The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, June 23, 2006

A matter of priorities

By The Building Tradesman

WASHINGTON - Two items illustrate the spending priorities of the Bush Administration and Republican leaders.

One of the Department of Labor's most important roles is the enforcement of the nation's wage and hour laws - making sure employers don't cheat workers out of their wages, and if they do, recovering those lost wages.

The House Appropriations subcommittee that put together the 2007 budget cut by $10.2 million President Bush's request of $176 million for wage and hour enforcement in fiscal year 2007. If the cut is approved, it will mean that in FY 2007, the money to enforce wage and hour laws will be 6.1 percent less than when Bush took office.

Contrast that to a 12.1 percent hike in funding for the Office of Labor Management Standards. That agency enforces the administration's new stringent financial reporting rules for unions.

That request for $52.4 million also represents a 49.6 percent increases from fiscal 2001 funding.

(From the AFL-CIO)