Executive Orders Reverse Course, Raise Interesting Questions
Three executive orders issued by President Barack Obama include provisions that could lead to some interesting outcomes for federal contractors.
The orders reverse Bush administration initiatives that Democrats consider inimical to labor unions. But some observers believe they now will hamper contractors will new requirements.
From a New York Times piece:
"The orders he signed, which union officials say will undo Bush administration policies that tilted toward employers, would require federal contractors to offer jobs to current workers when contracts change, and would make it more difficult for federal contractors to discourage union activities."
Kausfiles.com, at Slate, had this to say:
"Obama has issued a late Friday executive order requiring that when a government service contract expires--and there's a new contract to perform the same services at the same location--the new contractor has to keep the old workers. Why?"
"'The Federal Government's procurement interests in economy and efficiency are served when the successor contractor hires the predecessor's employees. A carryover work force reduces disruption to the delivery of services during the period of transition between contractors and provides the Federal Government the benefits of an experienced and trained work force that is familiar with the Federal Government's personnel, facilities, and requirements.'
"But what if the contract got switched because the previous work force, you know, sucked?"
In a brief analysis, folks at the Venable law firm summarized the executive orders:
"-- The Non Displacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts Executive Order requires government contractors to offer jobs to the qualified employees of the predecessor contractor when a government contract changes hands.
"-- The Notification of Employee Rights Under Federal Labor Laws Executive Order reverses an Executive Order signed by President Bush requiring employers to post signs informing workers of their rights to limit financial support of unions serving as their collective bargaining representatives.
"-- The Economy in Government Contracting Executive Order prohibits government contractors from being reimbursed for expenses incurred when seeking to inform or influence workers regarding whether to form unions or engage in collective bargaining."
Venable, which has been involved in earlier "litigation and lobbying" efforts on behalf of contractors over these rules, efforts that date to the end of the Clinton administration, said this:
"While it is not possible to forecast the contracting community's response, it is likely that the Orders regarding the forced hire of predecessor employees and restrictions regarding the disbursement of funds relating to employer campaigns will give rise to preemptive litigation or lobbying efforts."
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