WASHINGTON, D.C. – TheCongressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) made the following statement today after a Texas judge temporarily blocked a final Department of Labor rule implementing President Obama’s 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order, which was scheduled to take effect Tuesday. The executive order requires federal contractors to disclose labor law violations and gives agencies guidance on how to consider labor violations when awarding federal contracts.
“It is disappointing to see a hard-fought victory for federal contract workers delayed by an injunction that is clearly intended to protect labor law violators. The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order is a tool to ensure lucrative federal contracts are awarded to companies that follow our nation’s labor standards. The only reason for contractors to oppose disclosing violations is to avoid transparency and accountability. As the largest employer in the nation, we cannot afford to give federal contracts to those that do not treat their workers fairly.
“The legal principle that the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Executive Order is based on still stands. We urge the Department of Labor to uphold business integrity by denying contracts to labor standard violators. The Department has full authority to hold contractors accountable under current law, regardless of this injunction. We look forward to working with this Administration and the next one to ensure that our labor laws are enforced while the process established in the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces moves through our judicial system. This Executive Order is about ensuring workers are treated fairly– and we will continue to fight with workers to get every penny and the workplace protections they deserve.”
In Congress, the CPC has led the fight to make the federal government a model employer, calling on President Obama to sign a Model Employer Executive Order and rallying with federal contract workers fighting for $15 and a union. As part of this campaign, the caucus has also introduced a series of appropriations amendments aimed at establishing an Office of Good Jobs to help ensure federal dollars are used to create sustainable jobs for the American people. The CPC hasalso continuously fought to combat wage theft, raise the minimum wage nationally , and expand overtime pay.