In a move that favored local workers, the Quad Cities Transportation Policy Committee voted today to opt of Iowa’s federal-aid swap law, which has been criticized as a sneaky gimmick to allow unscrupulous contractors to cut costs at the expense of the public.
Iowa’s law would allow the Iowa Department of Transportation to swap federal funding for state money, which would remove federal regulations including prevailing wage, “Buy America” provisions, and guidelines that encourage the employment of veterans, women and minorities.
Local 150 spearheaded the “No Swaps” campaign that informed the public through media coverage as well as radio, print, and digital advertising. The campaign urged voters to call their leaders on the policy committee to urge them to opt out. Other unions, contractor associations, chambers of commerce, community groups and faith-based organizations joined Local 150 in the call to opt out.
There are still many other metropolitan planning organizations that have not yet opted out, but this development will build momentum in encouraging other committees to follow suit.