Montgomery County Council Postpones Vote on Controversial Contractor Bill

Council President Berliner removed the vote from Tuesday’s agenda.


A proposed bill sponsored by five members of the Montgomery County Council would require property owners to continue paying laborers for three months even if their employing general contractor is fired.

Councilmembers Valerie Ervin, Marc Elrich, Craig Rice and Council Vice President Nancy Navarro support County Bill 19-12—the “Displaced Worker Protection Act”—which would mandate that if a property owner dismisses a contractor, they must retain the employees for 90 days. If a replacement contractor is brought in, that new one must hire the employees.

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been a strong proponent of the bill and participated in a news conference on Monday with the five councilmembers, according to Montgomery County press release. 

Councilman George Leventhal (D-At Large), who opposes the proposal, had some harsh word for his fellow councilmembers during a Montgomery County Council Health and Human Services Committee meeting, according to a Washington Examiner story:

"If we pass this bill we're doing it for one local," said Leventhal. "I do not only work for SEIU 32BJ. My colleagues may feel they do. I don't. I work for all the people—all the people, all the workers of Montgomery County. This bill was introduced at the behest of one local, and it protects the workers who are respectively represented by one local. I think that's a concern,” he continued.

While Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner removed the vote on the bill from today’s agenda, the five supporters can still motion for a vote.

Stay tuned to Patch for updates on this developing story.

ED August 01, 2012 at 01:10 PM
I agree with Councilmember Leventhal. It is my understanding, from speaking with friends in the "trades", these types of "displacement" decisions are normally made during contract negotiations. I believe that's where they belong.
Beth August 01, 2012 at 03:50 PM
This is an OUTRAGEOUS bill! I cannot believe the Montgomery County Council is backing such a ridiculous proposal. There are good reasons why I might choose to fire a contractor. Nine times out of ten, it will be related to the workmanship and quality. Our council wants us to eat it and pay these folks so they can continue to earn wages no matter what? Even Leventhal's reasoning that we cannot do this for just one union is flawed. How about not doing it at all? What could be a valid or even possible logic for this bill? Please clue me in! I'm dying to know...
Matt August 01, 2012 at 10:57 PM
It's the SEIU and politicians. Don't look for logic. They only due what is financially best for themselves. Duh.


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