Prevailing wage laws curtail unscrupulous contractors
Mar 03, 2015
In a Letter To The Editor published in your Nov 30 edition, Dennis Gasper writes that the prevailing wage law must go. I vehemently disagree. Heâ€™s either a citizen who misunderstands it, or a contractor who clearly understands it and would love to pocket more money at the expense of employees.
I am a 34-year-plus union member who has worked in both the North and the South where prevailing wage is not in effect. Studies have shown that even with higher wages, it costs less to build a mile of road in Wisconsin than it does in Florida or Mississippi, where the wages are much lower and weather conditions are much easier. Our construction contractors and tradespeople are some of the finest in the nation and their production demonstrates it.
His proposal would not lower the cost to taxpayers, it would merely give them lower-paid, less qualified tradesmen and put more money in the accounts of the contractors. The wages he listed do sound unreasonable for someone working a few minutes from home, and year-round. Construction workers, whether union or non-union, are required to travel, with high fuel and/or motel bills and are subject to days off due to weather, seasonal layoff, etc. At the end of the year, theyâ€™d usually be better off with a 9-to-5 job.
Prevailing wage laws were established to curtail unscrupulous contractors from lining their pockets with low-paid sweat at the expense of taxpayers. The state should not be spending taxpayer money to make contractors more profitable while making employees less valuable. After all, more money to an already wealthy man merely goes into the stock market; money to a working man goes directly back into the local economy and businesses. Itâ€™s Econ 101.
Source: Sheboygan Press Media