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.

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Enduroguard -
The Tough Cable
for a Tough Industry.
Reduce maintenance costs and down time, increase job site safety with Enduroguard Cable. Available exclusively from SAFE Systems. UL listed, flexible, abrasion resistant and cut resistant.

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Removing blasting operators from harmful environments is our key objective.

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.

Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. or Call 412-931-6655.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.
Full Surface Protection for Up to One Year
HT 365 is a preservation, single component, anti-corrosive coating, a water displacing agent, a lubricant, and a penetrating fluid. It creates an imperceptible thin-film coating that offers excellent salt contaminant and humidity protection. Contact your HoldTight® representative or visit for more information.

RCG America
Recycled crushed glass factory direct. Pallet to truckloads. Experience quality. Demand savings. Serving PA, MD, DE, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, MI, OH, IN, WV, KY.

Sika® Industrial Floor Coatings
Click to learn about floor and wall systems relied upon for performance, durability, easy maintenance and aesthetics across the every industry and environment.

Bullard Made in the USA

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 (Updated 5/24/2018)   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us