Gulf Coast Electricians Hurt by Davis-Bacon Suspension

Despite suffering massive losses from Hurricane Katrina, seventy-five electricians from three IBEW local lodges in Louisiana were kicked off a three-week old recovery job and replaced with out-of-state non-union electricians as a result of President Bush’s executive order suspending the Davis-Bacon Act in the Gulf Coast.

By suspending the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires employers to pay the prevailing wage rates on federally financed construction projects, and awarding no-bid contracts to companies with ties to the White House, the Bush administration has harmed working families.

“This is a story about pure and naked greed, about exploiting lower-skilled, nonunion workers while slapping union workers across the face after the nation’s biggest natural disaster in a generation wiped out their lives,” said IBEW President Edwin Hill.

The incident serves as a reminder that IAM members, who organized a tool drive for Katrina victims with the IBEW, and all working families need to mobilize for a fair recovery effort.