Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.
May
2013
20

OR Forestalls Nike Founder, Moves to Expand Prevailing Wages to Privately Funded College Projects

Nike founder Phil Knight loves Oregon but apparently not its workers.

Nike founder Phil Knight loves Oregon but apparently not its workers.


A bill requiring prevailing wages on all projects built on Oregon college campuses passed the state senate last week.  

House Bill 2646 flew through the House in a 27-2 landslide despite attempts from Nike founder and University of Oregon donor Phil Knight to have the bill pulled.  State prevailing wage laws already cover publicly funded projects but HB 2646 expands the law to cover privately funded projects such as the University of Oregon’s Matthew Knight Arena.  

After the vote, bill carrier Sen. Chris Edwards (D-Eugene) said:

“The requirement of paying prevailing wage on university projects has come under legal question when those projects are not publicly funded, depending upon how the project is structured.  This bill would bring clarity and would require prevailing wage on projects built on university property whether publicly or privately funded.”

The Senate made three minor changes to HB 2646 which must now go back to the House for what will likely be another breezy passage.  According to NWLaborPress, Gov. John Kitzhaber has assured building trades union officials that he will sign the bill when it gets to his desk.

Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland) celebrated the expansion of this important wage protection:

“Extending prevailing wages to university contracts will result in high quality and cost-effective work while protecting wages and compensation for employees.  Communities benefit when projects use prevailing wage, and HB 2646A will help more Oregonians get to work with good-paying jobs.”

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