Obama to order federal contractors to disclose labor violations

WASHINGTON Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:33pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will sign an executive order on Thursday that would require potential government contractors to disclose past labor law violations, a White House official said.

The order will signal the president's willingness to "double down" on his commitment to American workers and ensure fair wages and workplace safety, the official said on Wednesday.

"While the vast majority of federal contractors play by the rules, every year tens of thousands of American workers are denied overtime wages, not hired or paid fairly because of their gender or age, or have their health and safety put at risk by corporations contracting with the federal government," the official said in a prepared statement.

Obama is expected to make the announcement at a White House event on Thursday.

Democratic Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, the top lawmaker on the chamber's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, praised Obama's decision.

"The executive order announced by the White House is a bold response to a report I released last year," Harkin said in a statement. "My report found that in 2012 alone, taxpayers provided more than $80 billion in contracts to companies that had committed significant violations of our basic labor laws."

(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Mohammad Zargham)

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NPeril wrote:
“The president’s view is that taxpayer dollars should not reward corporations that break the law,” said an administration official, who insisted on anonymity because the executive order had not yet been issued. (Obama Plans New Scrutiny for Contractors on Labor Practices, New York Times July 30, 2014) While the President’s decision should sincerely be applauded; would the White House consider the same oversight and penalties for Federal Contractors that low-ball bids then magnify profits on change orders and/or fail to complete the contract specifications but secure tax payer funded payments regardless? “CGI Federal’s contract allowed for payment even when work was not completed.” (Federal Obamacare Market Still Faces Cost Overruns, Delays: Watchdog, Reuters July 30, 2014) The Reuter’s article stated that over $840 million has been spent as of March 2014 with critical system specs yet to be developed and tested prior to implementation.

Come on, Senator Tommy of Iowa; let us not pick at our food. Mama said that you have to eat all that’s on your plate before leaving the table. I know that you want your cake and eat it too.

Jul 31, 2014 8:22am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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