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Hearing: Wage laws not working

September 27, 2013

Pennsylvania’s Prevailing Wage Law has been a hotspot of controversy, and it was no less so at Thursday’s state House Labor and Industry Committee public hearing on prevailing wage reform at City......

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FortySixand2

Sep-28-13 9:38 AM

The idea that prevailing wage locks out non-union contractors is hog wash. Non-union contractors have always been welcome to submit bids on PW jobs, many choose not to so they don't face the pressure of then having to pay their employees the higher wage. But in a larger sense, does it surprise anyone that the right comes down once again on the side of cutting wages. In their worldview, no one who earns a wage is ever deserving of a wage high enough to live on. Why? Because it costs us (society) more money! The nonsense of that view is that where do they think those wages go? Back into the economy, stupid! This is what causes the downward spiral of a thriving middle class, conservatives having their way with lowering wages.

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USABorn

Sep-28-13 3:07 AM

"So if you do not make a prevailing wage you are not skilled, do not do quality work, are not a qualified craftsman and have to do the job twice."

Get rid of the prevailing wage law altogether and let both union and non-union workers have equal chances at contracts. Let them ALL be judged on the quality of their work!

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SeanSimcox

Sep-27-13 5:53 PM

Erik,

No need for a sorry, however, I don't agree with your analysis (such as it is). The Davis-Bacon Act (the federal version of prevailing wage) was first passed after African-Americans were used to build a Veteran's Hospital in Alabama and led to discussions regarding pressure to lower wages and work quality.

The PA Act was passed for the stated reason of keeping tax dollars local and not going to out of state builders. It was not put into place to protect unions as far as I can tell -- however that may be the a valid objection to the Act at this time as it seems that it does preclude non-union contractors from bidding on jobs due to what is described as onerous red tape.

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Steelman

Sep-27-13 1:02 PM

Abmoros said."... You want quality, qualified skilled craftsmen who do their job right the first time." So if you do not make a prevailing wage you are not skilled, do not do quality work, are not a qualified craftsman and have to do the job twice. That's harsh. This is a way for over paid unions to be competitive with their pricing to independent non union contractors that can do the same job just as well if not better, probably in a more timely manger, and more cost efficient than an over paid union worker.

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eriklatranyi

Sep-27-13 9:08 AM

Sean:

If the idea was to keep out-of-state contractors away, that would violate the commerce clause of the Constitution.

Sorry, prevailing wage laws were meant to protect unionized contractors from non-union contractors.

Plain and simple.

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SeanSimcox

Sep-27-13 7:34 AM

Prevailing wage laws were passed not to lock out local contractors but to lock out out of state contractors from areas where wages were much less thereby keeping tax dollars in the state and not sending them to Texas or Kentucky for example. At one time workers in PA were well paid relative to other states due to our large industrial base and vibrant economy. Things may have changed since 1961 however...

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eriklatranyi

Sep-27-13 6:03 AM

The hypocrisy of prevailing wage versus Obamacare.

Prevailing wage sets a minimum wage to benefit unions.

Obamacare sets a maximum charge for a certain procedure to restrain doctors.

Can someone explain how gov't gets to choose who wins and who loses?

If you support this, thinking it is "fair", just remember.....those chosen to benefit will not always stay the same and those chosen to be punished will not always stay the same.

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