Senate Approves Bill to Stop Funding ABC Sham Labor Compliance Committees

May 9, 2013 - Senate Bill 776 - The California Senate today approved SBCTC-sponsored legislation to stop anti-union contractors and groups like Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) to take earnings from workers’ paychecks to fund their sham labor compliance committees. The bill, SB 776 by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, does so by eliminating automatic deductions to  non-union employer committees. It was approved by a 24-10 vote with one Republican, Senator Anthony Cannella of Ceres, joining 23 Democrats in support. SB 776 now moves to the Assembly.

Contractors on public works projects are obligated to pay their employees the prevailing wage for the craft and locality in which the work is performed. A portion of that obligation can be satisfied by paying fringe benefits, which include payments to “monitor and enforce” worker protection laws. In the case of union contractors, those payments are made to joint labor management compliance committees in which workers have a voice, as defined in the federal Joint Labor Management Cooperation Act of 1978.

But ABC and the anti-union crowd put their workers’ money into so-called “labor compliance” committees that have no worker participation at all in setting them up, running them cooperatively, or even using them to ensure labor compliance. Instead, they work to advance the employer’s anti-worker agenda. In effect, workers’ dollars are being taken to be used against their best interests.

SBCTC Legislative Director Cesar Diaz states that SB 776 closes this unfair loophole by clarifying that contractor payments for monitoring and enforcing laws related to public works cannot count as a credit toward a contractor’s obligation to pay prevailing wages, if those payments are not made to a joint program or committee established by the federal Labor Management Cooperation Act of 1978. This will guarantee that workers have a say in how their own money is used on their behalf, and will protect them from ABC-style phony labor compliance committees that actually work against all workers’ best interests.

Click here to see the floor alert that went to every Democratic Senator before the vote, followed by the roll call vote. If any of your local Senators voted with the ABC against this bill, please contact them to express your concern.

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