. Every Democrat voted against the effort to weaken prevailing wages, and fifty-one Republicans opposed it. Several Republicans leading the charge against the amendment – Mike Bost (R-IL), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) – said in a letter to their colleagues, “The Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, (R-PA) Gosar Amendment directs the use of alternative surveys and data sets to determine local prevailing wages that do not take into account the value of all compensation benefits, such as health care, employer-sponsored retirement plans or employer investments in working training…We strongly encourage our colleagues to protect the livelihoods of the hardworking men and women in the construction trades...” 14 INTERNATIONAL OPERATING ENGINEER SUMMER 2017 15

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