Davis Bacon Act

9473 Words38 Pages
Business law
Park University

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Contractors bid on U. S. Federal Construction projects and most contracts for federally assisted constructions exceeding $2,000 required to pay their employees the standard wage and benefit package that workers in the area performing similar work are earning the
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Bacon of Long Island, New York; it was passed by congress and signed into law by President Herbert Hoover on March 3, 1931.

Over the next four years Bacon introduced thirteen more bills to establish regulation of labor on federal public works projects.[10] Finally, a bill submitted by Bacon and Senator James J. Davis, with the support of the American Federation of Labor,[11] passed in 1931. The law provided that all federal construction contractors with contracts in excess of $5,000 or more must pay their workers the "prevailing wage," which in practice meant the wages of unionized labor.
The measure passed because Congressmen saw the bill as protection for local, unionized[12] white workers ' salaries in the fierce labor market of the Depression.[13] In particular, white union workers were angry that black workers who were barred from unions were migrating to the North in search of jobs in the building trades and undercutting "white" wages.[14]
The comments of various congressmen reveal the racial animus that motivated the sponsors and supporters of the bill. In 1930, Representative John J. Cochran of Missouri stated that he had "received numerous complaints in recent months about southern contractors employing low-paid colored mechanics getting work and bringing the employees from the South."[15] Representative Clayton Allgood, supporting Davis-Bacon on the floor of the House, complained of "cheap
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