Building Trades Bill To Protect Workers' Wages Sent to Governor

August 12, 2016 - Senate Bill 954, legislation sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California to further ensure that construction workers’ wages are not deducted without their approval and then used by anti-union, anti-worker contractors and organizations against the workers’ best interests, was sent to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk today following a Senate vote to concur in Assembly amendments to the measure.

The bill by Senator Bob Hertzberg, D-Van Nuys, was strongly opposed by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and its allies because it strengthens the landmark reforms of SB 776 from 2013 which stopped many such unscrupulous wage deductions by requiring that they be paid only to a joint program or committee established by the federal Labor Management Cooperation Act of 1978.

SB 954 cracks down still further by specifying that for the contributions to be applied to industry advancement funds instead of paid to workers in wages or benefits, the employer must actually be a party to a collective bargaining agreement—agreed to by workers—that authorizes the contributions. This will end the longstanding, shady practice of using workers’ own wages to lobby against their best interests, on issues such as project labor agreements, prevailing wage, and health and safety laws.

SBCTC President Robbie Hunter commented: “This important legislation not only protects the wages workers have rightfully earned, but ensures that when deductions are authorized, workers and their unions have had a fair say in determining their use for the best interests of construction workers.”


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