Posts Tagged ‘federal contracts’

New DOL posting rule helps relations and efficiency

There was some good news for workers’ rights advocates this morning. The Department of Labor will publish final rule in the new edition of the Federal Register, released today, that requires federal contractors and subcontractors to post notice of their employees’ rights.

These rights, covered under the National Labor Relations Act, include the right of workers to organize and form unions, which of course puts a smile on my face. And according to the DOL’s John Lund, employees’ knowledge of their rights “leads to more stable labor-management relations and a more engaged workforce, which in turn facilitates greater efficiency and timely completion of federal contracts.”

Efficiency? Stable relations? Timely completion of federal contracts? That’s not a combination of words you see every day.

Our Executive Director Kimberly Freeman Brown had this to say: Read more »


Who’s afraid of a fair wage?

Cross-posted from

It was pretty amusing to watch the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board attempt to incite panic over the possibility that federal contractors be encouraged treat their workers better. To read the Journal’s editorial, you would think that a living wage, health benefits, pensions, and sick leave were the biggest threat facing America since the financial crisis. American Rights at Work’s Kimberly Freeman Brown takes them to task in a recent letter to the editor:

You are correct about one thing in your otherwise flawed editorial on “high-road” contracts: Where you find unions, you find better wages and benefits. It’s no coincidence that giving an edge to companies which pay a living wage and offer health care, pensions, sick leave, and other benefits will mean giving an edge to union companies. That’s exactly why workers form unions: because they help working families improve their standard of living.

It’s true: workers in unions earn 14% higher wages and are 28% more likely to have employer-provided health insurance, even when controlling for factors like education, occupation, and experience. And leading American economists, business academics, and civil rights leaders all agree that unions are good for our economy and community. As Kim puts it:

In a consumer economy, job creation means nothing if it doesn’t put spending money in the hands of the middle class. So how should our government spend our tax dollars? Creating more McJobs or fostering jobs which support families, pump money into the economy and build a robust middle class? My bet is that the majority of Americans would choose the latter.

We think so, too.