Congressman Donald Norcross

Representing the 1st District of New Jersey
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Norcross Introduces the Fairness for Federal Contractors Act

Jan 29, 2019
News Release
Will Provide Lost Wages for Federal Contractors Impacted by Recent Government Shutdown

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ-01) introduced the bipartisan Fairness for Federal Contractors Act to provide lost wages up to $1,400 per week to federal contractors who were impacted by the partial government shutdown that recently ended. The Act is co-sponsored by U.S. Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ-04) and supported by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the AFL-CIO.

“Federal workers and their families endured incredible hardship during this government shutdown at no fault of their own – and it’s clear they should not have to lose their paychecks,” said Congressman Donald Norcross. “During my career as an electrician, we often worked hand-in-glove with government entities and I know that Congress must do the right thing and provide lost wages to contractors. It’s our moral obligation to these American families to pass the Fairness for Federal Contractors Act, which will also help prevent a dip in our economy and protect our future federal workforce. Contractors and employees work side-by-side and their pain is just as real.”

“Through no fault of their own, thousands of federal contractors in New Jersey—and their families—have been adversely impacted by the government shutdown. Our bipartisan legislation will ensure that federal contractors, who like federal employees have a binding agreement with the government, will not be penalized because of the work disruptions caused by the shutdown,” said Congressman Chris Smith.

“The Machinists Union proudly represents thousands of federal contractors who provide critical services to several government agencies from NASA to the FAA. These contractors work side-by-side with their government counterparts, motivated by the same goals of public service and safety. Just like federal employees, federal contract workers have to catch up on mortgages, student loans, school tuition, car loans, health care premiums, daycare and many other financial obligations following this painful shutdown,” said Robert Martinez Jr., International President, IAM. “The Machinists Union strongly urges Congress to provide back pay for federal contract workers. We wholeheartedly support the Fairness for Federal Contractors Act of 2019 introduced by U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross to make sure these workers receive the back pay they deserve.”

“Federal contractors and their families just endured 35 days of injustice and unnecessary financial hardship. It's time to right that wrong. This urgently needed back pay will allow them to begin piecing their lives back together. Every day that Congress fails to advance Rep. Norcross' legislation, the fallout from this manufactured crisis will continue to hurt the workers who make America run every day,” said Richard L. Trumka, President, AFL-CIO.

“CWA members and workers across the country were hurt and missed paychecks as a result of this senseless shutdown. It's totally unfair to penalize them for an ideological crusade that they played no part in,” said Shane Larson, Director of Legislation, Politics and International Affairs, CWA. “CWA supports the Fairness for Federal Contractors Act and strongly urges Congress to make these working men and women whole as soon as possible.”

Click here to download full text of the Fairness for Federal Contractors Act.

Local Contractors

In South Jersey, many employees and employers were negatively impacted by the recent partial government shutdown, including thousands of federal contractors. At the Atlantic City FAA tech center, for example, FAA contracted employees make up 50% of the 3,000 employee-workforce.

About Donald Norcross

Norcross was re-appointed to the House Committee on Education and Labor, as well as unanimously elected to serve as Vice Chair and Liaison to Labor for the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Norcross is also the co-founder of the Building Trades Caucus.

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Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director
ally.kehoe@mail.house.gov