The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, July 21, 2017

Decline to sign prevailing wage repeal petition

By The Building Tradesman

We know that the ongoing petition drive to repeal Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Act of 1965 will come with a price tag approaching $2 million.

Court documents revealed that as the cost of one of the two previous failed petition drives over the past two years that were intended to repeal the law, which is vital to upholding construction wage and benefit standards in Michigan.

Protect Michigan Taxpayers, the misnamed front group for the Associated Builders and Contractors, is undertaking the petition drive. The fact that there is reams of research supporting the benefits of prevailing wage – it’s a law that creates good worker wages, good construction training, while improving local tax revenues and recycling money in our communities – falls on deaf ears with the ABC and their deep-pocketed friends in the Devos family of Grand Rapids. 

Ideologically, their goal is to get government out of the lives of everyday citizens, even if repealing the prevailing wage law would result in a “disaster” for the construction industry, as one industry executive put it. 

For now, the focus is on making it difficult for petition takers to get signatures. So... decline to sign: we’ve heard over and over that petition-takers on this issue have been less than truthful when it comes to explaining the petition language. Read what you are signing! If and when they do get the 262,000 or so signatures, the repeal issue goes before the state Legislature, who vote up or down on prevailing wage repeal. If they vote it down, the issue then goes before a vote of the people on a general election ballot.