U.S. Labor Department To Survey Construction Wages In Vermont

…Agency Responds To Leahy-Sanders-Welch Request To Update Vermont Wage Determinations

WASHINGTON (Friday, December 4, 2009) – U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Friday that the U.S. Labor Department will conduct a building and heavy construction wage survey in Vermont to determine the prevailing wages that should be paid for future federal construction projects.  Leahy, Sanders, and Welch requested the updated survey in a September 2008 letter to the Labor Department.

In the joint statement, Leahy, Sanders, and Welch said:  “We are pleased that the Labor Department is finally moving forward on these important wage surveys.  The current data is woefully inadequate, and in some cases the federal rates fall below Vermont’s minimum wage.  We hope this new survey will help strengthen the wages of workers throughout Vermont.”

The federal Davis-Bacon law requires payment of locally prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits to employees of contractors and subcontractors performing work on federally financed or assisted construction projects.  Some Davis-Bacon wage rates in Vermont have not been updated in more than a decade, putting federal wage protections below Vermont's minimum wage rate.

The Labor Department will be collecting wage payment information for construction projects that occurred in Vermont between August 1, 2008, and July 31, 2009.  Firms have until April 30, 2010, to complete the survey.  The agency will keep the identity of respondents confidential to the maximum extent possible under existing law.

Information regarding the Davis-Bacon wage survey and how to complete the survey forms is available on the Labor Department’s Web site.

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David Carle: 202-224-3693

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