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Chairmen Urge Labor Secretary Perez To Reverse Davis-Bacon Decision
No DOL Analysis Conducted Before Unilateral Decision

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) today joined Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chairman Tim Walberg (R-MI) to urge Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to reverse the department’s decision to unilaterally extend the Davis-Bacon Act requirements to survey technicians due to inadequate analysis and outreach to industry stakeholders.

Kline, Graves, and Walberg wrote in a letter to Perez:

When the department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued AAM No. 212 along with a guidance letter on March 22, 2013, survey technicians were included under Davis-Bacon for the first time in the act’s history. For over 50 years, both Republican and Democrat administrations have consistently excluded survey technicians from Davis-Bacon requirements.

However, after receiving unsolicited input from the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), the department proceeded to make this unprecedented policy change based solely on the information from the IUOE without consulting any other stakeholders. To make matters worse, the department made this change through an agency memorandum, rather than the public rulemaking process. The department’s action in this case has resulted in confusion as to what work is covered by the memorandum and when the change in policy officially began.

In 2013, Graves, Kline and Walberg wrote a letter requesting documents and communications concerning its decision to overturn decades of policy and apply Davis-Bacon wage requirements to survey technicians. The department’s response was significantly delayed and failed to provide all the documents and communications that were requested. The response did reveal that only the IUOE was consulted during the nearly two years the department considered the change.  As Kline, Graves, and Walberg continued in today’s letter:

Based on the most recent documents provided to the committee, it is clear the department worked exclusively with the IUOE to make this significant policy change. The entire process appears to have started on May 4, 2011, when an assistant for William Waggoner, Business Manager, IUOE Local 12, contacted the department stating that Mr. Waggoner had discussed this issue with then-Secretary Solis at a luncheon and would like to meet in Washington, D.C. to discuss the matter.  

To read the full letter, click here.