Burlington City Council Raises Community Standards for Construction Workers
Enhanced Labor Standards Protect Workers, Taxpayers
BURLINGTON, VT, Jan. 20, 2022 — Last week, the Burlington City Council took decisive action, demonstrating their commitment to working families and taxpayers alike by amending the city’s Prequalification of Construction Contractors Ordinance to include wage and labor standards for city-funded construction projects. Mayor Miro Weinberger voiced his support for the amendment before the Council voted unanimously to pass the order. The underlying ordinance, in effect since 2004, will now require contractors on city-funded projects, valued over $100,500, to prequalify and be deemed a “Responsible Contractor,” committed to paying construction workers the Vermont State Prevailing Wage and benefits, matching the state’s Capital Construction Act.
“This change will raise standards for contractors and ensure workers are paid wages that will allow them the opportunity to live in the community in which they work,” City Council President Max Tracy said.
“We commend Mayor Weinberger and the entire City Council for not only looking out for Burlington’s workforce, but for protecting the taxpayers who fund these projects,” said Larry Moquin, Regional Organizer with the New England Region of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. “This amendment puts unscrupulous contractors on notice: work in Burlington will be awarded based on standards and performance, not by balancing a construction budget on the backs of exploited, underpaid and undervalued workers. The Council’s action clearly reflects the values of Burlington residents while at the same time ensures the city is built by well-trained, safe and fairly-compensated workers.”
Under Burlington’s charter, notice of the ordinance change must be published in a newspaper, then, after 20 days, it becomes law. The Queen City joins Montpelier as the second municipality in Vermont to enact construction labor standards on locally funded projects, with the latter having done so in late 2019.
Larry Moquin, Regional Organizer
Laborers’ New England Region Organizing Fund
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