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LIUNA Opposes Deceptive Legislation to Slash Working Class Wages and Family-Sustaining Jobs

Reps. King and Wilson push harmful bills that tear at the fabric of our national values and economy

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 1, 2017) – Terry O’Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – made the following statement today regarding legislation introduced by Steve King (R-Iowa) and Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) which would enact a national so-called “right to work” law and separately Rep. Steve King’s introduction of repeal of the family-sustaining Davis-Bacon Act:

The introduction of national so-called “right to work” and anti-Davis Bacon legislation is a bid to further shrink opportunities for working class Americans and their families. These pieces of legislation are a deceptive politically-motivated trick to deny millions of American workers the freedom to join together in a union for mutual benefit and to earn a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.


The proof of their deception is in states where the campaign to pass so-called “right to work” has succeeded. Of the 10 poorest states, nine have the legislation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage of low-wage jobs in so-called “right to work” states is a full third higher than in other states, according to the Corporation for Enterprise Development.


Likewise, the bill to repeal the Davis-Bacon Act is a severe attack on the wages and living standards of millions of blue-collar workers and on taxpayers who expect quality construction work on public projects. For generations the Davis-Bacon Act has helped to prevent government projects from driving down wages and help to attract skilled, trained workers, and has given taxpayers the best deal for their money.


The demands and challenges facing working class and middle class Americans will not be solved by implementing so-called “right to work” at ever plummeting wages. Workers in China, Bangladesh, and other nations have work – a lot of it and for little pay. We believe our nation is different and cherishes the opportunity to prosper. These two pieces of legislation will only hurt workers and the middle-class.


It is disappointing, though not surprising, that Representatives Wilson and King continue to show how out of touch they are with the needs of middle-class families. Congress should reject this attempt to push deceptive, harmful legislation that would tear at the fabric of our national values and our economy and instead focus on creating good, family-supporting jobs, and defending the working class.



The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America.