Republican Legislative Leader Debunks Prevailing Wage Savings Claims
Senate Committee Votes to Eliminate Wage Protections
The Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform voted 3-2 along party lines to advance Senate Bill 216, which would eliminate the prevailing wage for state public works and highway projects in Wisconsin.
“Eliminating the prevailing is just another tool being used to drive down wages for all construction workers, union and non-union alike,” said State Senator Janis Ringhand.
Last week, the Transportation Development Association held a forum in Milwaukee which painted a different picture regarding the savings Wisconsin should expect from eliminating the prevailing wage.
Assistant Majority Floor Leader of the Indiana General Assembly, Republican Ed Soliday, plainly and simply said that repealing prevailing wage laws in Indiana has saved no money and that proponents pushed it through using false information about huge savings that could only be realized if construction workers worked for free.
“So far, I haven’t seen a dime of savings out of it,” Soliday said about eliminating the prevailing wage in Indiana. “Total labor costs right now in road construction is about 22 percent, and I haven’t noticed anyone who’s going to work for free. There’s not 22 percent savings out there when the total cost of labor is 22 percent. It’s rhetoric.”
Senator Ringhand said that proponents in Wisconsin have made similar claims of savings while taking away the option for local communities to require that local workers be used on taxpayer funded projects.
Soliday agreed. “Probably the people most upset with us repealing the wage were the locals. Because the locals, quite frankly, like to pay local contractors and they like local contractors to go to the dentist in their own town.”
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