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Old 06-16-2015, 10:50 AM
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CarlV CarlV is offline
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GOP states go after wage laws

LANSING, Mich. (AP) Expanding their battle with organized labor, Republican lawmakers in the Midwest are moving to scrap labor laws that help unions win a healthy share of the jobs on public works projects and bolster trade union membership.
Conservative legislators are targeting "prevailing wage" statutes, now on the books in 31 states, that require paying the local wage and benefit rate usually union scale on government construction projects such as building schools, fire stations and local roads.
They say the wage laws inflate costs and make it harder for nonunion contractors to compete by making lower bids.
The Indiana Legislature repealed the state's 80-year-old prevailing wage law last month, becoming the first legislature to do so in 27 years. Similar proposals are now before lawmakers in Michigan and Wisconsin. Those three GOP-led states dealt a financial blow to labor in recent years by passing right-to-work laws that bar unions from collecting fees from non-members.
"There's a national agenda coming after the building trades unions," said Patrick "Shorty" Gleason, legislative director for the nearly 100,000-member Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council union. "They do it under a false pretense that they're going to save hundreds of millions of dollars for the taxpayers. It's a race to the bottom that's going to end up nowhere."
Government construction projects are estimated at $281 billion, or 28 percent, of all construction spending nationwide this year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While no breakdown of winning contractors is available, industry groups say that union contractors tend to win a higher percentage of large government infrastructure projects covered by the wage laws while nonunion contractors go after private jobs.
Having to track all the local union wage rates for public contracts makes many contractors "wash their hands" of making bids, said Chris Fisher, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan.
Many states passed prevailing wage laws around the Depression to prevent out-of-state companies from underbidding local employers on public jobs. The federal government has a similar wage law that covers federal projects.
As the GOP won control of more state capitols in recent years, conservative and pro-business groups, including Americans for Prosperity, began pushing to repeal the state laws. Repeal supporters spent $357,000 on TV ads in Indiana and are likely to air some in Michigan, too.
While conservative lawmakers are enthusiastic, some governors have been skeptical.
Michigan's Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has complained that repealing the state's law would hamper his effort to bolster blue-collar jobs.
"Our great skilled tradespeople quite often get into unions ... and I think it's best to be working in a collaborative, cooperative fashion with them," Snyder said.
But Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof, who has made repeal legislation a priority, estimates that labor costs are between 40 and 60 percent higher on prevailing wage projects. Union construction workers average $28 an hour, $10 more than nonunion members, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Wow, this will be interesting to see and maybe even feel sorry for the suckers, nah.

A lot these goppers in their 50's and 60's near retirement are going to lose what has been saving their ass now they can be dump for cheap imports at rock bottom wages. All of a sudden nobody near retirement has arthritis and bad backs, or else....

Russians who vote elect Republicans
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