Cleaning Up on Hurricane Katrina

Friday, September 09, 2005

Please America, I beg you to wake up and realize what George Bush and his administration are doing to this country and the people in it. This is not Bush bashing. This is common sense and
compassion for your fellow man and woman.

In what may be the most disgusting display of greed and capitalism ever, a proclamation was made by President Bush yesterday: To Suspend Subchapter IV of Chapter 31 of Title 40, United States Code, Within a Limited Geographic Area in Response to the National Emergency Caused by Hurricane Katrina.

What is this proclamation and what does it mean? President Bush is suspending the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. Here is the opening text of the Davis-Bacon Act:

"That the advertised specifications for every contract in excess of $2,000, to which the United States or the District of Columbia is a party, for construction, alteration, and/or repair, including painting and decorating, of public buildings or public works of the United States or the District of Columbia within the geographical limits of the States of the Union or the District of Columbia, and which requires or involves the employment of mechanics and/or laborers shall contain a provision stating the minimum wages to be paid various classes of laborers and mechanics which shall be based upon the wages that will be determined by the Secretary of Labor to be prevailing for the corresponding classes of laborers and mechanics employed on projects of a character similar to the contract work in the city, town, village, or other civil subdivision of the State in which the work is to be performed, or in the District of Columbia if the work is to be performed there; and every contract based upon these specifications shall contain a stipulation that the contractor or his subcontractor shall pay all mechanics and laborers employed directly upon the site of the work, unconditionally and not less often than once a week, and without subsequent deduction or rebate on any account, the full amounts accrued at time of payment, computed at wage rates not less than those stated in the advertised specifications, regardless of any contractual relationship which may be alleged to exist between the contractor or subcontractor and such laborers and mechanics, and that the scale of wages to be paid shall be posted by the contractor in a prominent and easily accessible place at the site of the work; and the further stipulation that there may be withheld from the contractor so much of accrued payments as may be considered necessary by the contracting officer to pay to laborers and mechanics employed by the contractor or any subcontractor on the work the difference between the rates of wages required by the contract to be paid laborers and mechanics on the work and the rates of wages received by such laborers and mechanics and not refunded to the contractor, subcontractors, or their agents."

Earlier in the week, the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root (you might recognize them from their top-notch work in Iraq) started work under a $500 million contract with the Navy.

Can you start to see what is happening now? President Bush has suspended the law that requires contractors working under a government issued contract to pay their workers on a weekly basis and to pay them at least minimum wage. Not only is Halliburton going to make money off this disaster, but they are going to make a huge profit on the backs of cheap labor. The work does need to be done and I am not saying that KB&R is not the right company for the job. What I don't understand is -why? Why would Bush suspend a law that protects the American worker from low and or inconsistent pay?

The answer is simple as usual. Bush and company do not care about you or me! Dick Cheney worked for Halliburton and now they make more money than can be imagined. When will America wake up and realize that the Bush administration is selling us off to capitalist corporations?


Ronald Rington said...

Is there anyone who is really surprised by this. The tone was set when Cheney called in all the oil execs to write the energy policy. These people only care about profit.

Bush compounds the national disgrace of abandoning hundreds of thousands of Americans by then making sure the victims are underpaid when they try to get jobs in the rebuilding of their own lives. What will it take for the American people to wake up to this cruel and greedy government?

Jon Blaze said...

Bad move Bush.

Bobby Bray said...

Looks like bush's "base" are the only ones going to "clean up" during the clean up.

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