Governor Brown Signs Our Bill to Defund Sham Labor Compliance Committees
August 27, 2013 - Big Defeat for ABC, Great Victory for Workers! Governor Jerry Brown announced today that he has signed Senate Bill 776 into law, legally ending the dishonest practice of using workers’ wages to fund sham labor compliance committees that actually work against workers’ best interests. The SBCTC-sponsored bill, authored by Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, won approval from both the Senate and Assembly earlier this month.
The bill was designed to close an unfair loophole that allows anti-union contractors to deduct funds from workers’ wages to fund committees to “monitor and enforce” worker protection laws, and to define those contributions as “fringe benefits” that can be applied to prevailing wage requirements. In fact, those committees have no worker representation at all, and are actually used to fund anti-worker, anti-union causes. SB 776 stops this dishonest practice by clarifying that the payments may be applied to the prevailing wage only if they are made to a joint program or committee established by the federal Labor Management Cooperation Act of 1978.
State Building Trades President Robbie Hunter commented: “The governor’s signature is a major defeat for anti-union lobbying groups such as Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), whose leader repeatedly complained in communications to members about how it would weaken those anti-union committees. But it is a clear victory for workers, who are now protected from having their wages deducted and used against them by sham committees that don’t represent their interests.”
Thanks to the Governor, Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, all the legislators who voted for the bill, and to all councils, affiliates and workers who offered their support for this important legislation.
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