Last week, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero wrote a letter to Secretary Martin Walsh of the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), advocating for the inclusion of Guam in the regulations implementing Executive Order 14026, which increases the minimum hourly rate for federal contractors to $15.00 per hour.
President Biden signed EO 14026 on April 27, 2021, which tasks Secretary Walsh to issue regulations to implement the mandate by November 24, 2021.
In the letter, Governor Leon Guerrero noted that the regulations issued by USDOL in 2014 for the previous Executive Order 13658 that set the hourly minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 did not apply to Guam. At the time, USDOL did not interpret the definition of executive departments and agencies as including Guam.
“The application of the executive order to Guam will generate a positive impact that will extend onto wage earners across the island and into our overall economy,” said Governor Leon Guerrero. “EO 14026 is landmark policy that will improve the morale and quality of life of federal contractors, including laborers, nursing assistants, and food-service and maintenance workers. My administration’s objective to uplift workers align with those of President Biden’s, and I am hopeful that USDOL will consider my request.”
Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio added, “The USDOL study that was released today noted that all 22 major occupational groups in Guam had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages. This release comes at the heels of our administration’s request and further strengthens our case for inclusion in implementing EO 14026. I would like to thank Ken Laguaña of IBEW 1260 for his coordinated efforts on this issue and advocating for all workers.”
Ken Laguaña, Assistant Business Manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 1260, stated, “I want the people of Guam, as well as my members, to recognize how much our Governor and Lt. Governor partnered with me and the IBEW in ensuring that the voices of our hard-working federal contract workers are heard and recognized. This administration supports a better living wage considering inflation resulting from these federal contracts. If approved, it will reflect and assist the working class.”