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Sep
2016
19

CA Gov. Brown Signs SB954 Preventing Lobbyist Misuse of Construction Workers’ Wage Deductions

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California Governor Jerry Brown (D) has signed a bill to ensure construction workers’ wages aren’t involuntarily deducted and used for anti-labor purposes by unscrupulous contractors. The legislation, SB 954, was authored by State Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (SBCTC):

Dealing yet another major blow to anti-union, anti-worker contractors and organizations such as Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation sponsored by the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California to further ensure that funds from construction workers’ wages are not deducted against their will and then used by anti-union employers to harm workers’ interests.

SB 954 builds on protections established in SB 776, a piece of pro-worker legislation from 2013. California law currently allows certain deductions, including for healthcare, pension contributions, and industry advancement programs like apprenticeship training. The new legislation, though, further clarifies that list of deductions. It also specifies the conditions under which deductions for “industry advancement” causes are allowed:

SB 954 cracks down…by specifying that for the contributions to be applied to industry advancement funds instead of paid to workers in wages or benefits, the employer must actually be a party to a collective bargaining agreement—agreed to by workers—that authorizes the contributions. This will end the longstanding, shady practice of using workers’ own wages to lobby against their best interests, on issues such as project labor agreements, prevailing wage, and health and safety laws.

“This important legislation not only protects the wages workers have rightfully earned,” said SBCTC President Robbie Hunter, “but ensures that when deductions are authorized, workers and their unions have had a fair say in determining their use for the best interests of construction workers.”

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