B-109270, MAY 2, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 561

B-109270: May 2, 1952

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CONTRACTS - AWARDS - CONTRACTORS EMPLOYING NON-UNION LABOR EMPLOYMENT OF UNION LABOR BY GOVERNMENT CONTACTORS IS NOT REQUIRED BY STATUTE. THERE IS NO LEGAL JUSTIFICATION FOR REJECTION OF THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED SOLELY BECAUSE THE LOW BIDDER MAY NOT EMPLOY UNION LABOR. 1952: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF APRIL 23 AND 28. YOU STATE THAT NINE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATIONS ISSUED FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK. INFORMATION WAS REQUESTED FROM AND FURNISHED BY L. ON THE BASIS OF WHICH IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE COMPANY WAS A QUALIFIED AND RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. R. BROWN AND COMPANY IS A NONUNION CONTRACTOR AND UNION CONTRACTORS ARE PERFORMING OTHER WORK IN CONNECTION WITH THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT PROJECT.

B-109270, MAY 2, 1952, 31 COMP. GEN. 561

CONTRACTS - AWARDS - CONTRACTORS EMPLOYING NON-UNION LABOR EMPLOYMENT OF UNION LABOR BY GOVERNMENT CONTACTORS IS NOT REQUIRED BY STATUTE, AND THEREFORE, THERE IS NO LEGAL JUSTIFICATION FOR REJECTION OF THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED SOLELY BECAUSE THE LOW BIDDER MAY NOT EMPLOY UNION LABOR.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL WARREN TO THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL, MAY 2, 1952:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTERS OF APRIL 23 AND 28, 1952, CONCERNING THE PROPRIETY OF AN AWARD MADE TO L. R. BROWN AND COMPANY, ROANOKE, VIRGINIA, FOR PAINTING THE EXTERIOR OF THE UNITED STATES CAPITOL.

YOU STATE THAT NINE BIDS WERE RECEIVED IN RESPONSE TO INVITATIONS ISSUED FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK, THE THREE LOWEST BIDS BEING IN THE AMOUNTS OF $38,000, $40,500, AND $41,620. INFORMATION WAS REQUESTED FROM AND FURNISHED BY L. R. BROWN AND COMPANY, THE LOW BIDDER, ON THE BASIS OF WHICH IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE COMPANY WAS A QUALIFIED AND RESPONSIBLE BIDDER. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT L. R. BROWN AND COMPANY IS A NONUNION CONTRACTOR AND UNION CONTRACTORS ARE PERFORMING OTHER WORK IN CONNECTION WITH THE CAPITOL POWER PLANT PROJECT, SEVERAL CONFERENCES ARE STATED TO HAVE BEEN HELD WITH MR. BROWN PRIOR TO AWARD CONCERNING THE POSSIBILITY OF LABOR DIFFICULTIES. MR. BROWN INDICATED THAT HE COULD AND WOULD MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO EMPLOY UNION LABOR IF NECESSARY FOR PERFORMANCE OF THE WORK. THEREAFTER, ON APRIL 2, 1952, AWARD WAS MADE TO L. R. BROWN AND COMPANY, AND A FORMAL CONTRACT, TOGETHER WITH PERFORMANCE AND PAYMENT BONDS, HAS SINCE BEEN EXECUTED.

YOUR DOUBT AS TO THE PROPRIETY OF THE AWARD MADE APPEARS TO DERIVE FROM THE FACT THAT NONUNION LABOR MAY BE EMPLOYED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF WORK UNDER THE CONTRACT. THE CONGRESS HAS ENACTED VARIOUS STATUTES DEALING WITH LABOR STANDARDS TO BE OBSERVED BY GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS, AMONG THEM THE DAVIS-BACON ACT, 49 STAT. 1011, 40 U.S.C. 276A, ET SEQ., REQUIRING THE PAYMENT OF MINIMUM WAGES, THE EIGHT-HOUR LAW, 37 STAT. 137, 40 U.S.C. 321- 326, FORBIDDING WORK IN EXCESS OF EIGHT HOURS A DAY WITHOUT OVERTIME PAY, AND THE ANTI-KICKBACK ACT, 60 STAT. 37, 40 U.S.C. 276B, C, PROHIBITING REBATES OF WAGES BY EMPLOYEES. IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT FULL COMPLIANCE WITH THESE AND OTHER APPLICABLE STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS WILL BE REQUIRED UNDER THE CONTRACT INVOLVED. NO STATUTE REQUIRES THE EMPLOYMENT OF UNION LABOR BY GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS, AND GENERALLY THERE WOULD BE NO LEGAL JUSTIFICATION FOR THE REJECTION OF THE LOWEST BID RECEIVED SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE LOW BIDDER MAY NOT EMPLOY UNION LABOR.