The administration of the Davis-Bacon law
The history of national minimum wage legislation in the United States begins with the enactment of the Davis-Bacon statute in 1931. This law guarantees to workers on certain classes of Federal public works the wages prevailing in the locality of each project.The problems involved in the operation of the law are the subject of this thesis. Special attention is devoted to the relations of administrators, employers, and labor organizations.The policies of these groups decisively affect the earnings of thousands of workers, the strength of a score of important unions, the profits of hundreds of employers, and the expenditure of millions of dollars for public works. The attitudes of contractors and of unions toward Federal labor legislation have been powerfully influenced by the extent to which their policies have been satisfied or frustrated by the Davis-Bacon Act.By describing the cooperation and the conflicts between the interested groups, this study discloses certain issues which must be faced in the administration of minimum wage laws. The improvements needed in the operation of the Davis-Bacon Act are discussed in the light of the experiments which have already been made.At present, material is very limited in regard to the regulation of wages paid on public works. It is the hope of this student that the gap will be partially filled by this detailed history of the foremost. Federal prevailing wage statute. This study also includes analyses of the administrative and economic interrelations of the Government and the Interested parties. The thesis is concluded by an original record of the evaluations of the law which have been made by the organizations involved.