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Quincy, MA Caves to Anti-Unionism, Ditches Responsible Employer Ordinance Provisions

Caving to anti-union pressure, the city of Quincy, Massachusetts recently changed parts of their Responsible Employer Ordinance (REO) that mandated apprenticeship programs, health care and pension benefits for workers on city-funded jobs. The ordinance, which did a great deal to look out for non-union as well as union workers in Quincy, was trumped by anti-union forces looking to make higher profits at the expensive of the livelihood its laborers:

Solicitor James Timmins said the city will not contest a federal judge’s recent interpretation that similar provisions in a Fall River ordinance were trumped by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The 1974 law sets minimum standards for private employer benefit plans.

“We absolutely agree that when it comes to payrolls, health insurance benefits and pension plans, that a company sets those up internally and funds them internally,” Timmins said. “Therefore, we should not have that in our ordinance and shouldn’t apply it.”

Contractors bidding on the Central Middle School construction project were notified on March 7th that the following provisions had been removed.

Bidders provide documentation from the state Division of Apprentice Training showing that they have, within the past year, graduated and upgraded apprentices for each trade or occupation represented in their workforce.

Bidders provide, at their own expense, hospitalization and medical benefits for employees on the given project. The benefits must be at least equivalent to the ones outlined in the state’s minimum-wage law for laborers on public projects.

Bidders provide a pension plan for all employees working on the project.

The absence of these provisions will likely affect the $1.6 billion downtown redevelopment that Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch promised would provide good jobs for residents.

Several Massachusetts cities, such Worcester, have REOs in place while others, such as Fall River, have lost theirs in the courts.


2 Comments on “Quincy, MA Caves to Anti-Unionism, Ditches Responsible Employer Ordinance Provisions”

  1. Hey is anyone paying attention!This means your kids school can be built by unskilled labor as well as the project slated for quincy square.What does that mean? How about fire alarms,fire sprinklers,emergency lighting all being installed by someone who barely speaks a word of english trying to follow the instruction of a pissed off foreman whos pissed cause noone understands a word hes sayin.Sure its ok if there cuttin a lawn or somthin that doesnt require life safety but all you parents whos child will attend the new central junior wake up.Remember its your tax money thats payin for it.Nobody should get rich by skimmin off the laber costs at others expense.Our economy is in the toilet cuz of schemes and its becoming the norm speak up and help the decay or you can shut up and make it worse

  2. That comment is not true.

    All DCAM Project Contractors need to be certified by the State prior to bidding/ being awarded on any State Funded Project.

    The Owner checks the reference of the company prior to award.

    We still have to pay prevailing wage rates.

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