Miami-Dade Mayor Urges Governor's Intervention in Bills Affecting Local Labor

Miami-Dade Mayor Urges Governor’s Intervention in Bills Affecting Local Labor

Gov. Ron DeSantis is being urged by Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava to reject preemption measures that she feels have the potential to negatively impact county employees.

At least one of the legislation will have an impact on subcontracted workers, such as janitorial personnel at county facilities, workers at PortMiami, luggage handlers at airports, and Metrorail employees.

“It’s really a disaster for our community,” Levine Cava stated.

In a letter, the mayor pleaded with the governor to veto two bills pertaining to public works initiatives and employment laws.

House Bill 433 would take away counties’ authority to choose the pay scales for private firms they contract with for government-funded projects.

As of right now, employees under government service contracts in Miami-Dade are required to be paid a living wage under a living wage ordinance.

“We will find it very difficult to find workers for these jobs to maintain the service industry that supports so many of our basic county infrastructure. Our airport, our seaport, our transit system,” Levine Cava stated. “These are contracted jobs, there are not our employees. These are services we contract through private businesses and we say through our living wage ordinance you need to pay a little bit more.”

Representative Tom Fabricio, one of the sponsors of HB 433, stated, “We just want more competition and savings for taxpayers.”

House Bill 705 would allow contractors or subcontractors from anywhere to submit bids, which would have an impact on small local businesses who are now granted preference for some public works projects.

“The local program is for small businesses that are registered and certified with Miami-Dade County. We create economic benefits by putting our dollars back into the community, while still offering responsible wages,” stated Dorothy Brown-Alfaro, the proprietor of Jador International Corp., an electrical and telecommunications company.

According to Brown-Alfaro, there won’t be any fair and level playing fields if HB 705 is signed.

“They will outbid us because they will come in and pay someone like $10 an hour so they won’t have the same costs that we will,” she stated. “And there will be no requirement for them to adhere to the same rules or to pay that.”

Additionally, Fabricio stated that a county is free to accept a greater proposal from a competitor.