Letter To Chicago Sun Times
I sent this letter to the Chicago Sun Times based on Jesse Jackson's column in the paper today.
In Mr. Jackson's column of 13 September "Hurricane Looting Not Over Yet" he derides the fact that Shaw Group is getting contracts for the rebuilding in the aftermath of Katrina, calling it a "Republican linked group". He fails to mention in his column that the CEO of Shaw Group, J.M. Bernhard, Jr. is also the chair of the Louisiana Democratic Party.
He also complains of Haliburton's post Katrina work, but that is being done on Navy facilities, under a contract they won on a competitive bid in 2004 to provide construction work for the Navy.
His complaints about "prevailing wage" relaxation is also totally misleading, the only wage he used was the $9.00, which is for a common laborer. Skilled trade wages under Davis Bacon for Orleans Parish range from $12.28 per hour for roofers and mason's to $22.78 for sprinkler fitters. The scales can be found on the Dept. of Labor website if Mr. Jackson or the editorial board would like to look at them.
What the President's order does is allow a contractor to continue paying the wage he or she has already negotiated with an employee, and not change it because of federal dollars being involved in the reconstruction, and saves companies the tons of paperwork required under Davis Bacon.
Mr. Jackson has devolved from a respected civil rights leader in this country into a partisan political hack, who's race baiting after the hurricane, and current column full of false, misleading, and intentionally distorted information do no service to anyone, and only work to dig a deeper divide in the country.