Contractors hit by labor rights requirement

A procurement rule has taken effect forcing contractors to notify their employees of their labor rights

Companies that receive contracts from here on out must now post information about labor rights for their employees, as a new rule takes effect.

The Labor Department required agencies to add a contract clause about posting the notices in their contract solicitations beginning June 21.


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The notice must inform employees of their right to organize and join a union and bargain collectively, as well as their right not to join or associate with a union. Furthermore, the notice explains that contractors may not retaliate or discriminate against people who choose to support a union. Similarly, the notice says that unions may not threaten or discriminate against contractor employees who choose not to associate with a union or who criticize it, according to the Venable law firm’s summary.

This new rule is based on President Obama’s Executive Order 13496, which he issued on Jan. 30, 2009.

In the order, Obama wrote that he wants “to promote economy and efficiency in government procurement” by telling employees of their rights.

“When the federal government contracts for goods or services, it has a proprietary interest in ensuring that those contracts will be performed by contractors whose work will not be interrupted by labor unrest," he wrote. "The attainment of industrial peace is most easily achieved and workers’ productivity is enhanced when workers are well informed of their rights under federal labor laws."

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

Reader Comments

Tue, Jun 22, 2010 CA

Wow - Unions really have bought and paid for their power. Unions had a place (in the past) and their role was to protect workers from unfair abuses. Isn't the GOVERNMENT supposed to NOT be abusing employees, so there really should be no place for them. In fact government employee (supposedly the employees of THE PEOPLE) have more rights than their employers (THE PEOPLE). BTW - I was FORCED to join a union when I worked retail while in high school and college. I had to threaten to sue my union, since they were playing favorites and discriminating based on gender. And family and friends have suffered because of unions. At this point in time - unions are more abusive than most employers.

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