August 4, 2014
By SEIU President Mary Kay Henry
Washington, DC – Following President Obama's announcement of an executive order relating to monitoring and reforming the performance of government contractors, Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement:
"By signing this executive order, President Obama has demonstrated his continued commitment to protecting the rights of American workers. This action will help protect the wages and lives of millions of Americans by giving the government tools to identify and fix workplace violations committed by companies that hold federal contracts. President Obama is right to use his authority to ensure that the federal government leads in the fight for good jobs, protects taxpayer dollars and makes sure the government gets good value for the goods and services it purchases.
"Holding contractors to basic labor standards not only ensures that the federal government is getting the proper value for its dollar, it will protect responsible contractors in the marketplace from unfair competition by unethical employers who profit from their violations of the labor and employment laws that all employers are required to respect.
"The current system doesn't do enough to ensure taxpayer dollars only go to responsible employers. It's difficult to know about a company's record of compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and others laws that protect working families. That's why President Obama's action today is so important. With more than 20 percent of Americans working for companies that do business with the federal government, this executive order will have a real impact on the lives of workers.
"As workers around the country stand up to demand a living wage and a union, President Obama is doing his part to make sure corporations treat their workers with the respect they deserve. Our economy won't work for everyone if taxpayer dollars flow to companies that steal wages or create unsafe conditions for their workers."