Local 853 Women's Committee helps local family center

On August 14, the Women’s Committee brought over a supply of backpacks, donated by the Local, and school supplies donated by local office supply stores, for distribution to kids at Davis Street Family Resource Center.

You can help, too!

The IBT 853 Women’s Committee is collecting travel supplies from hotels for the Davis Street Family Resource Center, a San Leandro nonprofit that offers comprehensive resources to low income residents. If you go to hotels, bring home those little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Homeless families will appreciate this more than you know. There’s a barrel drop off at the union hall in San Leandro.

For more info: janjohnson@teamsters853.org

Republicans attack prevailing wage, skilled workers

By State Building & Construction Trades Council

The never-ending attack on working families by Republican politicians has gathered new steam recently, with a block of 10 Republican U.S. Senators from the South and Midwest introducing new legislation to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act, the 1931 law requiring that wages paid on federal public works projects are at levels prevailing in the locality of the project for similar crafts and skills on comparable construction work.

The repeal measure would have the direct effect of cutting construction workers’ pay. What makes this effort particularly interesting is that the Republican authors are being unusually blunt about their motives, flatly admitting that their goal is to push out highly-skilled union workers and replace them with lower paid, unskilled workers.

In an opinion column in the conservative magazine National Review, Senator Lamar Alexander, RTennessee, actually wrote: “If employers know they must pay a predetermined wage, there is no incentive for them to hire inexperienced workers over experienced, unionized workers.” He further emphasized that Davis-Bacon “robs unskilled workers of a fair shot at getting hired,” and in a statement, called the decent wages earned by skilled union workers a “handout.” Co-author Mike Lee, R-Utah, was quoted in another article saying Davis-Bacon “removes the incentive for federal contractors to hire unskilled, nonunionized workers.”

It can’t be much clearer than that; the race to the bottom – lowering workers’ skills, wages and standard of living, and sacrificing the quality of public works construction – is their only priority. Fortunately, as long as Democrats have a majority in the Senate, together with a small but solid group of Republicans who still support American workers, and with President Obama in office, this repeal attempt has no realistic chance of advancing. But it clearly illustrates the nightmarish future most Republicans have in mind for working families should they ever regain the White House and control of both houses of Congress.