19th Annual NAFC Conference – Nashville, TN, Sept. 24 – 26, 2017

NAFC will be holding its next Annual Conference in 2017 in Music City U.S.A., Nashville, Tennessee. The Conference will be held at the Sheraton Nashville Downtown Hotel, in the heart of the city. NAFC’s National Conference is attended by several hundred participants from across the nation, including representatives from labor organizations, fair contractors, fair contracting compliance organizations as well as researchers, academics, attorneys and officials from federal, state and local governments. Stay tuned for further details and registration information coming in early 2017.

(View NAFC Conference Page)

Proposed Prevailing Wage Changes Would Hurt the Ohio Economy

Midwest Economic Policy Institute – Blog

A new study finds that weakening or repealing Ohio’s prevailing wage standard is unlikely to save taxpayer dollars. In fact, a weaker policy would increase taxpayer burdens as construction worker incomes decrease and their reliance on public assistance increases. A weaker law would also mean fewer resources for apprenticeship training in this fast-growing sector, less work for Ohio businesses and Ohio workers, and negative overall impacts on the Ohio economy.

The study was conducted by researchers at Kent State University, Bowling Green State University, Colorado State University-Pueblo, and the Midwest Economic Policy Institute.

(Read More)

(Fact Sheet)

(See PDF Copy of Study)

Class War in the Capital City

Apr 5, 2017
By Don McIntosh

There’s a top-down class war under way, but unlike the 1930s, when thugs shot workers on strike picket lines, today’s business organizations are using “hired gun” lobbyists in state capitols, to rewrite the laws – all of them – in their favor.

That’s the basic argument made by political scientist Gordon Lafer in his new book The One Percent Solution: How Corporations Are Remaking America One State at a Time. Lafer, who teaches at the Labor Education and Research Center of the University of Oregon, spent five years compiling a 50-state, 30-issue database of corporate-backed legislation. He was also there on the front lines, testifying against business-backed anti-worker laws in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, New Hampshire, and other states.

The idea for the research came to him in early 2011. Lafer had just returned to Oregon after a year in Washington, D.C., as senior adviser to the U.S. House Labor Committee. Now a drama was beginning in the Wisconsin Legislature: A surprise attack on public sector workers’ right to collective bargaining drew 100,000 protesters to the state capitol. Attacks on worker rights and protections soon spread to dozens of states.

(Read More)

(Hardcover of book available here)

Two Top U.S. Research Organizations: Repealing Davis-Bacon Act Would Save 0%

MARCH 9, 2017
Published by Frank Manzo

The Brookings Institution and Wilson Center are two of the top 10 research organizations in the United States.

Together, these nonpartisan organizations have relaunched The Fiscal Ship, an online “game” that challenges people to put the federal budget on a sustainable course over the next 25 years. Picking from the menu of tax and spending options can be pretty eye-opening for many Americans.

Embedded in the game is one interesting policy option called “repeal federal construction wage law.” Picking this option means that you’d repeal the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires that workers on federally-assisted construction projects be paid the local prevailing wage. The posited argument for repeal is that it would save the government money. The argument against repeal is:

“This is just another way to push down wages of hard-working folks. Davis-Bacon blocks out-of-town firms from parachuting in with low-paid workers and under-cutting local contractors. It could lead to lower-quality work by less-skilled workers.

Interestingly, if you play the game and only choose to repeal the federal prevailing wage law from the list of tax and spending options, your plan results in a 0% change in federal revenue and a 0% change in federal spending. The game gives you a positive mark if your goal is to shrink government but a negative mark if you goal is to reduce inequality.

Ultimately, your plan gets declined as not helping to fix the budget.

(Read More)