Michigan contractors urge lawmakers to protect prevailing wage

Prevailing wage attracts high-skilled workers to Michigan at a time when they’re needed most

Contractors across Michigan today urged Michigan lawmakers to protect Michigan’s prevailing wage law because it attracts and retains highly-skilled Michigan workers, helping businesses ensure they have the best workers on every job. 76 contractors — from Muskegon to Detroit — signed an open letter to Michigan lawmakers highlighting the need to maintain the state’s prevailing wage.

The open letter signed by 76 Michigan businesses is in a PDF file below

“Michigan is in a construction boom, and with today’s labor shortage, Michigan’s prevailing wage helps ensure the very best workers stay in our state to build critical infrastructure projects that families use every day,” said Greg Krueger, president and CEO of E&L Construction Group, Inc. “The prevailing wage enables us to complete public jobs on time and on budget, stabilizing the labor market in Michigan and ensuring we don’t send the best workers to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois or anywhere else.”

The building boom isn’t likely to let up soon. According to a recent University of Michigan study, the construction industry will continue to be a top job provider in the state in coming years – and contractors emphasized that without skilled workers, projects can’t be done on-time and on-budget.

The business leaders also pointed to subpar business practices by out-of-state contractors, and urged lawmakers to consider the consequences of a prevailing wage repeal.

“Prevailing wage laws level the playing field in construction by keeping out unscrupulous, out-of-state contractors who recruit workers at street corners, not trade schools,” wrote the business leaders. “They do not pay taxes, robbing communities of much-needed investment. They do not pay for health care, which shifts costs to Michigan taxpayers when people get hurt at a worksite. They do not contribute to the training that helps us build the workforce of the future.”

The results of a petition drive to put the future of prevailing wage before voters in 2018 is currently pending before the Michigan Board of Canvassers.

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