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

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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The Indiana Legislature repealed the state's 80-year-old prevailing wage law last month, becoming the first legislature to do so in 27 years.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.
http://news.yahoo.com/next-strike-ag...-politics.html
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....

Carl
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:29 AM
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I get on my knees at times and thank the Powers that Be that my pension comes from an honest company and a nation that respects trade unions.
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Old 06-16-2015, 02:29 PM
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While I seldom agree with Republicans on anything, they got this one right. The Davis-Bacon Act outlived its usefulness (and original objective) about 70 years ago.
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Old 06-16-2015, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by finnbow View Post
While I seldom agree with Republicans on anything, they got this one right. The Davis-Bacon Act outlived its usefulness (and original objective) about 70 years ago.
You don't actually think that's is what this is all about, do you? If these ALEC/Koch sponsored laws are passed, we're not going to see out of state firms or non-union US firms being awarded government contracts at fire sale prices, we're going to see crap like what's going on in Qatar with overseas contractors with basically slaves being "imported" to do the work.

It's all of a piece with TPP and TTIP.
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Old 06-16-2015, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Boreas View Post
You don't actually think that's is what this is all about, do you? If these ALEC/Koch sponsored laws are passed, we're not going to see out of state firms or non-union US firms being awarded government contracts at fire sale prices, we're going to see crap like what's going on in Qatar with overseas contractors with basically slaves being "imported" to do the work.

It's all of a piece with TPP and TTIP.
Nah. The construction industry in only ~13% organized. Do you seriously think think that the other 87% is going to let construction be done by imported slave labor? Also, the Fair Labor Standards Act would prevent what you describe anyway.
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by finnbow View Post
Nah. The construction industry in only ~13% organized. Do you seriously think think that the other 87% is going to let construction be done by imported slave labor? Also, the Fair Labor Standards Act would prevent what you describe anyway.
TPP could make the Fair Labor Standards Act an illegal restraint of trade.
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boreas View Post
TPP could make the Fair Labor Standards Act an illegal restraint of trade.
Show me.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnbow View Post
Show me.
Difficult to show you since the whole freakin' thing is secret but look thjis over:

https://www.google.com/search?q=tpp+...utf-8&oe=utf-8
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boreas View Post
Difficult to show you since the whole freakin' thing is secret but look thjis over:

https://www.google.com/search?q=tpp+...utf-8&oe=utf-8
It says nothing of compelling us to shit-can the Fair Labor Standards Act or suffer some sort of penalty for restraint of trade. I ain't buying it. The Davis-Bacon Act is an anachronism.
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Old 06-16-2015, 10:26 PM
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You just have to be able to read between the lines. And the lines are widely spaced, with lots of room between them.

The TPP vastly increases corporate power. Multi-nationals will have arbitrators and tribunals in their pocket, with the power to award them billions. Under these conditions, even if the FLSA is not technically on the table, the multis have tremendous leverage. They can say 'we just need certain exceptions to the FLSA for [some particular project].' They can say 'if we don't get them, you'll be sorry.'

Power is used to get more power.
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