Paul Bland on HuffingtonPost: Obama Administration Implements Major Advance for Civil Rights
Now we know why the corporate lobby’s favorite lawmakers filibustered the nomination of our fantastic Labor Secretary, Tom Perez, for so long. He’s actually committed to sticking up for workers.
Earlier today, the Department of Labor, along with federal procurement agencies, announced guidance and regulations that will give huge and important new protections to those who work with corporations that contract with the federal government. That’s 26 million people who will be positively impacted if the proposed regulations are approved.
The proposed new rules would do two really significant things:
• First, they would bar corporations from getting federal contracts if they have repeatedly subjected workers to safety risks, or if they have repeatedly engaged in wage theft.
• Second, and of incredible importance (even if less obvious to most Americans), regulations from the General Services Administration would bar federal contractors from using fine print contracts to force their workers out of court and into rigged arbitration.
The first part, limiting federal contracts to corporations with a decent record of integrity and business ethics toward their workers, may sound like an obvious thing to do. Why should corporations who regularly endanger or cheat their workers get repeat federal contracts? How could this even be this controversial?