Prevailing Wage laws have been a centerpiece of Minnesota’s excellent construction industry. In brief, these surveys of prevailing wages paid in various parts of the state allow local contractors to pay fair wages on local jobs without out-of-town fly-by-night shysters who don’t care about our communities undercutting contractor bids by slashing wages (a practice which naturally also tends to attract less-qualified workers.)Minnesota’s prevailing wage laws protect our local business owners and their workers.
There are some contractors that are unhappy their business mode (paying workers less) just doesn’t fly in Minnesota. They place similar sized bids, of course, but to compete for projects covered by prevailing wage agreements (not all construction projects are) they’d have to pay employees more fairly rather than the owner getting a big bonus. When such cut-rate business owners aren’t allowed to lowball their competitors on how little they can pay their workers, or pass along cost over-runs from slow or shoddy work — in other words when they’re forced instead to compete on skill, efficiency, and work quality — they whine, and try to change the rules.
So instead of investing in training, paying their people more or getting better at what they do – they are trying to drive wages down to their level.
This is a big issue for Minnesota’s construction workers. There is a group of people that are trying to devalue the highly-skilled, highly-trained labor that sets Minnesota well-above the average just to line the owners pockets.
Here are some of the issues that frequently are discussed regarding Prevailing Wage – it’s important to correct the myths and half-truths.
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