Monday, March 29, 2010
Plan to Seek Use of U.S. Contracts as a Wage Level is another important article by Steven Greenhouse in the Feb. 26, 2010 New York Times. It is about the Obama Administration plans to use federal procurement policy to deter labor law violations. Federal procurement involves the awarding of federal contracts, which of course, can be substanial. As the article states:
By altering how it awards $500 billion in contracts each year, the government would disqualify more companies with labor, environmental or other violations and give an edge to companies that offer better levels of pay, health coverage, pensions and other benefits, the officials said.
Because nearly one in four workers is employed by companies that have contracts with the federal government, administration officials see the plan as a way to shape social policy and lift more families into the middle class. It would affect contracts like those awarded to make Army uniforms, clean federal buildings and mow lawns at military bases.
Although the details are still being worked out, the outline of the plan is drawing fierce opposition from business groups and Republican lawmakers. They see it as a gift to organized labor and say it would drive up costs for the government in the face of a $1.3 trillion budget deficit.
As I recall, the Clinton Administration proposed similar regulations just before President Clinton's term ended. President Bush withdrew those regulations without them ever being implemented. Seems to me that the federal government should not be doing business with corporations that violate the law-labor law or otherwise. These regulations are a no-brainer to me.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein