On Tuesday the Travis County Commissioners Court docket held a dialogue on “Venture Silicon Silver,” extensively imagined to be the alias for chipmaking large Samsung’s growth contract. The dialogue centered round acceptance of the preliminary software, together with a corresponding $150,000 price paid out to the county by the developer. The commissioners have been cautious to notice acceptance was not tantamount to approval of the event, merely a sign of curiosity in continued negotiations.
The county is contemplating offering monetary advantages in alternate for Samsung’s adherence to employee safety, wage, compensation, OSHA necessities and extra.
Commissioner Brigid Shea highlighted the necessity for compliance enforcement, given the multitude of stipulations outlined within the deal.
“It’s my understanding that within the metropolis’s financial growth coverage, there is no such thing as a point out how or whether or not town will monitor compliance with the employee safety necessities. So if we’re including employee safety and wage necessities, however there’s no mechanism in metropolis coverage to measure compliance, how are we figuring out if the entity is compliant?” Shea stated.
Nevertheless, one of many county’s chief bargaining circumstances – a dwelling wage of $15 per hour – may very well be made redundant through a present invoice proposing a federal minimal wage on the similar degree, which appears more likely to go given the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Following a quick dialogue of the compliance subject, and the prospect of on-site monitoring, Diana Ramirez, the director of Financial Improvement and Strategic Investments, stated, “The sensation I’m getting from court docket members is that the Chapter 380 part of town coverage is inadequate almost about contract compliance with dwelling wage, prevailing wage, OSHA 30 and on-site monitoring.”
A number of citizen callers additionally confused the necessity for county stipulations, together with a dwelling wage listed to value of dwelling, native worker minimums and medical health insurance advantages for workers.
Father Paul Skeith of SoCo Episcopal Group advocated for the entire above points, along with the chance for workers to rise inside the firm.
Jessica Wolff with Employees Protection Venture highlighted the strengths of the event requirements, citing the native hiring requirement, development coaching requirement and anti-retaliation provisions, and referred to as for the requirements set on this coverage to turn into the county norm.
”We acknowledge this can be a nice first step and there’s nonetheless extra work to be executed,” Wolff stated.
A 3rd caller, Bob Batlin, got here down on the alternative aspect, calling for minimizing the specificity of the county’s necessities in regard to the deal.
“I recommend we restrict steerage to basic statements of values. Partial record of examples of steerage could be: The county may anticipate most native hiring, work security is a focus, hiring practices which can be inclusive to all, pay and advantages that mirror the monetary realities of the neighborhood, significant profession path alternatives, documentation of established norms comparable to higher builder priorities ought to be offered to the applicant,” Batlin stated, pointing to the 50 % local-hiring requirement for the Tesla manufacturing unit for instance of what to not do.
The final sentiment among the many commissioners was that additional specificity about employee protections and compliance enforcement logistics could be essential earlier than inking a last deal. However in the end, approval of the Venture Silicon Silver software unanimously handed.
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