Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site




Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Davis-Bacon Wage Provisions Face Challenges

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

More items for Program/Project Management
More items from North America

Comment | More

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate and currently under consideration by the Environment and Public Works Committee would remove prevailing wage restrictions from many transportation projects funded by the federal government.

The Transportation Investment Recalibration to Equality Act, or TIRE Act, introduced by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), calls for the removal of Davis-Bacon Act provisions from federal highway projects, including those funded by the TEA-21 Act and FAST Act.

Sen. Jeff Flake
Official U.S. Congress portrait

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) has introduced legislation that would remove Davis-Bacon wage provisions from federally funded transportation projects.

Davis-Bacon, introduced in 1931, requires that workers on federally funded construction jobs be paid according to prevailing wage rates. “Prevailing wage” rates are defined, according to the Department of Labor, as “the wage paid to the majority (more than 50 percent) of the laborers or mechanics in the classification on similar projects in the area during the period in question.”

Other Measures on Davis-Bacon

After Flake unveiled his Senate bill, U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) introduced legislation to repeal the 86-year-old Davis-Bacon Act completely. Lee’s S. 244 has been referred to the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; King’s H.R. 743 is currently in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

According to Federal Highway Administration policy, Davis-Bacon minimums must be paid to all covered workers on federal-aid projects exceeding $2,000 that are located on a federal-aid highway.

Bridge approach construction
© / ivanastar

Davis-Bacon minimums must be paid to all covered workers on federal-aid projects exceeding $2,000 that are located on a federal-aid highway.

“When money is wasted on inflated labor costs under the Davis-Bacon Act, it results in fewer improvements to Arizona’s infrastructure and fewer jobs for Arizona’s construction workers,” Flake said in introducing the legislation. “By suspending onerous prevailing wage provisions on all federal highway construction projects, the TIRE Act will ensure that tax dollars go toward projects and jobs, not overpriced union labor contracts.”

Industry Groups For Repeal, Labor Against

Associated Builders and Contractors, a construction industry trade association, has said in the past that it supports a full repeal of Davis-Bacon. “Davis-Bacon stifles contractor productivity by raising project costs, and imposes rigid craft work rules that ignore skill differences,” the organization says on its website.

Labor groups by and large take the opposing viewpoint. Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, told Engineering News-Record, “Repealing the Davis-Bacon Act would lower the quality of projects, leading to costly delays, repairs and even re-dos down the line, leaving taxpayers holding the bag.”

PaintSquare News reached out to the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades for comment on the pending legislation, but did not hear back as of press time Tuesday (Feb. 28).


Tagged categories: Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. (ABC); Bridges; Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); Government; Government contracts; Infrastructure; International Union of Painters and Allied Trades; Labor; Laws and litigation; Roads/Highways; Unions

Comment from Mike McCloud, (3/1/2017, 7:47 AM)

Even if it was cut in half, the average hourly wage in the Northeast would be about $35.00 an hour. That would provide a lot of jobs and money to fix our infrastructure.

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
SAFE Systems'
Blast Lights &
Deadman Switches
Halogen or LED blast lights available with our NEW urethane bumper. Switches available in many colors for color coding your hoses.

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
The ALPHA1 provides a consistent finish day-in
day-out; job to job.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.
Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802

CHLOR*RID International Inc.
Companies that invest in corrosion control use CHLOR RID products
  • Soluble salt removal liquid
  • Test kits to verify contamination levels
  • Surface passivation to hold the blast
INFO@CHLOR-RID.COM 800.422.3217

Upgrade with the Bullard GenVX
Click here for your blast helmet.

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA-Tator Training Course Opportunities
• IACET Authorized Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Provider
• Live Basic Coatings Inspection Courses
• Customized/Private Courses
• Online/self-paced curriculums
Contact: Tiffany Kelly at 412-788-1300 x217

NLB Corporation
NLB Sure Shroud: Greater Protection and Flexibility
NLB’s Sure Shroud’s lighter weight and flexibility reduces operator fatigue and offers unmatched protection against high pressure hose ruptures. 10k to 40k psi rated.

Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.

Modern Safety Techniques
Modern Safety Techniques
With our unique LTCat, we can help to provide clean, safe breathing air to your workers. Take a look at our Breathing Air Systems, we supply at least twice as much charcoal as our competitors! Modern

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC
A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us