Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011
Yesterday, I participated in an Oversight Committee hearing on the future of organized labor in America. Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) ensure that construction workers are paid good wages for the very dangerous work that they do. Republicans in Congress are trying to end PLAs -- meaning lower wages for workers who put their lives on the line every day.
Last month, Republicans offered an amendment to their job-killing budget that would've eliminated all funding to public construction sites with a PLA. Luckily, this amendment failed -- but it failed on a tie vote at 1:30 in the morning on a Saturday! A few Members missed the early morning vote, including four Republicans. This just means that Republicans will try to end PLAs again, and next time they might be successful.
Many important projects have been successfully completed on time and under budget thanks to PLAs, including the rebuilding of the I-35 W bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis.
Hard working Iowans and all middle class Americans deserve fair wages. That's why I defended PLAs at yesterday's hearing. And as a former construction worker and Chairman of the Populist Caucus, I will always fight for the middle class.
Rep. Bruce Braley, Iowa Congressman, THE HUFFINGTON POST